In the United States, the grim reality is that a woman suffers abuse at the hands of an intimate partner every 7 seconds, and Florida reported a staggering 67,332 domestic violence cases in 2022 alone. Sadly, a significant number of these cases remain hidden, with nearly half going unreported.
At Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, P.A., we understand the complex and sensitive nature of domestic violence. Our firm wants to ensure that all victims, especially women, are aware of the crucial steps they can take to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Immediate Legal Protection: Seeking an Injunction
One of the most effective actions a victim (the Petitioner) can take is to seek an injunction through the court by filing a petition against their abuser (the Perpetrator). An injunction is a powerful legal tool that can provide immediate relief and protection by:
- Prohibiting the abuser from contacting the victim or their family.
- Granting the victim exclusive use of their home.
- Awarding temporary custody of any children involved.
- Requiring the abuser to surrender firearms and ammunition.
HOW TO FILE A PETITION:
There are 5 simple steps that you or your loved ones (see below) can take to get protection from the Court:
Complete the Petition:
You can download it here Domestic Violence Forms Pack
If there is a child or children involved, you must also complete a UCCJEA form, which can be found here.
This form should be typed or printed in black ink. You should complete this form (giving as much detail as possible) and sign it in front of a notary public or the clerk of the circuit court in the county where you live. You should keep a copy for your records. If you have any questions or need assistance completing this form, the clerk or family law intake staff will help you.
Once the forms are completed, the clerk will file the petition and notify the judge’s office. The judge may enter a Temporary Injunction and a Notice of Hearing will be entered; or set it for hearing without a temporary injunction.
If you are injured or are in fear for your life or that of your family, call the police who will open a concurrent criminal case.
Who Can File an Injunction?
It’s important to know that you don’t need to be married to seek an injunction; it applies to anyone in a domestic setting. This includes spouses, ex-spouses, parents, children, and even cohabitants. Minors can also seek protection through a parent or guardian.
The criteria for an injunction include being a victim of domestic violence or having reasonable cause to fear imminent violence. This is assessed based on the history between the parties involved, including any threats, harassment, or physical abuse.
What Happens After the Injunction is Filed?
Once a petition meets the criteria, a temporary injunction is issued without prior notice to the abuser. This order is enforceable by the police, ensuring immediate protection. Violations of the injunction, such as stalking or contacting the victim, can lead to the arrest of the abuser.
A hearing is scheduled within 15 days of the temporary order to determine if the injunction should be extended. This hearing is a crucial stage where all parties, including witnesses, can present their testimony.
Hoffman, Larin and Agnetti, P.A.: Your Advocates in Difficult Times
At Hoffman, Larin & Agnetti, P.A., we are committed to guiding and supporting victims of domestic violence. Our team brings expertise, empathy, and a deep commitment to helping our clients, ensuring that your voice is heard and your rights are protected.
If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence, please reach out to us 24/7 at 305-653-5555 for legal support and guidance. Together, we can work towards a safer, more secure future