Injunction to Prevent "Dating Violence" Pursuant to 784.046

Tampa Lawyer Helping People Facing Protective Orders

An injunction is an order from the court that can be obtained in order to stop another person from acting in specific ways. It is possible for a victim of dating violence to obtain an injunction against the person perpetrating the violence. However, some people seek these injunctions for improper purposes, and in some cases, a mistake can result in grave consequences for the person accused of dating violence. At Hanlon Law, Tampa injunction lawyer Will Hanlon strongly believes in the rights of the accused. You should call us if you face a potential injunction to prevent dating violence.

Injunction to Prevent Dating Violence Under Section 784.046

An injunction to prevent dating violence can be requested under Florida Statute section 784.046. Violence between people who have had a continuing romantic or intimate relationship is considered domestic violence. For example, if you are dating someone and get frustrated and hit them, this is dating violence. Similarly, if you are sleeping with someone regularly and physically restrain them in a nonconsensual way, this is likely to be deemed dating violence, even if you do not necessarily think of them as a partner or significant other.

Whether you have a dating relationship with the alleged victim of the violence turns on several factors. The court will look at whether the relationship existed for at least six months prior to the request, whether the nature of the relationship is characterized by an expectation of sexual involvement or affection, and whether the interaction between the people involved in the relationship has been frequent and continuous over time. A dating relationship is not one that is casual or in which people have only engaged in interactions in a social or business context. In other words, if you slept with a casual acquaintance once and then are accused of dating violence, this probably would not meet the criteria.

Someone who believes that they are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of another act of dating violence or a first act of dating violence can bring a petition to ask for an injunction to stop dating violence. Additionally, a parent of a minor who is living at home can ask for an injunction to guard against dating violence on behalf of the minor by filing a sworn petition under § 784.046(2)(b).

In order for a legal guardian or parent of a minor to file on the child's behalf against someone who is not the minor child's legal guardian, stepparent, or parent, they must show that the minor is living at home with them, and the parent has reasonable cause to believe that the minor is a victim of dating violence. It is slightly different when one parent accuses the other (or a stepparent or legal guardian). In that case, the minor must be living with the petitioner, and the petitioner must have been an eyewitness to dating violence or have direct physical evidence or affidavits from eyewitnesses to the dating violence. The petition needs to be sworn.

A temporary injunction can last for 15 days. In some cases, however, the court will deny an ex parte temporary injunction petition because there is no appearance of an immediate or present threat of dating violence. The court is then supposed to set a hearing for a petition for a permanent injunction, with notice at the earliest available time. The injunction can prohibit multiple different acts in addition to restraining the alleged perpetrator from committing dating violence. For example, it can stop the alleged perpetrator from knowingly coming within 100 feet of the petitioner's car, order the alleged perpetrator not to use or possess firearms, or stop the alleged perpetrator from coming within 500 feet of the petitioner’s current residence or within 500 feet of places frequented regularly by the petitioner or their minor children. Generally, the relief is effective for a certain period, but the terms stay in force and effect until the injunction is modified or dissolved. Other civil or criminal remedies may also be granted.

Get Assistance from a Tampa Attorney When Accused of Dating Violence

You should take seriously a request for an injunction to prevent dating violence and retain experienced legal counsel to handle the matter. Our founder, Tampa attorney Will Hanlon, is committed to protecting the rights of the accused and has represented criminal defendants since 1994. Call Hanlon Law at 813-228-7095 or use our online form to set up an appointment. We are also available if you need a domestic violence lawyer to advocate on your behalf.