If you are in immediate danger of abuse or stalking, it is vital to seek help right away. Protective injunctions can be temporary or permanent court orders that protect a victim (the petitioner) from an alleged abuser (the respondent). Filing a protective injunction is a matter that should be taken very seriously. Therefore, it is essential to understand what protective injunctions are and what they mean before filing one.  

What is a protective injunction? 

A protective injunction is also referred to as a restraining order. Protective injunctions are court documents (temporary or permanent) ordering a respondent to stop taking specific actions, such as abusing the petitioner or contacting them. It can also order the respondent to do other things, like leave the family home or pay spousal support. It also gives the petitioner rights like temporary custody of children or pets. Protective injunctions are not criminal charges. However, if a respondent violates the order, they may be arrested.

Types of protective injunctions

There are five different types of protective injunctions that you can file in Florida. An experienced family law attorney will be able to help you determine which one is right for your circumstances. 

Domestic 

 To file a domestic injunction, the respondent could be a current or former spouse, family member, relative, or someone you resided with in the same dwelling during the last six months. If you and the respondent have a child together, you do not need to live with or be married to that person to file a domestic injunction. 

Sexual 

This type of injunction is filed in cases of sexual battery or lewd and lascivious behavior. 

Dating 

The petitioner and the respondent must have dated within the last six months to file a dating injunction. Petitioners will need to show that they suffered abuse or feared abuse to file this type of injunction. 

Repetitive

Repetitive violence injunctions occur if the petitioner and respondent are not related, do not have children together, and do not share a residence. There must be two instances of violence or stalking (and fear of more violence) in the last six months to file this type of petition. 

Stalking

Stalking refers to unwanted contact, following, or monitoring. Stalking injunctions also include cyberstalking, which involves unwelcome texts, emails, or social media messages that cause emotional distress for the petitioner. 

How do I file a protective injunction? 

Injunction petitions can be filed at the county courthouse. It is important to be as explicit and as descriptive as possible when describing the wrongful conduct. While it is not necessary to have an attorney file a petition, it is helpful during the hearing process. Temporary protective injunctions must be signed by a notary and are in effect until a full hearing can take place. The respondent does not need to be present or give evidence against the temporary injunction. If the judge believes that the conduct is sufficiently wrongful, he or she may grant the injunction on a temporary basis and set a hearing where the respondent is allowed to come in and contest it.  Most temporary injunctions last 15 days. If the judge does not immediately issue the temporary injunction, you will be given a hearing time to come in and better explain your rears.  At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to issue the injunction or make the injunction permanent. 

Domestic violence attorney in Central Florida 

Having an experienced family law attorney, like Peppler Law P.A., will help you in the hearing process after a temporary injunction is filed. We also represent cases of falsely accused abuse. If you are in a situation that calls for a protective injunction, do not wait. Get help by calling Peppler Law, P.A. at 407-792-2773.

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