If you are the victim of domestic violence or have been accused of domestic violence in the State of Florida, you may have a number of questions about the next steps in protecting your legal rights. Florida laws relating to domestic violence are understandably harsh, and navigating the legal process regarding these claims can be complex. Here, we give a brief overview of Florida's domestic violence laws and your potential rights or legal obligations.
Definition of Domestic Violence
Florida statute describes both the physical acts that qualify as domestic violence, as well as establish a requirement for the identity or relationship of the victim to the perpetrator.
Under Florida law, domestic violence is defined as any “assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”
The definition of who is a family or household member is also defined as meaning “spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married.” Additionally, unless the persons have a child in common,“the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.”
In Florida, the person making a claim or pressing charges for domestic violence may file for a temporary or emergency restraining order. If a temporary restraining order is granted, there will be a follow up hearing scheduled for a later date to determine whether the restraining order should be made permanent.
Since a restraining order prevents one party from being within a certain distance of another party, a restraining order can have a serious impact if the parties live or work nearby or share custody or have other visitation agreements. At request of one or more of the parties, the court may modify any visitation or custody agreements, or put restrictions on the restraining order, allowing or specifically disallowing parties to be able to work or live nearby each other.
In addition, a criminal action may be brought against the party accused of domestic violence. In Florida, criminal penalties for domestic violence can be harsh. They can range from fines to jail time and could potentially affect one parent's rights under any custody or visitation arrangement.
Contact a Qualified Attorney
If you've been the victim of domestic violence it may seem difficult to navigate the legal minefield in order to protect the rights of you and your children. Similarly, those wh believe they've been falsely accused may feel anger or hurt. Either party will have complicated questions regarding their rights and obligation under the law.
At the Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. we understand that domestic violence claims require a sensitive, understanding and knowledgeable attorney. We are available for a free consultation to discuss your particular Florida domestic violence case and can help you enforce and protect your rights in a large range of areas. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help by answering your domestic violence claim questions.