Lake County, Florida has something for everyone. Part of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford area, Lake County is a delightful combination of charm and history, full of both natural and artistic beauty. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the city of Mount Dora with its antique shops and museums, and the excellent fishing, parks for picnicking and relaxing, and scenic boat rides that fill the county. Sadly, in spite of all the pleasures Lake County offers, like all locations everywhere, in dreadful, often secret, pockets, it houses domestic violence.
Our Lake County Family Law Lawyers Can Help
If you are a victim of domestic violence in Lake County, chances are that you feel trapped and alone, maybe desperate. We want you to know that you have an ally close at hand. We are Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq. B.C.S and Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., the married couple who make up Orlando Family Team, and we are here when you need us. We are experienced and empathic family law attorneys who understand the horror of being afraid in your own home.
Conflicts on the domestic front are unavoidable, but domestic violence is a criminal offense — never appropriate, never allowed. In a great many cases, victims of domestic abuse feel that they are somehow at fault for the problem, but this is never the case. No matter what you’ve done or said, you don’t deserve to be abused, threatened, or physically harmed. In almost all cases, the abuser is trying to control you, emotionally and physically — your activities, your relationships, even your appearance.
If you are embroiled in circumstances that scare you, even if your abuser provides apologies or promises of a peaceful future after episodes of uncontrolled rage, you should not hesitate to call the police. Your next move should be to call Orlando Family Team. We have comprehensive knowledge of laws relating to domestic violence in Florida and we are committed to keeping you and your family safe. We will help you take immediate legal steps to keep the abuser away from you and discuss what your next move should be. We are keenly aware that steps away from an intimate relationship are difficult to take and we will be here to support you through this extremely difficult time.
What constitutes domestic violence in Lake County?
According to Florida state law, any assault and/or battery, sexual or otherwise, any stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or other criminal offense that results in physical injury or death of a family member or household member is defined as domestic violence. It is important to understand that domestic violence needn’t victimize a spouse or child of a marriage. Household members may be:
- Former as well as current spouses
- Persons related by blood or marriage (e.g. in-laws, siblings, children of elderly parents)
- Individuals who live together presently as a family
- Individuals who previously lived together as a family
- Parents of a child in common (whether or not are or have been married)
Florida law also considers an act of violence against a third party committed in order to intimidate the designated victim (such as an attack against your best friend or even your pet) in order to get you to capitulate, to be domestic violence. You should also remember that the state will prosecute domestic violence whether you decide to press charges or are coerced into retracting your complaint. Only the court can decide whether or not to prosecute the case.
Steps Orlando Family Team Can Take Immediately To Protect You
Once you consult with us and we have listened carefully and sympathetically to your story, we will, if necessary, get you an order of protection or restraining to help ensure your safety. We know the precise parameters that prove domestic violence has occurred and will take this step as a temporary measure to keep the abuser at bay. There is power in clarifying to the abuser that even coming near you will now be considered, in and of itself, a criminal violation.
We will also discuss options to keep you, your children and/or other family members safe from harm, perhaps by relocating to a safe house until the case resolves. We can refer you to various resources that may give you the ongoing support you need, from individual therapy to group programs designed to help abuse victims extricate themselves from the entanglements of domestic violence. We can also assist you in getting a legal separation or divorce from an abusive partner. We will encourage you to take any necessary steps to stay out of danger, no matter how conflicted you are emotionally. We have a history of helping domestic abuse victims and know all too well how complicated these cases are.
Sometimes the Accused Abuser Is Actually the Victim
Though the majority of our domestic abuse clients are actually suffering physical harm, there are cases in which individuals are falsely accused. This most frequently occurs in vengeful divorce/child custody cases. If you find yourself arrested (since police are required to arrest you if your spouse accuses you of domestic violence), you should contact Orlando Family Law Team. We will help you to sort things out, clarify your rights under state law, and recommend appropriate legal representation.
Contact Our Lake County Domestic Violence Attorney
We established our practice because we are deeply devoted to the concept of functional, loving families. We know from experience that domestic violence turns families inside out as fear and anger damage and destroy love and trust. When you are frightened, confused, and even ashamed that your family is failing, contact Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S. and Andrew Nickolaou, Esq.. We will not only be your legal representatives, we will be your advocates and your support, helping you navigate the troubled waters of domestic violence so you and your family can move forward feeling hopeful and secure.
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 that domestic violence is a deeply personal issue and you can trust us to maintain your privacy as we help you navigate the legal system. Contact us for a consultation regarding your case!