Restraining Orders in Florida
According to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly one in four women is a victim of domestic violence. Sadly, men can be victims of domestic violence too. Over 113,000 instances of domestic violence were reported to Florida’s law enforcement agencies in 2010. In 2014, over 4,800 arrests were made in Hillsborough County for domestic violence crimes.
Injunctions in Florida
In Florida, a victim of domestic violence or other personal crimes can petition the court to obtain an injunction. An injunction is a court order that prohibits a person from certain conduct. Injunctions are also referred to as restraining orders and protective orders. For instance, an injunction may order a person to refrain from contacting another person and to stay 50 yards away from that other person in a public place.
Types of Injunctions
In Florida, the law provides for five different types of injunctions:
- Domestic Violence Injunction: a person may obtain this type of injunction if he or she is a victim of violence or stalking or if he or she reasonably believes he or she is in “imminent danger” of becoming a victim of violence or stalking, and the victim and perpetrator must be spouses, former spouses, family members, living together, lived together, and/or have a child together. Essentially, for the victim to obtain a domestic violence injunction against the perpetrator, the victim and perpetrator must have some family or family-like relationship. A simple dating relationship without more is insufficient for this type of injunction.
- Dating Violence Injunction: a person may obtain this type of injunction if he or she is a victim of violence or stalking and the victim and perpetrator are engaged in or have been engaged in a dating relationship.
- Sexual Violence Injunction: this injunction is provided when a sexual violence crime, such as rape, sexual battery, or sexual assault of a child, has been committed and a criminal investigation is ongoing or the perpetrator was sentenced to prison and the prison term has expired or is about to expire.
- Stalking Injunction: a person may obtain this type of injunction if the perpetrator is stalking the person, which would typically include repeated harassment, repeated threats, repeated telephone calls, text messages, e-mails, voicemails, etc., or any other repeated behavior over a period of time for no legitimate reason and that causes the victim stress. There is no requirement that the victim and perpetrator have a family-type relationship, as is required for the domestic violence injunction, or a dating relationship, as is required for the dating violence injunction.
- Repeat Violence Injunction: a person may obtain this type of injunction if there have been two or more separate instances of violence or stalking, with one instance occurring at least within the past six months. Again, there is no requirement that the individuals have a family-type relationship or a dating relationship. For example, this injunction is commonly given in cases involving co-workers or neighbors.
Speak with a Family Law Attorney Now
Unfortunately, injunctions can often be a common element of a family law case. If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence, first and foremost, be sure that you or the loved one is in a safe place. Then, immediately contact Bubley & Bubley, P.A. in Tampa to help you through this difficult time.