Going through a separation, divorce or child custody dispute is never easy. Add into the mix, a domestic violence injunction or criminal case and it only makes the situation more stressful. Understanding how to navigate the process can help to alleviate some of the pressure. Whether you are a petitioner seeking to obtain an injunction or the respondent defending yourself against a possible injunction, there are certain things that you should know
What types of Injunctions are there?
There are five types of injunctions in Florida: Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Dating Violence, Repeat Violence and Stalking. Where you have an existing or potential family law case, the applicable injunction would be Domestic Violence. In order to obtain a Domestic Violence injunction, the Petitioner and the Respondent must be family or household members that live or have lived in the same household, unless there is a child in common. Where a child in common exists, the individuals are not required to be married or have lived in the same household to avail yourself of a Domestic Violence Injunction.
What is the Process for Obtaining a Domestic Violence Injunction?
In order to obtain a Domestic Violence injunction, you must file a sworn petition, with the Clerk of Court, showing that you are a victim of domestic violence or reasonably believe that you are in danger of becoming a victim. If you meet the requirements, a Judge will issue a temporary injunction. That injunction will be personally served on the Respondent and the Court will then schedule an evidentiary hearing to determine if a permanent injunction should be entered.
The process for obtaining injunctions for sexual, dating and/or repeat violence, and stalking, is similar to that for obtaining a Domestic Violence injunction, but the requirements that need to be met vary depending on the type of injunction you are seeking.
What does getting an injunction mean?
If the Court enters a temporary or permanent injunction, the Respondent must physically stay away from you and will not be allowed to have any contact, including by text, email or third party. The injunction could also extend to any children in common and could require that the Respondent leave any shared home.
Trying to get an injunction or having to defend against one can be scary. If you suddenly find yourself in this situation, you should have a competent attorney who can guide you through the process and work closely with your family law attorney to ensure that your rights are protected in all court proceedings.
Sabrina Puglisi is a Florida Board Certified Criminal Trial attorney since 2008. Prior to starting her own firm, Puglisi Law, in 2011, she has the unique experience of having worked for both the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office and the Federal Defender’s Office for the Southern District of Florida where she gained invaluable experience as a trial attorney handling hundreds of different cases from pre-trial to trial.
From 2009-2010, she was recognized as one of the top government lawyers in South Florida’s Legal Guide and she was recently recognized as one of Florida’s 2020 Super Lawyers for Criminal Defense.
You can learn more about Sabrina Puglisi here: https://www.puglisilaw.com/miami-criminal-defense-profiles/attorney-sabrina-puglisi/