While relationships are seldom free from conflict, no one should ever be subjected to domestic violence. If a member of your family or household has harmed or attempted to harm you, the first thing you should do to protect yourself is call the police. This is a criminal offense that is taken very seriously by Florida prosecutors. Next, call an experienced family law attorney who can seek a court order requiring that person to stay away from you.
Orlando Family Team is committed to protecting family and household members in Central Florida from domestic violence. We understand the complexities of these situations and how difficult it is for many domestic violence victims to free themselves from their abusers. Whether you have been physically or emotionally abused, or threatened with acts of violence, we know how to make the law work for you. Our husband and wife team will help you take immediate steps to protect you and your loved ones. We will also explore all of your options for securing your future. Above all, we will provide you with knowledge, compassion and the personal attention you deserve.
What is domestic violence in Central Florida?
Under the state’s domestic relations law, domestic violence is defined as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any criminal offense that ends in physical injury or death of either a family member or household member of the alleged offender.”
The law also defines family or household members as:
- Current spouses Former spouses
- Persons related by blood or marriage
- Individuals who live together presently as a family
- Individuals who lived together as a family previously
- Parents of a child in common (regardless of whether they are or have never been married)
Additionally, domestic violence can also be committed against a third party in an effort to intimidate a person with whom the accused has or had an intimate relationship. In any event, the state will prosecute a domestic violence case regardless of whether the victim decides to press charges. Domestic violence is a criminal offense, not a personal matter; charges can only be dropped by prosecutors with the court’s approval.
Help for Victims
If you have been subjected to domestic violence, our family law attorneys can ask the court for an order of protection or restraining order to secure your safety. Provided that we can show domestic violence has occurred or is likely to occur, a restraining order will give you peace of mind knowing the abused must stay away from you and that the law is behind you. Nonetheless, a restraining order is only a temporary solution to what may be an ongoing pattern of abuse. When you work with our husband and wife team, we will help you explore options to secure your future and protect your children if necessary. Above all, we will provide you with knoweldge, compassion, and a supportive environment so that you can move on with your life.
Defending Domestic Violence Charges
As serious an offense that domestic violence is, there are times when individuals are falsely accused of domestic abuse, particularly in hotly contested divorces and child custody disputes. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to take steps to protect your freedom and preserve your reputation. When these accusations are made, the police are usually required to make an arrest, and charges will be filed against you. We will take the time to assess your circumstances, advise you of your rights, and make recommendations for legal representation.
Contact Our Orlando Domestic Violence Attorney
Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S. and Andrew Nickolaou, Esq. founded Orlando Family Team to advocate for families and provide them with legal guidance when they need it most. When you work with us, we will advise you of your rights and the legal protections available to you. Depending on the circumstances, we can assist you with:
- Obtaining a protective order against your abuser
- Legal separation
- Child custody proceedings
- Child custody modifications
- Identifying programs, resources and support for domestic violence victims
Above all, our husband and wife team will stand beside you as you decide what’s best for you and your family. Whether that means permanently dissolving your relationship or a temporary separation in the hope that the abuser gets help and the family can be reunited, Ophelia and Andrew will advocate for you with compassion, knowledge and determination. We understand domestic violence is a deeply personal issue and you can trust us to maintain your privacy as we help you navigate the legal system. If you or a loved one has been the victim of domestic violence you may be frightened and not know where to turn. Remember, we are here to help. Please contact our office today to speak with our attorneys.