Unfortunately, there are acts of domestic violence committed daily in the state of Florida. If you or a loved one have been a victim of domestic violence or are in imminent fear of becoming one, the attorneys at the Lopez Law Group want to assist you in getting the protection that you deserve.

Beyond domestic violence, which is traditionally limited to family members and married couples, the law has seen fit to provide similar protections for those in less formal relationships. Florida law has expanded the right to petition the courts for protective orders by expanding the statutes to cover “dating violence.” The statute provides that dating violence is “violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.” The statute notes that “the term does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who only have engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.”

These domestic violence petitions are filed within civil courts, but are quasi-criminal in nature. Simply put, a violation of a domestic violation injunction imposed by the courts can and will result in criminal charges. That being said, it is important to note that there does not have to be a corresponding criminal charge of violence in order to establish based on a preponderance of the evidence that you should be entitled to a domestic violence injunction.

The petition begins by providing detailed information about the relationship between you, the Petitioner, and the person that you are seeking the injunction against, the Respondent. The Petition expects you to provide background information on the Respondent and truthful information relevant to a finding that you have either been a victim of violence or that you are in fear of imminent danger from the Respondent. The Petition will ask, for example, if the Respondent is in possession of any firearms or if he or she has ever been subject to the Baker Act.

Upon a review of a Petition that properly alleges the statutory requirements for a finding of domestic violence or dating violence, the court will preliminarily grant the petition, set a hearing on the matter, and serve the respondent with a summons to appear in court. At this hearing, the court will hear testimony and receive evidence from both the Petitioner and Respondent and render a decision as to whether the injunction should be granted for a longer period of time or if the injunction may be unnecessary at this time.

The courts do take these Petitions very seriously, though, and will carefully and thoughtfully consider your request and the evidence provided. If you are in need of assistance requesting that the court give you an injunction against a partner that is violent or has threatened violence, call us right away at (727) 933-0015.