Domestic violence is defined as incidents between family, household members, or between parties involved in a romantic or intimate relationship. This crime can include arguments, stalking, physical touching, psychological abuse, harsh words, or threats of violence. At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Fernandez, P.A., we represent individuals charged with a crime including domestic throughout the State of Florida.
Our firm handles criminal defense throughout the state of Florida, including Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Pasco County, Polk County, Hernando County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, and Citrus County.
Have You Been the Victim of or accused of Domestic Violence?
What you need to know if you have been the victim of domestic violence or if you have been served with a petition for a temporary injunction relating to domestic violence is very similar. Both the accuser and the accused should know their rights and take the entire process seriously as there are many repercussions if not done correctly
Domestic violence is violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. Domestic violence can also involve violence against children, parents, or the elderly. It takes a number of forms, including physical, verbal, emotional, economic, religious, reproductive, and sexual abuse, which can range from subtle, coercive forms to marital rape and violent physical abuse such as choking, beating, disfigurement or death.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, contact a lawyer to discuss the possibility of filing a petition for a temporary injunction for domestic violence. If you have been served with a petition for a temporary injunction against domestic violence, contact a lawyer to discuss your options and any possible defenses to the petition.
Can I get a lawyer for an injunction?
Yes and this is highly recommended. However, the court will not order one and you are not entitled to one for free. You must hire your own and the other party must hire their own. It is advisable not to go into an injunction hearing alone as you may not know the rules of evidence, laws, or what you are entitled to ask (or even know how to ask). Don’t do it alone. Too much is on the line.
What is an injunction or restraining order?
Injunctions and restraining orders are the same things in Florida. They are essentially restraining orders (a court order not to do something) – and they have serious consequences for both parties if they are granted or denied. While they are not considered criminal, they very much have the same consequences as criminal cases.
Injunctions (especially domestic violence injunctions) are designed to prevent someone from doing something or coming into contact with another person. There does exist the possibility of this process being abused and it is highly advised that you speak with an attorney if you are ever involved in an injunction. Here is basically how it works and these are the parties of an injunction:
The petitioner files an injunction with the court against the respondent.
Petitioner = the person seeking protection from the court.
Respondent = the person who allegedly committed (or threatened to commit) violence.
What types of injunctions are there in FLorida?
In Florida, there are six different types of injunctions:
- Domestic Violence
- Repeat Violence
- Sexual Violence
- Dating Violence
- Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult
How do I get an injunction or restraining order in Tampa?
You (as the petitioner) may file a petition at one of these locations:
- George Edgecomb Courthouse in Downtown Tampa (800 E Twiggs St, Room 205, Tampa);
- Plant City Courthouse (301 N Michigan St, Room 1071, Plant City); or
- The Spring (813-247-7233).
The necessary forms will be provided to you at the courthouse or are available to download online on the Hillsborough County Clerk of Court website. Bring your state issued photo identification along with the name, date of birth, description and location of the person you are filing against (the respondent).
The George Edgecomb Courthouse hours are from 8 AM until 5 PM, Monday through Friday. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, the hours are from 7 AM until 10 AM.
The Plant City Courthouse hours are from 8 AM until 5 PM, Monday through Friday.
Contact the Spring at (813) 247-7233 if the Clerk’s Office is closed to arrange to file a petition.
Hiring a domestic violence or injunction/restraining order lawyer can also help in the process.
What do you do if you have been served with a Temporary Restraining Order or Injunction?
Being served a Temporary Restraining Order or Temporary Injunction is serious and should not be taken lightly. If you have been served a Temporary Restraining Order or Temporary Injunction, you are not allowed back into the residence, you must surrender your firearms, and you cannot have any contact with the Petitioner (person putting the injunction on you). No phone calls, no text, no email, no social media. No indirect contact either. Ok, that doesn’t sound bad to you. But here is the problem: you go to jail and will be held without bond if you make any direct or indirect contact with the Petitioner even if the Petitioner makes contact with you and you continue the contact. No contact means no contact.
If the Petitioner of an injunction texts you and you respond. You go to jail. You are sitting at a bar or restaurant and the Petitioner walks and you stay, you go to jail. If you send her an email, you go to jail. And if you go to jail, you will be held with no bond.
What do I do if I am contacted by someone who put an injunction on me?
Don’t respond to the person who put the injunction on you if they contact you and hire a domestic violence lawyer to defend you. A judge just told you not to contact the person who put the injunction on you. You will go to jail. They may be baiting you. They may feel remorse because it is not true. They may want to rectify. They may have a change of heart or work things out. But if you respond, you will go to jail and you will sit in jail with no bond. If the person who put the injunction on you (the Petitioner) wants contact, they will need to go to court and lift the injunction. Usually there are only two exceptions: counseling and about seeing the children. But the court needs to make those exceptions, not the person who put the injunction (the Petitioner). The best way to defend the injunction is for you get a lawyer to defend you.
Can the parties (or party) change or seek to amend an injunction?
Yes. Florida law specifically allows for that. The party (or parties) must petition the court. The parties cannot come to an agreement on their own and not get court approval. Warning: an injunction WILL NOT be considered amended or dismissed until the judge signs an order indicated such.
Can I get arrested for violating a restraining order or injunction?
Yes, you can (and likely will) get arrested for violating a restraining order or injunction. If you are arrested, you will likely sit in jail without a bond for 72 hours or until your lawyer can get you in front of a judge.
What is domestic violence?
According to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, ‘Domestic Violence’ is a pattern of controlling behaviors – violence or threats of violence – that one person uses to establish power over an intimate partner in order to control that partner’s actions and activities. Domestic violence is not a disagreement, a marital spat, or an anger management problem. Domestic violence is abusive, disrespectful, and hurtful behaviors that one intimate partner chooses to use against the other partner.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, domestic abuse is whenever your partner:
- Insult, demean or embarrass you with put-downs?
- Control what you do, who you talk to or where you go?
- Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
- Push you, slap you, choke you or hit you?
- Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
- Control the money in the relationship? Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
- Make all of the decisions without your input or consideration of your needs?
- Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away your children?
- Prevent you from working or attending school?
- Act like the abuse is no big deal, deny the abuse or tell you it’s your own fault?
- Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
- Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
- Attempt to force you to drop criminal charges?
- Threaten to commit suicide, or threaten to kill you?
- If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.
What is legally considered Domestic Violence?
Florida Statute 741.28 defines Domestic violence as:
“Domestic violence” means 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.
“Family or household member” means 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. With the exception of persons who 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.
Do You or Someone You Know Need Help with Domestic Violence?
If you or someone you know have been involved in a domestic violence situation, you are probably overwhelmed and confused as to what to do next. It is critical that you get help from an experienced domestic violence attorney and seek refuge at likes place like The Spring if it gets too bad. If you need help getting to safety because of domestic violence, we highly recommend calling The Spring at 813-247-7233.
Domestic violence cases are complex and require the help of an experienced lawyer in domestic violence cases. An experienced domestic violence attorney will be able to help you navigate through the system and get you the best possible outcome.
Why should I hire an attorney if I have been accused of domestic violence or served a domestic violence injunction?
If you or someone you know have a domestic violence problem in the Tampa Bay area and need help, The Law Offices of Daniel J. Fernandez, P.A. will provide a free consultation and help guide you through the process. Being served a restraining order (temporary injunction) is serious and you should not handle this by yourself. If you or a loved one need help getting the outcome you deserve, call The Law Offices of Daniel J. Fernandez, P.A..
Domestic violence attorney Daniel J. Fernandez has the experience with domestic violence hearings to get you a judicious outcome and will work vigorously to get your situation resolved. Domestic violence battery lawyer Daniel J. Fernandez can help guide you through the process.
If you need legal assistance with a domestic violence situation call The Law Offices of Daniel J. Fernandez, P.A. at 813-229-5353.
When Can I be Arrested for Domestic Violence?
A domestic violence arrest can occur after only one person has made an accusation without any other witnesses or proof. It only takes one incident or one accusation and an injunction can be put in place for as little as three months to the rest of the person’s life.
Oftentimes such reports are made when an accuser is jealous or upset about support, alimony, or child custody on either side.
What Happens if I am Convicted?
If you are convicted of domestic violence in Florida, the results can be severe personal and financial hardships. Frequently when a person appears for a bond hearing on such a charge, the judge will order that the defendant has no contact with the alleged victim, meaning that he or she will have to move out of the household until the case is concluded.
You will also lose your right to possess a firearm under federal law. Additionally, police may file domestic violence charges without the alleged victim seeking charges. The victim will also not have the option to drop the charges.
What About the Evidence?
Due to the fact that prosecutors rely on the police report and the account of the alleged victim when making their filing decision, it is very important to present conflicting evidence and the accuser’s motive to the prosecutor as soon as possible.
Who Do You Represent?
If you have been charged with this crime, it is very important to contact an experienced lawyer who is committed to representing your best interests. Our firm represents both the accuser and the accused. Both offense and defense. We represent those in same-sex relationships or marriages as well as boyfriend-girlfriend and husband-wife.
What About My Rights?
At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Fernandez, P.A., our criminal defense attorneys protect the rights of clients from the moment the criminal accusation is made to the final resolution of the case.
We represent clients throughout Tampa, Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Polk County, Manatee, Sarasota Count, Pasco County, Hernando County, and throughout the State of Florida.
With decades of combined experience, including time spent as former prosecutors, you can rest assured that your case is being represented by an attorney who understands the tactics used by the prosecution.
Who Should I Call?
The The Law Office of Daniel J. Fernandez, P.A. is designed to swiftly resolve any difficulties that you may face. Our attorneys continue to strive upon improving and bettering the situations of our clients. Contact us today so we can fight for you and protect your rights. Call (813) 229-5353.