Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in Florida

Supportive representation for victims of physical abuse and for those accused

Domestic violence, which involves physical abuse by a family member or someone with whom the victim had an intimate relationship, is a problem throughout the United States. In Florida, victims of domestic violence can file for a restraining order that provides added protection against an alleged abuser. At Rafool, PLLC, we have helped many of our clients obtain restraining orders to halt abuse, but we’ve also represented unfairly accused persons who faced the loss of their rights and reputation. Our experience on both sides of the issue empowers us to deliver knowledgeable and determined representation to achieve the results you need.

Filing for a restraining order in Florida

In Florida, there are four types of injunctions against abuse that an alleged victim can request. These specifically address:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Dating violence
  • Repeat violence

Victims of domestic violence are people who have been abused by family and intimate relations. Those abusers may include:

  • Relatives by blood, marriage or adoption
  • Parties the victim has lived with or is living with
  • Someone with whom the victim has had a child

The violence the order protects against includes assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense that results in physical injury to the petitioner, the petitioner’s family, or members of the same household.

If these facts fit your situation, you can file a petition for an injunction against domestic violence with the clerk of court in your county.

Benefits of a domestic violence injunction

Domestic violence injunctions are flexible, so the judge can tailor the order to fit the victim’s situation. Common forms of relief that courts regularly grant include:

  • An order prohibiting the respondent from committing any acts of domestic violence
  • An award of temporary exclusive use of your home, so that if the respondent lives with you, he or she must vacate the premises
  • An award of temporary child support and child custody for children you have in common
  • An order for the respondent to complete a batterer’s intervention course
  • An order for the respondent to surrender firearms to law enforcement

Although rare, the court can also restrain the respondent’s interactions on social media that might be deemed abusive. Any violation of the restraining order can result in the arrest of the respondent, a criminal conviction, jail time and fines.

Defense representation for persons targeted in restraining orders

The court can issue a temporary order based on the petition, but the respondent has a right to a hearing before the court can issue a permanent order. This return hearing usually takes place within two weeks of the issuing of the temporary order. This is the opportunity for the person targeted in the order to present rebuttal evidence and get the order vacated.

At Rafool, PLLC, our Miami family law attorneys represent respondents in domestic violence hearings. We know from experience that false allegations are common during divorce and child custody hearings, because the petitioner wants to discredit the respondent before the court. We also believe in the basic principles of due process inherent in our justice system.

If you have been targeted for domestic violence, you stand to lose many rights. Your movements are restricted, your access to your children can be restricted, and if you’re convicted, you will have to surrender your firearms. Your reputation is also at stake, and you can suffer economic losses such as being fired or having a security clearance revoked. The stakes are high, so you need capable and determined legal representation, such as you receive from Rafool, PLLC.

Contact our Miami family law firm for domestic violence representation

If you feel threatened by a relative or intimate acquaintance, a domestic violence restraining order can provide the additional safeguard you need. If you’ve been targeted as an abuser in a petition, you must fight to clear your good name. In either case, the experienced family law attorneys at Rafool, PLLC, can help. For immediate assistance, call us at (305) 567-9400 or contact our Miami office online to schedule an initial consultation.