Domestic violence victim

What Is an Order of Protection Against Domestic Violence?

Sometimes, conflict in a relationship can become violent. No one should live in fear of being the victim of domestic violence, but these types of incidences do, however, happen all too often. For those who have been the victim of domestic violence, Florida offers several potential protective measures in an effort to keep them safe from their abuser. One such protection is an Order of Protection against Domestic Violence, otherwise known as a domestic violence injunction or restraining order.

Understanding an Order of Protection

Florida law provides for injunctions in situations such as those involving dating violence, repeat violence, and domestic violence, among others. Domestic violence involves spouses, former spouses, people related by blood or marriage, people who have lived together or live together as a family unit, or those people who have a child in common. If you have been the victim of an act of domestic violence or have reasonable cause to believe that you are in imminent danger of becoming a domestic violence victim, then you can file a Petition for Domestic Violence Injunction seeking an order of protection or restraining order.

Should you feel that you need an injunction to protect yourself from another incidence of domestic violence, you can file the Petition for Injunction with the court. Know that there is a Victim Services Offices that are available to aid domestic violence victims with crisis response and therapy, among other things. There are no filing fees associated with filing this petition, but you will be asked for your identification, so be sure to have your driver’s license or other form of identification with you.

Once the petition has been filed, a judge will review it and, should the judge decide that the sworn allegations contained in the petition satisfy the requirements of Florida law for issuing an injunction, a temporary injunction will be issued. The temporary injunction will be valid for 15 days. It may require the respondent, the alleged perpetrator of the domestic violence, to have no contact with the petitioner. The respondent may also be ordered to stay away from the home and workplace of the petitioner as well as to vacate a shared residence. The respondent must be served prior to these restrictions going into effect. The Sheriff’s Office will attempt to personally serve the respondent with the injunction paperwork.

A hearing will be set within 15 days and, at the hearing, the judge will make a decision as to whether a permanent injunction should be granted. Before rendering a decision, the judge will evaluate the evidence which usually includes testimony from the parties and witnesses to the alleged acts of domestic violence.

If a permanent injunction is granted, it will remain in effect until the judge changes it or ends it at the request of either party, after notice and hearing, or by a specific date established by the judge. A permanent injunction can order the respondent to:

  • Have no contact with the petitioner
  • Stay away from the home and workplace of the petitioner
  • Surrender any and all firearms
  • Attend a batterer’s intervention program

The permanent injunction can also address custody awards and visitation, as well as child and spousal support.

Florida Domestic Violence Attorneys

If you have been the victim of domestic violence, or feel unsafe in your own home, talk to the trusted attorneys at Orlando Family Team. At the most difficult times in your life, we are here to offer dependable legal support. Contact us today.