Injunctions to Prevent Dating Violence

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Injunctions are court orders that are obtained to prevent someone from acting in certain ways. A person who believes that they have been subject to dating violence may obtain an injunction to prevent dating violence against an alleged perpetrator. Many people assume that if they have not done anything wrong, no injunction will issue. However, injunctions against dating violence or domestic violence are sometimes sought for inappropriate reasons, and failing to fight an injunction in the proper way can result in a space opening up for future criminal charges. At Hanlon Law, Bradenton injunction attorney Will Hanlon fights for the accused. If you have been served with papers for an injunction to prevent dating violence, call us.

Injunctions to Prevent Dating Violence

Under Florida Statute section 784.046, an injunction to prevent dating violence may be obtained when a petitioner can show violence perpetrated by someone with whom they had or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature. This code section creates a separate cause of action for an injunction for protection if there is dating violence. In other words, this injunction is not necessarily imposed in step with a criminal case. For example, if someone claims to have suffered sexual battery in a dating relationship, but the prosecutor has declined to pursue criminal charges, that person may still be able to pursue an injunction to prevent dating violence.

Under section 784.046, anybody who is a victim of dating violence or who can show reasonable cause to believe that they are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of an initial or another act of dating violence will be able to petition for an injunction for protection against dating violence. Parents or legal guardians of minors living at home who are victims of dating violence or who are at risk of becoming victims of dating violence can also petition for an injunction to prevent dating violence.

The sworn petition needs to set forth particular facts and circumstances that form a basis to conclude that there was dating violence or a threat of dating violence. For example, if the alleged victim believes that you punched her in the face during a date, the petition is supposed to state that. When the respondent is someone other than a parent, legal guardian, or stepparent of a minor child, the parent asking for the injunction to prevent dating violence needs to have reasonable cause to believe that the minor is a victim of dating violence. For example, if parents believe that you are an adult who is dating their underage child and have hit her, this may be the basis of an injunction to prevent dating violence.

The court is supposed to determine whether there is the requisite dating relationship based on whether there was a dating relationship in the past six months, whether the nature of the relationship was characterized by an expectation of sex or affection between the parties, and whether the frequency and type of interactions were those of people involved over time and on a continuous basis during the relationship's course. Generally, there is no dating violence if the only interactions that two people have had are in a social context or work context. For example, if you sleep with a neighbor once, and she then accuses you of dating violence, an attorney can argue that this does not qualify as a relationship to support an injunction.

Usually, the first step for the petitioner after filing the petition is to secure a temporary injunction. This injunction lasts only for 15 days if it is obtained. However, the court can also deny a temporary injunction and simply set the matter for a permanent injunction hearing with notice.

An injunction, if obtained, would require the respondent to stop committing dating violence. In addition, it might prevent other activity, such as coming within 100 feet of the petitioner's house or car, require that the respondent not use or possess firearms, and stop the respondent from coming within a certain distance of places frequented by the petitioner or the petitioner's minor children. The terms of an injunction stay in full force and effect until there is a modification or dissolution of the injunction.

Discuss Your Situation with a Knowledgeable Bradenton Attorney

If you are served with paperwork for an injunction to prevent dating violence or another type of injunction, such as an injunction to prevent repeat violence, you should take it seriously. It is crucial to retain a skillful criminal defense lawyer to mount an aggressive defense. Will Hanlon has defended people accused of violent crimes in Bradenton since 1994. Contact Hanlon Law at (941) 462-1789 or via our online form.