Domestic violence is a serious crime that is broadly defined under Florida law. Fla. Stat. §741.28 defines domestic violence as an assault or battery, including sexual assault and battery, stalking, false imprisonment, kidnapping, or any criminal offense by a household member against another household member that results in injury or death.
The term “household member” is also broadly defined under the law. A household member includes spouses, ex-spouses, blood relatives, in-laws, parents of a child, and parties that are currently living together or have lived together in the past. If a person does not fall within one of these categories, there are other causes of action that a person may pursue if they are the victim of abuse or violence.
Injunctions for Protection Against Domestic Violence (IFP)
Injections for Protection (IFP) or restraining orders are civil remedies available for victims of domestic violence. Restraining orders are designed to prevent further abuse and violence by prohibiting the abuser from contacting or coming within a certain distance of the victim, including the victim’s place of employment, vehicle, and home.
Even though an IFP is a civil remedy, violating a domestic violence injunction is a crime. Individuals who violate an IFP are subject to criminal penalties including jail. Other penalties that the court may impose include forfeiting weapons, including firearms, vacating the residence, alimony, child support, timesharing and abuse classes.
It is important if you are being abused or you fear for your safety or the safety of your children that you contact a Florida domestic violence attorney to seek injunctive relief. Even though you may file for relief without an attorney, an attorney can help you file the necessary documents to seek court intervention quickly and efficiently. You are already under an enormous amount of stress and strain — let our attorneys handle the legal matters while you focus on your safety and the safety of your children.
Protection for Domestic Abuse Victims
An injunction or restraining order provides important relief for victims of abuse and violence. The court may include one or more of the following protections in the restraining order:
- Exclusive possession and use of the residence for you and your children
- Establish a temporary timesharing arrangement to protect your children
- Order supervised visitation with children if it is in the best interest of the child
- Grant temporary alimony and child support
- Prohibit the abuser from contacting you at home, your place of business, or any other location, including contact through email, text messaging, telephone, other parties, or by other means
- Set physical limitations preventing the abuser from being within a certain distance of you, your home, your vehicle, or your place of employment
- Order the abuser to attend counseling, courses, or treatment
The court may also include other requirements specific to the situation that it deems necessary to protect you and your children from an abuser. If you feel threatened or you have been the victim of violence in your home, call now to speak with a Florida domestic abuse attorney.
Factors the Court Considers When Granting an Injunction for Protection for Domestic Violence
Because an IFP has significant consequences for all parties involved, including any children of the parties, the court considers several factors when deciding whether to grant a restraining order. The court wants to act quickly and efficiently to protect victims of domestic violence; however, it must act in the best interest of all parties. The factors a judge considers when presented with a petition for a protective order are:
- The history of the parties involved;
- Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or other family members;
- Whether the respondent has threatened to harm or take the children of the parties;
- Has the respondent intentionally injured a family pet;
- Whether the respondent used a weapon or threatened to use a weapon to harm the petitioner, including firearms and knives;
- If the respondent physically prevented the petitioner from calling law enforcement or leaving home;
- If the respondent has a criminal record of violent threats or use of violence;
- If a prior order of protection was granted;
- Did the respondent destroy the petitioner’s personal property; and,
- Whether the respondent’s behavior led the petitioner to have a reasonable belief that he or she would be the victim of domestic violence.
If you believe a family member might harm you or a family member has harmed you, act now to protect yourself. You do not have to suffer any longer. The law provides protection from domestic abuse in Florida.
Palm Beach Gardens Domestic Violence Injection Attorney
We assist individuals throughout Palm Beach County with domestic violence injunctions. We understand the emotional and legal issues involved in a domestic violence case. It is our goal to provide compassionate and experienced legal representation for parties involved in a domestic violence case.
Contact the Law Offices of Paul J. Burkhart, PL by email or telephone at (561) 880-0155 to request a consultation with our Palm Beach Gardens family law attorney. We work to protect your best interests when resolving matters related to domestic violence and family law.