Orlando Domestic Violence Lawyer
Every couple argues now and then, and most relationships go through rough patches. Domestic violence, however, is not a mere disagreement. It is a pattern of abuse used to control another person. Victims of domestic violence need to be protected and deserve to have their voices heard, while alleged offenders may not know enough about Florida’s domestic violence laws to understand the gravity of having an injunction for protection ordered against them. Even relatively minor violations can carry lifelong consequences. At the Arwani Law Firm our Orlando domestic violence lawyers can help if you need a protection order to restrain your spouse (or former spouse) from contact with you, or if your spouse files an injunction against you.
Florida law treats domestic violence cases very seriously, so the court process encompasses complicated legal issues for parties on both sides of the matter. If you’re the person raising the allegations, safety is a paramount concern. However, the individual facing these claims must take action to fight them, especially when the allegations are false or misleading.
Because of the contentious nature of domestic violence cases and potential risks to your welfare, it’s critical to work with an experienced legal counsel. In our goal to protect your interests and safety, our team at the Arwani Law Firm can assist regardless of your position in the case. Please contact us right away to speak to an Orlando domestic violence lawyer, and read on for some important information.
Overview of Florida’s Domestic Violence Laws
Under Florida’s criminal code, domestic violence involves certain types of acts by one person against another when the two have a relationship as designated by law. The personal relationship might be between current or former spouses, partners, co-parents, family members, household members, those in a dating relationship, and others. Acts that constitute domestic violence may include:
- Assault and battery;
- Sexual assault and battery;
- Aggravated forms of these crimes; and,
- Many others.
However, in addition to pressing charges, the target of domestic violence also has an interest in protecting his or her safety. As such, Florida law provides for another option to address domestic violence through an injunction, familiarly known as a restraining order.
Proceedings for a Domestic Violence Injunction
Victims of domestic violence have the right to seek protection from the court, and our attorneys at the Arwani Law Firm represent individuals on both sides of the matter: Petitioner and respondent. The process starts by the petitioner filling out the necessary forms, which state the facts regarding domestic violence and the personal relationship with the respondent.
If the judge finds in favor of the petitioner, an emergency injunction will be issued without prior notice to the respondent. A typical order might:
- Prohibit the respondent from communicating with the petitioner;
- Require the respondent to stay away from the petitioner at work or home;
- Instruct the respondent to move out of a shared residence; and,
- Bar the respondent from exercising parental rights with shared children.
Because the respondent doesn’t get a chance to defend the allegations, the protective order can only last 15 days. At this point, the court will conduct a full hearing and the respondent has the opportunity to present his or her side. The judge makes a decision on whether to extend the domestic violence injunction.
Obtaining an Injunction for Protection in Florida
Sadly, many family law disputes involve domestic violence or the threat of domestic violence. These acts may necessitate an injunction for protection. Florida courts exercise a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence, enabling victims to easily pursue the protection they need. However, filing an injunction for protection is a very serious matter with lasting ramifications for everyone involved. You need to make sure the process is handled correctly to get the result you want. In determining whether you have reasonable cause to believe you are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence, the court will consider all relevant factors alleged in your petition for protection, including but not limited to:
- The history between the parties, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse
- Whether the alleged offender has attempted to harm the alleged victim, family members or individuals closely associated with the victim
- Whether the alleged offender has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the alleged victim’s children
- Whether the alleged offender has intentionally injured or killed a family pet
- Whether the alleged offender has used, or has threatened to use, any weapons against the alleged victim
- Whether the alleged offender has physically retrained the alleged victim from leaving home or calling law enforcement
- Whether the alleged offender has a criminal history involving violence or threats of violence
- The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction
- Whether the alleged offender has destroyed personal property belonging to the alleged victim
- Whether the alleged offender engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the alleged victim to have reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger
The terms of your injunction for protection can vary depending on the unique circumstances surrounding your case. For example, the order may include special provisions for exchanges of the children if you are maintaining a timesharing arrangement. Having years of experience handling divorce and domestic violence matters, the Orlando family lawyers at the Arwani Law Firm are prepared to help you pursue the course of action that best suits your needs.
Trust an Orlando, FL Domestic Violence Lawyer to Protect Your Interests
Domestic violence situations have serious implications for the person at risk and the individual facing allegations of abuse. Therefore, it’s essential to retain knowledgeable, compassionate representation right away. Time is of the essence for both parties, so please contact the Arwani Law Firm right away. We can set up a consultation with one of our Orlando domestic violence attorneys who can assist with your case.