Dating Violence Injunction Defense Lawyers in Vero Beach, Florida
An Overview of Florida Dating Violence Injunctions
Dating violence injunctions can severely diminish a person’s legal rights by placing restrictions on what a person can and cannot do, including whether a person can possess firearms. In Vero Beach, Florida, dating violence injunctions are commonly pursued. An injunction is a civil court order that is commonly known as a restraining order or order of protection. While dating violence injunctions often involve related criminal proceedings, a person can face a dating violence injunction without facing any criminal charges. However, all dating violence injunction matters should be taken seriously given the allegations of dating violence involve criminal conduct.
Under Florida law, there are five types of protective injunctions available to individuals. Aside from dating violence injunctions, individuals can seek domestic violence injunctions, repeat violence injunctions, sexual violence injunctions, and stalking injunctions. All protective injunctions undergo a similar process but the conduct at issue varies from case to case. Regardless of whether you are facing a dating violence injunction in Vero Beach, or any other type of protective injunction, you must act quickly to protect your legal rights.
At Musca Law, our Vero Beach Dating Violence Injunction Defense Lawyers handle all aspects of criminal law in addition to protective injunction matters. With the help of our skilled legal team, numerous clients have achieved favorable outcomes. A dating violence injunction should be approached much like a criminal matter. As such, you need a lawyer who has extensive experience in criminal law and one who has a track record of success in the courtroom. With more than 150 years of combined professional experience, the Vero Beach Dating Violence Injunction Defense Lawyers are ready to provide you with the advice you need to address your legal matter. Contact Musca Law 24/7 by calling (888) 484-5057.
Understanding Dating Violence Injunction Laws in Indian River County, Florida
Allegations of dating violence can quickly give rise to harsh criminal charges. However, whether a person faces criminal charges is not the end of the story. The accused person may also be served with a dating violence injunction that is a civil process pertaining to allegations of criminal conduct. When facing allegations of dating violence, it is essential to have a solid understanding of Florida’s dating violence injunctions laws.
Florida law, per Statute Section 784.046(1)(d), defines dating violence as “violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.” A dating violence injunction in Vero Beach, Florida can only be issued if (1) a dating relationship exists or existed, and (2) the evidence presented shows there was one or more act of dating violence.
A person seeking a dating violence injunction, known as the “petitioner” in court, must not only show the court that an act of dating violence has happened, but that a dating relationship existed in the first place. If no dating relationship exists or existed, a court cannot move forward with evaluating the merits of the matter – whether dating violence has happened and a person is, therefore, at risk of suffering imminent harm.
What Constitutes a Dating Relationship in Vero Beach, Florida?
A judge reviewing a petition for a dating violence injunction will evaluate certain factors to determine if a dating relationship exists or existed in relation to allegations of dating violence. The following questions help courts conclude whether the “dating relationship” requirement has been satisfied to secure a dating violence injunction in Vero Beach.
- Did the relationship between the parties exist within six (6) months before the petitioner filed the petition seeking the dating violence injunction?
- Was the nature of the relationship one in which the parties expected affection or sexual involvement?
- Did the relationship last over time and on a continuous basis?
While cases are not clear-cut, a failure to prove a dating relationship exists or existed regarding allegations of dating violence is grounds for the denial of a dating violence injunction.
Evaluating Allegations of Dating Violence
If a petitioner convinces a court that a dating relationship exists or existed in relation to allegations of dating violence, the next step is for the court to evaluate whether the petitioner is the victim of dating violence. To obtain a dating violence injunction in Vero Beach, Florida, a petitioner must convince the court of one or more of the following:
- The petitioner has been the victim of past dating violence;
- The petitioner credibly believes that he or she will be the victim of repeat dating violence;
- The petitioner credibly believes that he or she will be the victim of dating violence for the first time; OR
- The petitioner is the parent or legal guardian of a minor living at home who is the victim of dating violence.
When the victim of alleged dating violence is a minor under the age of eighteen and is living at home with a parent or legal guardian, the parent or legal guardian, when filing a petition for a dating violence injunction, must show the court that he or she credibly believes that the minor has been or will imminently be the victim of dating violence. The parent or legal guardian must either have witnessed an act of dating violence personally or can obtain affidavits from an eyewitness who can attest to the truthfulness of the dating violence allegations.
Because dating violence injunctions are intended to afford immediate relief to a victim of alleged dating violence, courts do not provide the accused with the same types of rights as individuals facing criminal charges. As such, any person facing a dating violence injunction in Vero Beach must act quickly to seek the advice and guidance of a qualified Vero Beach Dating Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer.
Understanding the Dating Violence Injunction Process in Vero Beach, Florida
Dating violence injunctions happen very quickly. From the time a petitioner files a petition seeking a dating violence injunction in Vero Beach to the time a court issues a final injunction can be a matter of weeks. As such, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to move quickly when facing a dating violence injunction. The entire dating violence injunction process is similar to any other type of protective injunction process (including domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, and stalking). The following steps provide a guideline but all details pertaining to individual matters must be discussed with a Vero Beach Dating Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer.
- Step 1 – The Petition for Dating Violence Injunction in Vero Beach, Florida
The first step to obtaining a dating violence injunction in Vero Beach is to file a petition. The petitioner must use a court-approved form to file the petition in a Vero Beach civil court. In the petition, the petitioner alleges that either he/she or a minor child under the age of eighteen has been, or will imminently be, the victim of dating violence. The petitioner is seeking to obtain an injunction against the person accused of committing acts of dating violence, known as the “respondent.” At the time the petition is filed, the petitioner is not required to submit evidence supporting the allegations.
- Step 2 – Initial Review of Petition and Decision by the Court
Protective injunctions are taken very seriously and promptly reviewed by a judge. Upon review, a judge will determine whether a petition, on its face, meets the requirements to obtain a dating violence injunction under Florida law. As such, if all allegations identified in the petition, if true, would satisfy Florida’s legal requirements to obtain a dating violence injunction, a judge will likely issue a temporary dating violence injunction, which lasts for fifteen days. If a petition fails to allege either that a dating relationship exists/existed and/or a person is the victim of dating violence, a judge will likely deny the petition.
- Step 3 – Scheduling the Dating Violence Injunction Hearing
If a judge grants a temporary dating violence injunction, a hearing will be scheduled to occur no later than fifteen days from the date the temporary injunction is issued.
- Step 4 – Service of the Petition and Temporary Dating Violence Injunction
After a temporary injunction is issued and a hearing scheduled, the respondent is served with a copy of the petition and the temporary dating violence injunction. The paperwork is served by the Indian River County Sheriff’s Department. The respondent will be provided with a date to appear in court. Failure to appear may result in the issuance of a long-term dating violence injunction, and any violation of the injunction may lead to criminal charges.
- Step 5 – Contact a Vero Beach Dating Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer
Because fifteen days is a short amount of time to appear in court to face a dating violence injunction, respondents served with such an injunction should contact a Vero Beach Dating Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer right away. With the help of a qualified lawyer, a respondent can postpone the injunction hearing to a later date by filing a motion with the court. In doing so, the respondent will have more time to work with his/her lawyer to assess the petition for the dating violence injunction and determine what legal defenses should be presented at the hearing.
- Step 5 – Appearance at the Dating Violence Injunction Hearing
Once the hearing date arrives, the respondent will appear alongside his/her lawyer. The petitioner will also be present with or without a lawyer. Both parties can present evidence and witness testimony to support their case. Examples of evidence used at dating violence injunction hearings include, but are not limited to, text messages, videos, photographs, social media postings, social media messaging, voicemails, emails, and letters or notes.
- Step 6 – Final Review by the Court and Issuance of Long-Term Dating Violence Injunction
After both parties have presented their cases, the judge will review the record and the evidence to determine whether a final dating violence injunction should be issued. If a judge sides with the petitioner and issues the dating violence injunction, the court order will identify the parameters of the injunction that govern the respondent’s legal obligations. The injunction will have an expiration date, which will vary from case to case.
The Long-Term Consequences of Dating Violence Injunctions in Vero Beach, Florida
Being the subject of a dating violence injunction in Vero Beach is not only an inconvenience to one’s daily life but is also a significant burden on one’s rights and obligations. Once a dating violence injunction is issued, the respondent must comply with all requirements identified in the order. Examples of such requirements include, among others, the following:
- Keep a certain distance away from the petitioner (or petitioner’s minor child if he/she is the victim of alleged dating violence);
- Refrain from possessing firearms and ammunition while the dating violence injunction is in effect;
- Undergo a mental health evaluation; and
- Participate in counseling and/or courses that address violence, anger management, and/or substance abuse.
All dating violence injunction matters in Vero Beach will vary as the facts are never identical. As such, an injunction may have stricter requirements in one case versus another case.
Dating Violence Injunctions are a Matter of Public Record
In addition to the requirements identified in the dating violence injunction itself, a respondent has to face the fact that the injunction is publicly available. A background check will reveal the injunction along with any related criminal matters.
Criminal Charges Associated with Violating a Dating Violence Injunction in Vero Beach
Violating a dating violence injunction is a crime under Florida law. Regardless of how minor a violation may seem to be, the consequences of the violation can be severe. A first violation of a dating violence injunction in Vero Beach, Florida is a first-degree felony, which may result in a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $1,000. A second violation of a dating violence injunction is also a first-degree misdemeanor, carrying the same penalties – a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, two violations mean two potential sentences, which can land a person in jail for two years and impose a fine of up to $2,000. A third violation of a dating violence injunction is a third-degree felony, which carries a potential jail sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000.
The Termination or Modification of Dating Violence Injunctions in Vero Beach, Florida
A dating violence injunction in Vero Beach is valid until the expiration date identified on the injunction order issued by the court. If a party wishes to terminate or modify the dating violence injunction prior to the injunction’s expiration date, he or she must do so by filing a motion with the court.
When seeking to terminate or modify an injunction, a party is asking the court to adjust the injunction in some way. The party must provide sufficient reasoning to justify the termination or modification. For example, if a petitioner wishes to strengthen the restrictions of the dating violence injunction for the respondent’s alleged violation of the order, he or she can ask the court to do so but must provide evidence supporting the new allegations. A respondent who wishes to terminate or modify a dating violence injunction should do so with the help of a Vero Beach Dating Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer.
If a petitioner wishes to extend the duration of the dating violence injunction, he or she must notify the court no less than thirty days before the injunction expires. Failure to seek an extension will result in termination of the dating violence injunction on the expiration date.
Defend Your Rights by Hiring a Vero Beach Dating Violence Injunction Defense Lawyer
Without the assistance and guidance of a skilled Vero Beach Dating Violence Defense Lawyer, many individuals facing injunctions do not know what steps to take to adequately protect their rights. One mistake can have detrimental consequences. A lawyer who handles protective injunction matters regularly is in the best position to help clients make the right choices to reach the best result possible given the facts of the case. A superior lawyer will utilize the necessary tools to ensure a respondent is fully represented in court.
Contact the Vero Beach Dating Violence Injunction Defense Lawyers of Musca Law Today!
Whether you are facing criminal charges, a dating violence injunction, or both, you have very little time to speak with a legal professional and protect your rights. Dating violence injunction can be detrimental to a person’s rights and interests, but such injunctions can be successfully fought or contested with the help of a Vero Beach Defense Lawyer. At Musca Law, our team of nationally-recognized trial lawyers routinely represent clients facing allegations of dating violence – whether such representation happens in a criminal matter and/or a civil protective injunction matter. With the help of Musca Law, you will have a thoroughly understanding of what rights are on the line and what your options are for moving forward. Our legal team is standing by 24/7 to offer you answers in support. Contact Musca Law today by calling (888) 484-5057.