Take steps to protect yourself
If you’re a victim of Domestic Violence, a Restraining Order may be recommended.
Many people in abusive, violent relationships feel helpless. That’s a natural psychological reaction, but it’s also a dangerous one. That feeling of helplessness might lead you to believe that there’s nothing you can do to change your situation, that you’re trapped forever.
That’s simply not true. There are legal steps you can take to get out and take control of your own life again – and Step One can be a Restraining Order.
In order to get the court to grant a Restraining Order (also known as a Domestic Violence Injunction), you will have to state in the written Application for Domestic Violence Injunction that you will have to complete prior to having a hearing set that you were in fear of bodily harm. That’s a fairly broad term in Florida, and it can cover everything from burglary, stalking and criminal trespass all the way up to Assault, Kidnapping and Sexual Battery. If you believe your spouse or partner has committed an act of Domestic Violence against you, it is vital that you seek out a Restraining Order right away.
Why bother? Not only does a Restraining Order provide legal protection from your abuser, but filing an Injunction can also give you a tactical advantage in any upcoming Divorce or Custody proceedings. Courts can and often do block parents with a documented history of Domestic Violence from enjoying unsupervised time with their children, or from playing a significant role in parenting at all. A Restraining Order is official, verified documentation of that violent history.
You also have a responsibility to protect your children. If you choose not to file for an Injunction and you ever find yourself involved in a dispute with Child Protective Services or in a future custody battle, the fact that you failed to protect your children from a Domestic Violence situation can be used against you.
Injunctions are usually granted or rejected within hours of filing. If granted, a Restraining Order has the full force of law from that moment on, until the Return Hearing two weeks later. It is at that Hearing that a Judge will decide whether the Injunction has merit or not. This is when you need an attorney most of all. There are no second chances when it comes to Injunctions, so be sure you are represented by someone with a demonstrated track record of success.
I’ve been practicing Criminal Law in Florida for over thirty-five and Family Law for over nine years. I’d be happy to talk about how I can help you free yourself from a violent and abusive environment. Call my office today to schedule a free consultation.on 05.28.2014