When You Need A Protective Order
Over 100,000 victims of domestic violence have reported crimes of abuse in a single year here in Florida. It is unknown how many unreported cases leave victims fearful and traumatized. If you are in either category, the time to get assistance is long past. At Wise/Lieberman, our experienced and compassionate domestic violence attorneys are prepared to use the law to protect you immediately.
Steps Towards Protection
The first step in getting legal protection means convincing a judge through a written petition that you are in immediate danger of domestic violence. Whether or not you’ve experienced physical abuse in the past or not, the judge will consider a number of factors in considering your request, including:
- Threats to you or your friends/family;
- Previous attempts to harm you and/or friends/family;
- Destruction to your property;
- Intentional harm done to a family pet;
- The history of the relationship, including previous calls to law enforcement for assistance;
- Behaviors that have caused you alarm.
Types of Protective Orders
If the judge believes there is reason for concern, a temporary injunction may be issued. The abuser will be served with notice and will be required to stay away from you until a full hearing occurs—not more than 15 days. At that time both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence as to whether a final injunction is appropriate.
When a final injunction is ordered, you will have additional protections that could last until a specified date or that may last indefinitely. There will be a no-contact order. Your abuser will be excluded from your home, school, workplace, etc., and can be denied visitation of minor children. Additionally, there may be temporary protections for family pets. Additionally, the abuser may be ordered to pay temporary child- or spousal support, and be required to participate in counseling or batterer’s intervention and treatment. Importantly, your abuser will not be allowed to be in possession of firearms or ammunition. If there are other steps the judge deems necessary for your protection, those will be taken, as well.
The judge will give you contact information for nearby certified domestic violence centers. These centers provide assistance to victims of domestic violence 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can receive emergency shelter, get help developing a safety plan, have your children assessed, and connect with counselors.
We at WiseLieberman understand that you are probably afraid. Standing up to your abuser feels risky, and you’ve been isolated with your terror for a long time. But you’re not alone now. Our Boca Raton domestic violence attorneys are on your side. Contact our office for a confidential consultation today.