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The different types of injunctions for protection against violence in Florida: What you need to know

In Florida, there are several types of injunctions (or restraining orders) that protect victims against violence committed by aggressors. The State specifically notes differences between “repeat violence,” “domestic violence,” “dating violence,” and “sexual violence.” Although the nature and severity of the acts committed may be similar in each case, there are some important definitional aspects that vary between types.

First, the State’s definition of “violence” encompasses assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping or false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death by a person against another person.

“Repeat violence” means two incidence of violence or stalking committed by the accused person. Only one of these acts must have been committed within six months of filing the injunction. The relevant statute specifies that the violent act must have been committed against the accuser or one of his or her immediate family members—meaning you can file an injunction on behalf of someone else, in such a circumstance.

“Domestic violence” refers to violent acts committed by one household member against another household member. This could include spouses, former spouses, people related by blood or marriage, people who are living together as if they are a family (or those who have done so in the past), and people who have a child in common regardless of whether or not they have been married.

Similarly, “dating violence” occurs between two people who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of romantic nature. The dating relationship must have existed within the past 6 months prior to the filing of the injunction, and must have been “characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties.” In order for an act to qualify as one of dating violence, there has to be a history of a relationship between both parties—it’s not necessarily “dating violence” if someone attacks you on your first date.

Finally, “sexual violence” could refer to sexual battery, lewd or lascivious acts, forcible sexual acts, and other crimes in which sex acts are committed or attempted. The term also encompasses sexual performances by a child, and luring or enticing a child to perform sexual acts.

If you are being subjected to any of these types of violence, it is important that you hire an attorney as soon as possible to handle not only the injunction, but also any number of other matters that could arise from the injunction, such as a divorce.

In addition to injunctions, our firm also takes on cases involving divorce, custody battles, child support, relocation issues, will and probate, criminal defense, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. While our main office is in Gainesville, we also handle family law matters through our satellite offices in Ocala, Chiefland, Lake City, and Palatka.
For help with your legal issue, contact the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller for a free phone consultation at (866) 496-8752 or via email at Info@ForYourLaw.com

BY: Monica Perez-McMillen, Attorney at Law

July 25, 2012
 
 
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