Domestic Violence Injunction Defense Attorneys in Gainesville, Florida
Victims of domestic violence in Gainesville may seek relief from the court to obtain protection from a person who is accused of committing violent acts against them. In many cases, individuals who face domestic violence allegations may have also been charged with domestic violence in a criminal proceeding or are currently being investigated by law enforcement. Notwithstanding, some allegations of domestic violence in Gainesville may not involve a coinciding criminal case. Instead, the alleged perpetrator may be the subject of a domestic violence injunction, which is exclusively a civil matter.
In Gainesville, accusations of domestic violence are very serious and are thoroughly investigated by law enforcement. However, there are times where a domestic violence injunction is sought that premised upon completely false or misleading facts, which even so, can have serious implications for the person subject to the injunction. In other words, misleading or false accusations can still lead to the issuance of a domestic violence injunction. When this occurs, the alleged offender’s rights are at stake. Although a domestic violence injunction does not result in criminal penalties, violating one can lead to criminal charges. As such, all those who are currently facing domestic violence charges and/or a domestic violence injunction must immediately hire a dedicated Gainesville Domestic Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer.
Domestic violence is very serious, and all allegations associated therewith must be thoroughly investigated. However, there are instances where domestic violence injunctions are premised on facts that are false or misleading, which can have various negative consequences for the person subject to said injunction. Otherwise stated, when misleading or false claims result in a domestic violence injunction, a person’s rights are at stake. Although a domestic violence injunction does not amount to jail time or other forms of criminal penalties, violating one can result in criminal charges. Accordingly, all those who face domestic violence charges and/or a domestic violence injunction must act quickly to hire a skilled Gainesville Domestic Violence Injunction Defense Attorney.
Musca Law represents clients in Gainesville and in all counties throughout the State of Florida. Our firm defends clients who are facing any type of criminal charge as well as civil protective injunctions. Our firm maintains offices all across Florida and can meet with clients 24/7 to help them with their legal needs. To learn how the Gainesville Domestic Violence Injunction Lawyers of Musca Law can help you, simply call our law office today by calling (888) 484-5057.
The Protective Injunction Process in Gainesville, Florida
When facing a domestic violence injunction, it is important that you understand what a protective injunction is and what to expect once you have been served with a petition for a Gainesville domestic violence injunction. Specifically, those who are subject to a domestic violence injunction will have a better chance at receiving a favorable outcome if they are prepared and know what to expect while working alongside of a skilled Gainesville Domestic Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer.
A protective injunction, such as a domestic violence injunction, is also referred to under Florida law as a protective order, restraining order, or simply an injunction. An injunction is a remedy issued by a civil court that is meant to protect individuals from violence and abuse. In Florida, there are five types of injunctions that an alleged victim can pursue, which include:
- Domestic violence injunctions
- Stalking injunctions
- Repeat violence injunctions
- Sexual violence injunctions
- Dating violence injunctions
During an injunction proceeding, the individual who seeks the injunction is referred to as the “petitioner,” while the one served with the injunction is known as the “respondent.” In order to seek an injunction, the petitioner must file with the court a petition using a court-approved form. In the petition, the petitioner must choose the type of injunction being pursued, the facts and circumstances that support the need for an injunction, and any evidence to substantiate his or her allegations. Once the petition is submitted to the court, the presiding judge will then review it and render a determination as to whether to grant or deny it. If a judge approves the petition, then a temporary injunction will be issued.
If a temporary injunction is approved, the judge will then schedule a final hearing where both the respondent and petitioner will be able to present their respective cases. Once the hearing is scheduled (which is fifteen days from the time the temporary injunction is issued), the local county sheriff’s office will serve the respondent with a copy of the petition, the date and time of the final hearing, and the order granting the temporary injunction. Oftentimes, fifteen days is often not enough time to fully prepare for a hearing, which is why a respondent must act quickly to obtain skilled counsel to help him or her develop the strongest defense case possible.
With the assistance of an attorney, the respondent can ask the court, through a motion for a continuance, for more time to prepare his or her case. At the hearing, both the petitioner and respondent can submit evidence to the court, obtain witness testimony, and present his or her side of the story. Unlike a criminal proceeding where a jury determines whether or not a defendant is innocent or guilty, a judge presiding over an injunction matter will make a determination as to whether to approve or deny a permanent injunction once he or she hears the parties’ arguments and reviews all of the evidence submitted to the court. If a judge issues a permanent injunction, the judge can decide to make the petition last for a given period of time, which could be indefinitely.
What Occurs if a Judge Issues a Domestic Violence Injunction in Alachua County?
While civil injunction proceedings do not amount to monetary penalties, imprisonment, and probation, there are some instances where a respondent may be charged with domestic violence in a separate criminal case or be the subject of a criminal investigation. Accordingly, respondents must consider the fact that an injunction is like a criminal matter, even if no related criminal matter exists.
How is Domestic Violence Defined Under Florida Law?
A court may only issue a domestic violence injunction when the conduct alleged in the petition satisfies the definition of “domestic violence.” According to Florida Statute § 741.28, “domestic violence” is defined as follows:
“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 members by another family or household matter.”
An individual who qualifies as a “household or family member” under Florida law includes the following:
“spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as a family or who have resided together in the past as a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married.”
Except those who have a child together, the key element that defines domestic violence is that the victim and alleged abuser reside with each other currently or did so in the past.
Requirements for Obtaining a Domestic Violence Injunction in Gainesville, Florida
Those who are facing a domestic violence injunction should be aware of its requirements and have a complete understanding of the associated process in Gainesville. The primary reason why a person should be familiar with the injunction process is that a failure to properly challenge it could result in the approval of the domestic violence injunction. Specifically, respondents who represent themselves often fail to understand the process or know how to successfully present certain defenses and challenge the petitioner’s allegations. Having a dedicated and skilled Gainesville Domestic Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer will ensure that a respondent meets all legal requirements, which includes the chances that he or she will have a positive result.
Although domestic violence is serious and causes harm to innocent victims, those who face a domestic violence injunction deserve their day in court and to be represented by skilled legal counsel. In court, a respondent will be able to present his or her case to challenge the accusations raised by the petitioner.
While domestic violence certain can cause harm to innocent victims, those accused of domestic violence deserve their day in court and to be represented by an experienced lawyer. In court, a person facing a domestic violence injunction will be afforded an opportunity to present his or her story. While this can be done on one’s own, it is highly recommended that a respondent hire a Gainesville Domestic Violence Injunction Defense Attorney to handle their case.
The Consequences of a Domestic Violence Injunction in Alachua County Florida
There are serious consequences associated with a domestic violence injunction, which can drastically affect the life and reputation of a respondent for years to come. Specifically, he or she will be unable to be in the presence of the petitioner within a certain number of feet, be barred from all communication with him or her, face social stigma, be estranged from family members and friends, lose the right to be with his or her children, have to surrender all ammunition and firearms, seek a mental health evaluation, undergo mental health treatment at his or her own expense, and face criminal penalties if he or she violates the terms of the injunction.
It is important to consider that all domestic violence injunctions are unique in each case. Specifically, the facts and circumstances underlying the pursuit of a domestic violence injunction are different in each case. Keep in mind that the available defenses also depend upon the specific facts and circumstances of the case, and that the terms of the domestic violence are tailored accordingly. As such, a respondent in one case may face different requirements than a respondent in another case. This is why it is imperative that a respondent hire an experienced Gainesville Domestic Violence Injunction Defense Attorney who will fight hard to protect his or her legal rights and interests.
Can a Domestic Violence Injunction Be Modified or Terminated in Gainesville, Florida?
As with other civil orders, a domestic violence injunction in Gainesville can be modified or terminated in certain instances. Given the fact that many domestic violence injunctions involve family members or members of the same household, it is not uncommon for the parties to make amends, especially when the respondent and petitioner share a child in common.
If a petitioner pursues a modification or termination of a domestic violence injunction order for any reason, he or she can do so by filing the requisite motion in court. A respondent can also seek a modification or termination of a domestic violence injunction also by filing a motion in court. The parties can also jointly seek a termination or modification of the domestic violence injunction. In these instances, the presiding judge will review the motion and determine whether the evidence demonstrates that a termination or modification is warranted.
Some domestic violence injunctions last indefinitely however, others have a certain expiration date. In this instance, a petitioner can go back to court to have it extended through filing the appropriate motion, which must be submitted at least 30 days before it is set to expire.
How a Domestic Violence Injunction is Violated in Gainesville, Florida
Courts taken violations of domestic violence injunctions very seriously. As such, a violation of such injunction can have criminal consequences and associated penalties. Depending upon the terms of the domestic violence injunction in Gainesville, a respondent can violate it in a number of different ways, even if said violation was not intended. Examples of how a respondent can violate a domestic violence injunction include, without limitation, the following:
- The respondent did not stay away from the petitioner within the amount of feet set forth in the domestic violence injunction;
- The respondent engaged in further acts of violence towards the petitioner;
- The respondent is facing domestic violence charges or is the subject of a criminal investigation;
- The respondent did not surrender all firearms and ammunition to law enforcement;
- The petitioner has been subject to threats made by the respondent; and
- The respondent did not attend mental health treatment as provided for in the domestic violence injunction.
Violations of a domestic violence injunction can be unintentional given that the respondent did not understand the terms of the injunction and the severe nature of the repercussions associated therewith. Moreover, a respondent may innocently come into contact with the petitioner by, e.g., being at the same gas station or grocery store. If a respondent is being accused of violating a domestic violence injunction, it is vital that that he or she hire a dedicated Gainesville Domestic Violence Injunction Defense Attorney immediately rather than represent himself/herself in court.
According to Florida criminal statutes, if a domestic violence injunction is violated, then a respondent may face the following criminal repercussions:
- First violation – this is a misdemeanor in the first degree, which is associated with up to a one-year prison term, a monetary fine of up to $1,000, and probation.
- Second violation – this is also a misdemeanor in the first degree, punishable as provided above. However, in some instances, a respondent may face multiple terms of a domestic violence injunction at one time. In this view, the respondent could face numerous counts of violating a domestic violence injunction, which is associated with a prison term of up to two years and a monetary fine of up to $2,000.
- Third violation – this constitutes a felony in the third degree, which is associated with a jail term of up to five years and a monetary penalty of up to $5,000.
- Four or more violations – each subsequent violation is a felony in the third degree. Numerous violations can result in multiple felony charges.
Why You Need an Attorney to Defend Your Rights in a Gainesville Court
At Musca Law, we urge respondents to hire experienced and dedicated counsel after having been served with a petition for a domestic violence injunction, as it can amount to both civil and criminal penalties. Only an attorney is in the best position to develop the strongest defense strategy possible in light of the facts and circumstances of the case.
Speak with our Experienced Gainesville Domestic Violence Injunction Defense Lawyers Today
If were served with a domestic violence injunction, or if you or a loved one are facing domestic violence criminal charges, you need an attorney by your side to advocate on your behalf. At Musca Law, our Gainesville Defense Attorneys work tirelessly to ensure their clients receive the best legal representation possible. To find out how Musca Law can help you with your legal matter, contact our office today by calling (888) 484-5057. Our legal team is available 24/7 to answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide you with the guidance you need to move forward.