Cases of domestic violence are common, and in the past few years, have been on a frightening rise. The result is often a severe effect on the physical and mental wellbeing of the victim. However, the good news is that laws are designed to protect the victims of physical or psychological abuse in different states.
For instance, injunctions primarily help protect vulnerable people so that their abusers cannot continue their abusive behavior. Read on to learn all you need to know about injunctions in Florida.
What is an Injunction Order?
An injunction is also called a restraining order, and it offers protection against domestic violence. This court document bars the abuser or respondent from doing specific things like contacting you, abusing you, or coming closer to you. The defendant can also be asked to leave the home you were sharing and also pay child support. With an injunction, you can get certain rights like custody of children.
How to Apply For an Injunction
When you file for an injunction at your county court, it is the judge, not the jury, who decides to issue an injunction or not. Expert attorneys from FighterLaw.com explain that your initial application should have enough content that meets the standards to get a temporary restraining order. A lawyer can help you professionally present evidence to increase the chances of winning your case. When the final order is approved, the abuser should keep their distance from the victim.
Types of Injunctions in Florida
Domestic violence comes in different forms, and it often involves married people or those who are dating. In most cases, it seems that some people are driven by jealousy and end up filing for injunction though some issues are real.
There are six different forms of injunctions in Florida that include the following:
- Sexual violence
- Domestic violence
- Repeat violence
- The exploitation of vulnerable people
- Dating violence
Any criminal offense by an individual resulting in physical injury or death of a family member constitutes violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence or you believe that you can become the victim, you can apply for an injunction. The law is designed to help all domestic violence victims regardless of sex, gender, race, or belief.
Before granting an order for a final injunction, the judge carefully goes through the details of the petition to see if they meet the standard. The judge often orders a temporary injunction that still protects the victim when a final hearing will soon follow. The respondent cannot contact the petitioner once a temporary injunction is granted.
Protection You Can Get From an Injunction Order
Essentially, an injunction aims to protect the victim against domestic violence, and you should expect to get some or all of the following protective measures.
- Orders the abuser not to contact you or contact you through another person
- The respondent should leave you, and there should be no contact at work, home, or anywhere closer.
- The abuser must leave the house you share.
- The victim gets temporary custody of the kids.
- The petitioner gets child support.
- The court can order the abuser to get counseling from certified professionals.
- Any form of protection that the judge thinks is necessary.
In passing an injunction order, the judge considers the merit of all the information presented to the court by the petitioner. You can still qualify for an injunction even in the absence of physical violence. If the respondent previously used threats, harassment, destroyed property, or threatened to kidnap, the judge can grant the induction. On the other hand, the respondent also has a right to reply since other petitioners can file for an injunction. The judge then decides on the protection to include in the order depending on the evidence presented.
At first, the victim is granted a temporary injunction, which provides immediate protection pending a final hearing. This temporary order can last up to 15 days while the judge waits to set a full hearing. The judge then decides whether to give the petitioner a final injunction after a full hearing. The victim can get more protection from the last order that also sets the duration of the injunction. In a final injunction, the judge will order that the respondent should not own a gun. When the restraining order does not have an expiration date, either you or the respondent can ask the court to modify the injunction or terminate it when both parties agree on new conditions.
Where Do You File For Injunction?
You can file for an injunction in the county court or circuit where you live temporarily or permanently, where the abuse happened, or where the abuser lives. When you file for an injunction, you should know that the judges deal with several cases of injunctions, so they may not have sufficient time for you. To increase the chances of succeeding in your case, it may be a good idea to enlist a professional attorney’s services to handle the case on your behalf.
What Happens When the Abuser Violates an Injunction?
When the judge grants a permanent injunction order, the defendant must abide by the ruling. If the abuser violates the order, you can report that to the police, and they can be arrested. The early stages of an injunction, before it is granted, constitutes a civil process. However, violating an injunction becomes a criminal offense that is punishable by a fine or a jail term. Repeat violations of a restraining order can attract stiffer penalties as well as a longer prison term.
Domestic violence comes in different forms, and it is a cause for concern since it severely affects the victims’ wellbeing. However, a victim of abuse can apply for an injunction that helps to protect them against continued ill-treatment. If you feel that your life is in danger, you can apply for a restraining or peace order that keeps your abuser at bay. Before granting the order, a judge considers different things to ascertain the merits of your case. Once granted, the abuser should not violate the injunction since it will be a punishable offense.