Getting an injunction against repeat or domestic violence is one way that men or women can protect themselves against physical or emotional harm from known suspects. But what is an injunction and how can it protect you? What is a violation of injunction and how can you avoid being charged with this serious crime?
A recent blurb on the smoking gun legal website had to do with a domestic violence allegation. An Ohio woman was at a courthouse seeking a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend. When the judge left the room for a moment, the surveillance camera captures the man brutally attacking the woman, chasing her around the room and even battering his own mother when she tried to intervene! The man was eventually tased by deputies and charged with numerous offenses. Needless to say, the woman’s injunction against violence was granted.
What about injunctions in Florida? What needs to be shown in order for a judge to grant an injunction order? In this state an injunction for protection (or a “restraining order”), is a Civil Court Order that places restrictions on a person (known as a “Respondent”). This Order is placed because the Respondent is accused of violent actions (or sometimes threats) against the victim (known here as the “Petitioner”). This injunction starts when a Petition is filed with the Court by the Petitioner and a hearing is held. An injunction may have different orders that a Respondent must follow or he/she can be charged with a violation of an injunction. This restraining order may include provisions that the Respondent must move out of his/her house, that he must keep a certain distance from the Petitioner and/or no physical contact between the two parties.
The Four Types of Injunctions in Florida
1. Injunction Against Domestic Violence:
Defined under Florida Statute 741.28, “Violence or stalking that has occurred, or that the Petitioner has reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of, between individuals who are spouses, former spouses, or persons related by blood or marriage who are residing or have resided together as a family, or individuals who are residing together or have resided together as if family, or individuals who have a child in common”. For example, this type of Injunction can be between a man and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend (if they are or were living together), brother and sister or baby mama and baby daddy. Generally, the Petitioner only needs to show one instance of violence to get the restraining order granted.
2. Dating Violence:
This is generally stalking or violence that occured or that the Petitoner has reasonable belief that there is imminent danger of occurring between people who have (1) who have dated within the last six months, (2) are sexually involved and/or (3) have a continuous relationship that is more then just a business or social frienship.
3. Injunction Against Sexual Violence:
This type of restraining order is often the strictest and hardest to get granted. To qualify for this type, the Petitoner must show at least one of the following: He or she must have reported the incident to the police and cooperate fully with them or the Respondent was sentenced to incarceration and he/she is due out of prison within 90 days. Not just any crime is allowed to count however. The Respondent must have been incarcerated as a result of a sexual battery or a felony where a sex act was committed or attempted. If this strict criteria is not met in full, then the sexual violence injunction will not be granted by a Judge (though the Petitioner may qualify for one of the other injunction types).
4. Injunction against Repeat Violence:
Defined under Florida Statute 784.046, unlike the domestic violence injunction, there must be two (2) or more seperate acts of violence and/or stalking with at least one incident within the past six months. This may be the most common type of restraining order and is used for relationships of a non-domestic or non-romantic nature. Neighbor to neighbor, or classmate to classmate would be an example of this type of Injunction.
In part two of this entry, we will discuss further on how to file for restraining order and also what to do if you are charged with a violation of injunction. In the meanwhile, if you or a loved one needs further information about injunctions in Pinellas county please review the pinellas clerk website, which gives more details and forms that can be filled out immediately.
Have you or a loved one been arrested for domestic violence? Then call the St. Petersburg domestic violence defense lawyers of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. today! These former prosecutors have handled 100s of domestic violence cases throughout the Gulf Coast of Florida including Pinellas, Manatee, Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties.