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Domestic Violence & Civil Injunctions

If you are the victim of domestic violence or have reasonable cause to believe you are in imminent domestic violence danger (even if violence hasn’t occurred yet), you have legal paths you can pursue to seek protection.

One of them is to file a civil injunction, also known as a restraining order. An injunction is a court order prohibiting a person from engaging in threatening behavior.

In cases of domestic violence, Florida does not have jurisdiction requirements, which means you can file for an injunction in Florida even if your abuser is out-of-state.

What is the Difference Between a Criminal Stay-Away Order and a Civil Injunction?

Both stay-away orders and injunctions seek to protect victims of violence by keeping their abuser away. One difference is that criminal stay-away orders arise out criminal cases, usually when someone gets arrested for domestic violence. When there is an arrest, a stay-away order is issued by the criminal court and restricts the abuser from coming near the victim. The stay-away order goes away when the case is resolved.

A civil injunction is issued in civil or family court and is also a legal means of protecting a person from threats or acts of violence by another person. When a stay-away order goes away, it is often recommended to get a civil in junction so the police are called when an abuser violates the injunction.

There are four kinds of civil injunction petitions that can be filed in Florida: domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and repeat violence. Pursuant to Florida Statute 741.30, “Any person…who is either the victim of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28 or has reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of any act of domestic violence, has standing in the circuit court to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against domestic violence.”

If you face threats or fear of violence, get help immediately. Our team at the Vasquez de Lara Law Group will guide you through options based on your situation, help ensure that your legal rights are upheld, and work to put protections in place to keep you and your family safe.

Contact us right away to schedule a confidential case evaluation to discuss your specific situation.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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