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Obtaining a Domestic Violence Injunction in Tampa, FL


Under Florida law, domestic violence is considered any assault or battery on any individual within their household. This includes:

  • Assault and aggravated assault
  • Battery and aggravated battery
  • Sexual assault and sexual battery
  • Stalking and aggravated stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment

It can also include any criminal offense that results in injury to one party. In this article, a Tampa, FL divorce attorney will discuss the topic of a domestic violence injunction.

What are domestic assault and domestic battery? 

Under Florida law, domestic assault means that the perpetrator threatened the victim in some way and created a fear of imminent threat. Assaults can be verbal or the result of some action such as pointing a gun at a household member. Battery, on the other hand, means that the perpetrator initiated some form of physical contact that was unwanted. This can include hitting or striking the victim. For these crimes to be considered domestic, they must occur within the context of the home. The victim must live with the perpetrator. However, it need not be a spouse.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. A conviction for domestic violence can never be sealed or expunged from the perpetrator’s record. A domestic violence injunction, on the other hand, is a civil procedure. It will not show up on a criminal background check.

What is the procedure for obtaining a domestic violence injunction? 

An injunction is an order that prohibits or limits someone from certain activities. A victim of domestic violence can contact their local State Attorney’s Office or courthouse to complete the paperwork required for a domestic violence injunction. A victim of domestic violence would either themselves or through their attorney complete the paperwork necessary for an injunction to protect themselves from domestic violence. A judge assigned to the domestic violence division will usually be presented with the injunctions filed that day. The court will issue a ruling concerning temporary injunctions against the defendants in those cases.

Some petitions will be granted while others will be denied. This depends on whether or not the petition makes enough severe allegations against the defendant. The petition must make enough allegations to be considered a prima facie case. A prima facie case is when there exists a minimum number of allegations to constitute an offense. The petitioner has the burden of proof in these cases.

The court usually issues a date for a hearing two weeks after either affirming or denying a temporary injunction. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to keep the injunction active or terminate the injunction.

Contact a Tampa, FL Divorce Lawyer Today 

If you have been the victim of domestic violence, the Tampa divorce lawyers at Westchase Law, P.A. can help you file a domestic violence injunction and prevent an abusive spouse from having access to you. Call our office today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help.

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