Fort Lauderdale Domestic Violence Attorney
In Florida, domestic violence is considered a serious offense that is punishable by jail time and hefty fines. Being involved in a domestic violence matter can be traumatic, especially if any minor children are involved. If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, it is important to contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorneys at Joyce A. Julian, P.A., who can ensure the safety of you and your children.
Domestic violence is defined as violence or a threat against a family or household member. Acts that qualify as domestic violence in Florida include:
- Assault or aggravated assault;
- Battery or aggravated battery;
- Kidnapping or false imprisonment;
- Sexual assault or sexual battery;
- Stalking or aggravated stalking; and
- ny criminal offense that results in injury or death.
In order to qualify as domestic violence, the act must be perpetrated against a family or household member, which may include:
- Spouses or former spouses;
- Relatives by blood or marriage;
- People living together as a family; and
- Couples who have children together.
Domestic violence is a serious crime that can have both civil and criminal penalties, but court proceedings can be time-consuming, so victims also have access to legal tools that can be used to protect them in the meantime. For instance, victims of domestic violence can petition a court for a protective order, which prohibits an abuser from making contact with the victim or entering his or her dwelling.
If the couple has any minor children, protective orders can be modified to:
- Grant temporary visitation;
- Mandate payment of temporary support;
- Require therapy or counseling; and
- Restrain the victim’s abuser from committing any acts of domestic violence.
There are two types of protective orders: ex-parte temporary protective orders and general protective orders. An ex-parte temporary protective order is only effective for 15 days and does not require a hearing. General protective orders, on the other hand, are valid until the date named by the court, which depends on the likelihood of a violation and the petitioner’s safety.
Penalties for Violation
Unfortunately, violations of protective orders do occur. Examples of behaviors that constitute violations include:
- Refusing to vacate a shared dwelling;
- Going within 500 feet of the victim’s home or place of employment;
- Committing an act of domestic violence;
- Contacting the victim either directly or indirectly;
- Coming within 100 feet of the victim’s vehicle;
- Refusing to surrender any firearms; and
- Destroying the victim’s personal property.
Violating a protective order is a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and the payment of a $1,000 fine. Additionally, if a person or his or her property is injured as a result of the violation, he or she may be awarded economic damages.
Work with Joyce A. Julian, P.A., in Your Fort Lauderdale Domestic Violence Matter
Acts of domestic violence can have devastating consequences on the physical and emotional health of families, so it is important to seek medical and law enforcement aid as well as the advice of a dedicated Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney who can ensure that victims are protected. If you or a loved one has been the victim of domestic violence, please contact Joyce A. Julian, Attorney at Law, to schedule a consultation.