Tampa Domestic Violence Lawyer
Although most Florida residents know that family courts have jurisdiction over legal issues, such as child support, divorce, paternity, and adoptions, many remain unaware that these types of courts can also hear cases regarding allegations of domestic violence. In these cases, victims of domestic violence who are concerned for their own safety or the safety of a child can petition the court for an injunction, or restraining order, which will prohibit the aggressor from contacting them for a certain period of time. Submitting this kind of petition usually requires a hearing in front of a judge and so can be stressful and emotional for victims and their families. To ensure that your own rights and interests are protected during these proceedings, please contact an experienced Tampa domestic violence lawyer who can assist you.
What is an Injunction for Protection?
Injunctions for Protection, which are also referred to simply as injunctions or restraining orders, are court orders that prohibit one person from contacting another. Generally, this means no contact in person, or by phone, email, letter, or text message, although judges can modify these orders to address a person’s specific situation. Injunctions are obtained in civil and not criminal court, which means that the petitioner is responsible for filing the request and taking whatever steps are necessary to keep the case going.
When it comes to domestic violence, there are actually a variety of different types of civil injunctions in Florida. Which type a person files depends largely on his or her relationship to the accused and the specific facts of the case. For instance, when the person that the petitioner is filing against is a family or household member, such as a spouse, former spouse, a relative by blood or marriage, a current or past romantic partner, or the parent of a shared child, then he or she can file a domestic violence injunction against the accused. With the exception of those who have a child in common, the family member accused of domestic violence must also be currently residing in or have resided in the same residence as the petitioner on a prior occasion.
Domestic Violence Hearing
In most cases, judges decide to approve or reject a petition within the first 24 hours of receiving it. This could take the form of a temporary injunction, which will be followed by a hearing that is usually scheduled within 15 days of the filing. At the time of the hearing, the judge will hear all of the evidence provided by the parties, which could include:
- Witness testimony;
- Copies of court orders;
- Titles or deeds to property;
- Photographic or video evidence of the assault or subsequent injuries;
- Police reports;
- Phone records;
- Recordings of 911 calls; and
- Proof of income and other financial information, such as bank statements and pay stubs.
After the hearing, the judge will determine whether the case should be dismissed or will issue a final injunction that states who will retain possession of a residence, establishes child support or a parenting plan, orders the respondent to attend counseling, and prohibits the respondent from contacting the petitioner. Some final injunctions come with a time limit, although many do not.
Call Today for Help with Your Case
If you have already contacted the police and want to speak with an experienced Tampa domestic violence lawyer about your situation, please contact The Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group at 813-242-4404 today.