Domestic Violence Injunctions
Just as an act of domestic violence is criminal in nature, there is also a civil cause of action found under Florida Statute 741.30 for issuance of a domestic violence injunction. A domestic injunction is nothing more than a restraining order, forbidding one person from being near another person. Our Tampa criminal lawyers are not only well versed in defending those accused of domestic violence but we have also successfully argued for and won this type of relief on behalf of our clients. No matter whether you are seeking a restraining order or need a stout defense against an effort to get one against you, we are highly qualified to represent your interests and achieve the result you desire.
In short, anyone who is a family or household member may file for a restraining order if they are a victim of domestic violence as described in Florida Statue 741.28 (any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member) or has reasonable cause to believe that they are in imminent danger of being an victim of any act of domestic violence. There is no filing fee to obtain a restraining order and an individual has an absolute right to petition the court should they believe in good faith that they have grounds to do so.
Procedurally, an individual files a petition with the Circuit Court alleging the facts that give rise to their desire to prevent a person from coming near them. Upon filing, the Court will set a hearing to take evidence as to whether the alleged acts occurred and if so, whether or not they give rise to the order of an injunction against the respondent. Both parties will have an opportunity to testify and present evidence on their behalf. In cases where the reviewing Judge feels there is an immediate and present danger of violence, he or she will grant a temporary order forbidding contact of the petitioner by the respondent. This temporary request will be granted without the respondent having an opportunity to be heard and will stay in place in this form until a ruling is made at a subsequent hearing. Should the Judge grant the petitioner’s request, the terms of the order may remain the same or can be modified and the Judge can impose a duration of his or her desire. Should the Judge feel there are no grounds to continue the temporary order, he or she will deny the petition and the temporary injunction will be extinguished. Unlike the proof beyond a reasonable doubt standard in a criminal case, a domestic violence injunction hearing is civil in nature and requires only proof by a preponderance of evidence in order to earn the restraining order.
Like similar criminal charges, often injunctions are sought not because one is actually in fear for their safety, but because they are attempting to build a case in family court, are trying to use this vehicle as quicker means of eviction, or simply are doing it out of spite. Our attorneys have seen it all. We know the tell tale signs and how to smoke them out. If you need help in a domestic court, the Mayberry Law Firm is waiting for your call.