Domestic Violence, Repeat Violence, Sexual And Dating Violence Injunctions
The exceptional lawyers at The Gufford Law Firm, P.A., provide comprehensive representation to victims of domestic violence and those whom have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence. Suffice it to say that we have litigated cases from both sides of the fence.
Regardless of whether you are the victim or the accused, you need someone at your side to be your advocate, collect the evidence and present the evidence to the court. If you have been served with a restraining order or an injunction, it is crucial that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
If you are the victim, it is also crucial that you have legal representation. Many people believe that the judge or Victim Services will assist them in the courtroom. That is not the case. The judge is there to call the “balls and strikes” and is not there to help you put on or defend your case
Learn About Your Rights And Obligations
Consulting a lawyer is important so that you are made fully aware of your rights, as well as your obligations, under Florida state criminal laws. Violating the terms of a restraining order, intentionally or unintentionally, will just add complications to your domestic violence case. Inexperience or a lack of knowledge will not be valid defenses in Florida. Having an attorney advise you on the specifics of your restraining order is invaluable. It is also important to remember that many domestic violence charges arise from ongoing divorce issues. The skilled attorneys at The Gufford Law Firm, P.A., have experience handling cases where criminal and family law issues overlap.
- The consequences for a domestic battery, aggravated domestic assault or child abduction conviction are severe. Aside from having rights as a parent limited or terminated, you may face large fines and prison time. A conviction also strengthens the possibility that a restraining order or injunction will be permanently imposed upon you.
- A plea to a charge of domestic battery or a violation of a domestic violence injunction can never be expunged or sealed. This type of conviction will remain on your record forever and be visible to potential employers, landlords or any other person seeking your background information.
- Simply having a domestic violence injunction entered against you can have long and lasting impacts that may have affect your career options as well as any other family law cases that you may be involved in.
- There are defenses available. In our experience, we have seen situations where police officers are called as leverage during an intense argument. The caller may have had no actual intention of filing charges against their spouse. Regardless of whether the alleged victim wishes to pursue legal action, however, charges may still be filed; once charges have been filed, it is no longer at the discretion of the accuser to drop charges. It is up to the state of Florida. An empty threat or an errant text message sent during a fight between a couple can quickly develop into false charges of verbal or physical spousal abuse. In such cases, an experienced domestic violence attorney at our firm can begin the process of collecting and presenting the evidence and law to the court. We will likewise coordinate with our local partners regarding in criminal charges associated with the domestic violence case.
When Can Someone Seek A Sexual Violence, Dating Violence Or Repeat Violence Injunction?
You may seek an injunction for protection if:
- You are the victim of domestic violence or have a reasonable fear that you are about to become a victim of domestic violence.
- You are the victim of repeat violence or stalking.
- You are the victim of dating violence and have reasonable cause to believe you are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of another act of dating violence.
- You are the victim of sexual violence.
- You are the parent or legal guardian of a minor child who is living at home and who is the victim of sexual violence.
An alleged victim must show that there was an assault or battery. Just knowing that the respondent is violent is not enough. In order to prove assault, the alleged victim must have a well-founded fear that violence is imminent. If he or she does not take the threats seriously, or the respondent merely shouted or used obscene hand gestures, the court will not order an injunction.
What Are Repeat Violence, Sexual Violence And Dating Violence?
- “Repeat violence” means two incidents of violence or one act of stalking committed by the same person. One of the violence events must have been committed within six months of the petition. However, only one act of stalking is necessary to prevail, regardless of whether there was actual violence or not.
- “Sexual violence” is any sexual act done by force against the other person’s will or against a person who cannot understand the nature of the act. It includes sexual battery.
- “Dating violence” means violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. The term does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who only have engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.
Why Is An Attorney Necessary In Sexual Violence And Repeat Violence Injunction Cases?
When faced with a repeat violence, sexual violence or dating violence case, many people feel that they can just “show up” to court and tell the judge their story. What those people do not realize is that nothing could be further from the truth. There are rules of court and evidence that can be used for or against you in court.
For example, unless permitted by the court by way of a separate motion, children are often not permitted to testify. This fact usually comes as a surprise to most people. Since children are many times either the victims of repeat violence, sexual violence or dating violence, or the only witnesses to it, being armed with this information is often the key to winning or losing your case. We can help you petition to get the child’s testimony into evidence or keep it out.
Many people also believe that they can use signed, notarized statements, police reports, etc., to support or defend their case. Unfortunately, those people often learn the hard way from the opposing attorney or the judge that such statements are usually inadmissible, as they are considered to be “hearsay.”
Contact Our Port St. Lucie, Florida, Sexual And Dating Violence Lawyer
Contact a repeat violence injunction lawyer at The Gufford Law Firm, P.A., today to experience exceptional client service and responsiveness that is focused on results. A free initial consultation is available. Throughout the entirety of your case, we stay committed to your legal needs. ¡Se habla español!