Domestic violence is a serious and complex issue. In the state of Florida, both civil and criminal courts take it very seriously and charges can be strict and consequential. If you have been the victim of domestic violence and/or are threatened that it very likely could happen, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Hunter Law family law attorney now for legal assistance and counsel.
Domestic violence is complex to define as it doesn’t apply only to physical violence. It can be verbal, emotional, psychological abuse, threats to children and family members. It is frightening and can be debilitating and affect everyday life including work and economic issues.
What Is the Legal Definition of Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”
The victim must have a family-type or household relationship with the person engaging in domestic violence. The state of Florida defines that relationship as follows:
- Spouses and former spouses
- Blood related persons
- People living together as family or who have done so in the past
- People who have a child together (regardless of whether they were ever married)
The domestic violence victim may not realize they are being a victim or may be afraid to seek help because of threats. The abuser may make them promise not to tell anyone. They may change behavior in the short term to keep the victim from seeking assistance. Most abusers will repeat again. A victim needs to be able to seek legal assistance without fear. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Obtaining an Injunction (Restraining Order) in the Tampa Bay Area
Call for legal assistance if you need to ask for an “Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence”. There is a standard procedural process the victim must follow to apply for an injunction. Obtaining a restraining order can give you peace of mind as the victim. It is a legal, binding document. It requires the named person to stay a certain distance away from the person who is seeking the injunction. Even if couples do not live together, a restraining order can be obtained.
A hearing in family court is required. The judge must be convinced that domestic violence has occurred or is likely to occur. A temporary restraining order can be obtained without a hearing based on the party’s sworn statements. While easier to obtain, they only last 15 days. It can then be extended.
Standard Pieces of Evidence to Keep to Document Domestic Violence Abuse
The following is a list of standard pieces of evidence that can assist in proving domestic violence has taken place. It is helpful to keep these protected to assist the legal counsel with your case. They will be presented as evidence to a judge.
- Harassing phone calls
- Threatening text messages
- Witness statements
- 911 call recordings
- Harassing social media posts
- Prior restraining orders
- Pictures of bruises or property damage
- Medical records
Even if it happens one time, document it and keep it in a safe place. Abuse is likely to be repeated and/or escalated.
Be assured that your legal counsel can help you through this turbulent period. The Hunter Law attorneys are compassionate, knowledgeable and experienced with domestic violence cases. We are committed to helping you every step of the way.