INJUNCTION TO PREVENT SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES
LAWYERS FOR TAMPA RESIDENTS FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES
If you are accused of perpetrating sexual violence, such as rape or sexual assault or lewd or lascivious battery, the purported victim may petition the court for an injunction to prevent sexual violence. You may assume this isn’t as serious as your criminal case, but in fact, criminal charges can be brought against you for violating an injunction, and the injunction’s requirements can be harsh. It is advisable to retain a Tampa domestic violence attorney to represent you in connection with a petition to bring an injunction to prevent sexual violence in a domestic abuse case.
PREVENTION OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE BY INJUNCTION
Under Florida Statute section 784.046, a person who believes they’ve been harmed by sexual violence can petition a judge to get a protective injunction to prevent sexual violence in a domestic violence case or under other circumstances. Sexual violence as the statute conceives of it is any forcible felony in which somebody tries to commit or does commit sex acts. In Florida, this can include rape or lewd or lascivious battery.
Importantly, you can be subject to such an injunction even if no prosecutor charged you with a sex crime. Sometimes a prosecutor doesn’t pursue charges because there’s not enough evidence to meet the “beyond the reasonable doubt” standard, but there is enough to meet the standard of proof for injunctions, which is lower. It’s important, however, that the purported victim reported the sexual violence to the police and cooperated with any criminal proceedings that were underway, even if the prosecutor decided to dismiss the charges. You can also face the injunction proceedings if you were sentenced to state prison for sexually violent acts specified in the injunction and the prison term is about to conclude or is expected to conclude within 90 days of the victim filing the petition.
The victim does not need to be an adult for an injunction to be sought in connection with sexual violence. The parent or guardian of a minor who was subject to sexual violence can also submit a sworn petition to get an injunction for protection against sexual violence.
OBTAINING AN INJUNCTION TO PREVENT SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASE
An injunction for protection to prevent sexual violence is a court order that a judge signs and that can be served and enforced by police officers or sheriffs. The purported victim is called a “petitioner.” If you are the person to be restrained, you’re called the respondent. Violation of the court order or injunction is a crime, and you can face further penalties for the violation.
The victim’s petition must describe the particular sexually violent acts that are for the basis for bringing the petition. A parent asking for an injunction against a stepparent, guardian or parent of a minor based on sexual violence will need to present direct evidence or they need to have borne witness to sexual violence or offer affidavits from those who actually saw the sexual violence. For example, if your co-parent walked in on you sexually touching a child, the co-parent could testify that there was sexual violence. Sometimes, it is possible to defend against the imposition of an injunction by challenging the evidence being presented. There are parents with a vendetta against their co-parents, and it may be possible to challenge the credibility of their testimony. A seasoned domestic violence attorney can help you dispute an accusation of this nature. Where you aren’t a co-parent, legal guardian, or stepparent of a child, the parent asking for the injunction needs to have a reasonable grounds to think the minor is a victim of repeat sexual violence.
RETAIN A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWYER IN TAMPA
An injunction against you can have far-reaching consequences. It’s important to understand that injunctions to prevent sexual violence in domestic violence cases in Tampa are serious. Whether or not you have been charged with a sex crime, it is wise to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney with trial experience, including experience picking a jury. Our founder and principal Will Hanlon has represented those accused of a wide range of crimes since 1994. Please contact Hanlon Law at (813) 228-7095 or through our online form.