Comprehensive Guide to Florida Spousal Abuse Laws
When family disputes become abuse accusations, the situation could cause devastating results. Spousal abuse cases get severe treatment in Florida, and the penalties may range from more superficial consequences like temporary restraining orders to severe ones like years behind bars.
On the other hand, victims may sustain severe physical and mental injuries with lasting concerns. As such, they can request a court document barring the perpetrator from coming anywhere near them.
Nobody deserves to be a spousal abuse victim, and nobody should be accused falsely. So whether you’re a spousal abuse casualty or a defendant planning your defense, a reliable Florida domestic violence attorney from Meltzer & Bell, PA, can protect your rights and fight for a favorable case outcome.
An Overview of Florida Spousal Abuse Laws
Most actions, some not necessarily violent, can be considered to comprise spousal abuse in Florida. For instance, Florida Statue 741.28(2) defines domestic violence as any battery, assault, kidnapping, sexual assault or battery, false imprisonment, stalking, or any other offense committed by one’s household or family member that causes physical injury or death.
The law defines household or family members as spouses, ex-spouses, and other relationships through marriage or blood. Most of the time, these members must either reside in the same home or have lived together previously.
Spousal abuse in Florida comprises two key elements. Some act must be there – whether a mere threat or an overt act – and this must be directed to someone the perpetrator shares a familial relationship with.
Potential Penalties for Spousal Abuse Perpetrators
A spousal abuse conviction can devastate your reputation, employment prospects, and future. If you’re facing domestic violence charges, the potential sentence is probation lasting at least one year and a requirement to join a batterer’s intervention program.
Anyone who intentionally harms a member of their household or family can be locked in a county jail for at least five days. The jury may also impose community service, a prison sentence, and more, making it essential to reach out to a reputable spousal abuse attorney in Florida.
If someone infringes an injunction of protection, they will face additional criminal charges. Injunction violation is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and attracts a maximum jail sentence of one year.
Obtaining a Restraining Order
An injunction of protection (the state’s restraining order) is a legally binding document requiring a party to a spousal abuse case to stay away from the victim who has applied for the order. Anyone fearing imminent domestic violence or has already suffered violence from a spouse qualifies to petition the court for the document.
In essence, a restraining order violation requires the perpetrator to:
- Leave a home that you share with the victim.
- Stop calling or contacting them.
- Never step within 100 feet off the victim’s vehicle or 500 feet of their home.
- Never damage the victim’s property.
The injunction can keep the victim assured of their safety and give them peace of mind that the law of the land is behind them.
The party looking for an order of injunction in a family court must convince the jury that the abuse or assault has occurred or is likely to take place before they’re issued with a permanent restraining order against the alleged perpetrator.
Notably, you can get a temporary restraining order even before a hearing based on your sworn pleadings. However, these last only 15 days and must be extended.
If you need an injunction or restraining order, you can opt for other less-frequently used types alongside the usual spousal abuse injunction:
- Injunction against repeat violence – This injunction involves people who aren’t sharing a “domestic relationship.” In this case, you, the petitioner, must prove and plead that you’ve been a victim of stalking and criminal violence twice.
- Injunction against dating violence – This injunction involves those who’ve had or are currently having a significant and continuing intimate or romantic relationship. The party requesting the injunction must have suffered dating violence and prove their reasonable belief of imminent violence. However, it’s not a must that they’ve experienced actual violent acts to request the restraining order.
Legal Representation for Spousal Abuse Victims
Domestic abuse and violence are an unfortunate reality in most households across the United States. The sad truth is that most instances aren’t reported, and the perpetrators remain unpunished. Any domestic incident involving spousal, elder, or child abuse is intolerable, and no one deserves to live with any form of abuse.
If you’ve been threatened, harassed, or assaulted in a domestic situation, a reliable Florida domestic violence attorney can help you get justice and ensure your safety.
For instance, Meltzer & Bell, P.A. attorneys feel strongly about their obligation to uphold and secure the rights of children and family members throughout Florida. The experts will guide you through the legal process, including seeking a restraining order. They’ll aggressively maintain your legal freedoms when you or a loved one experiences domestic violence or abuse.
Legal Representation for The Accused
Sadly, some undermine spousal abuse laws through false accusations. Whether the person does it out of anger or for an edge during divorce proceedings, the allegation could lead to immediate and lasting implications for anyone facing the accusation.
If you believe that you’re a victim of a false accusation, you deserve a just case conclusion. Reaching out to experienced domestic violence defense attorneys could be your best shot at this. The lawyer will secure your rights and leverage every legal avenue to create a solid defense.
Attorneys from Meltzer & Bell, P.A. also works with plaintiffs who are facing domestic violence charges. With years of experience in the courtroom, these experts understand the unfortunate fact that sometimes these accusations are filed for the sake of a tactical edge during divorce cases – especially where time-sharing and child custody matters are likely to be disputed.
Speak with A Reputable Florida Spousal Abuse Attorney
If you’re a victim of spousal abuse are facing domestic violence charges, an experienced attorney with a track record can guide you aptly throughout the legal process. They’ll also protect your rights and only focus on a successful resolution. If your case reaches trial, they’ll contest your claim while advocating for justice or acquittal.
You have numerous options, but only a handful can offer the compassion, professionalism, and comprehensive advocacy that you’d find at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. Reach out today to learn more about Florida’s spousal abuse laws and how to achieve a favorable resolution.