Domestic Violence Injunctions, sometimes called restraining orders by those outside the courthouse, are Florida civil actions and are commonly considered quasi-criminal in nature. These are proceedings handled within the Family Court system even if the parties are neither related nor part of a romantic relationship, past or present.
Florida law related to DV Injunctions is dictated by Statute 741.30.
The individual seeking an injunction is called the Petitioner while the person defending the claim(s) is the Respondent. Our firm has extensive experience representing individuals on both sides on the aisle in these matters, as we also both defend the accused in Domestic Violence criminal cases and work with victims.
When one seeks an injunction, either as a result of dating violence, repeat violence or stalking, he or she personally appears at the Family Courthouse and both petitions the court for a permanent injunction and generally seeks a temporary injunction assuming the fear of injury/death is imminent and reasonable. Many injunction proceedings occur simultaneously or contemporaneously with a criminal case, with each potentially having an impact on the other. After the petition is filed it is then served on the Respondent by the Miami Dade Sheriff. If the judge grants the temporary injunction request it will served along with the court notice, but temp injunction will not be in effect until the Respondent is personally served. A formal court hearing will then be scheduled and a Circuit Court/Family Judge will hear testimony and weigh evidence in determining if a permanent injunction is appropriate.
Although an injunction is not a criminal charge or conviction, in can affect one’s ability to travel, seek employment, possess a firearm, apply for housing, etc. It will forever appear in the court system and if not properly defended carries many collateral and direct consequences. Lastly, if one violates the injunction he or she is immediately subject to arrest with initial no bond.
If you are either looking to file an injunction petition or have been served with one you should be seeking counsel from a qualified and experienced lawyer who handles these matters regularly in Miami, Broward and throughout Florida. Please contact us at any hour and Michael will meet with you to discuss your options.