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Florida Domestic Violence Laws, Your Rights, and General Information

man beating up his wife illustrating domestic violenceOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness month. It’s a month set aside during the year to bring awareness to the issues and victims of domestic violence across the nation.

It’s an issue that urgently deserves more attention.

Every minute across the U.S., 20 people experience domestic violence. We’ll touch on domestic violence statistics in Florida plus State laws and your rights below.

However, if you require immediate assistance, please call the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119 or TDD (TTY) 1-800-621-4202.

At the Fusco Law Group, we handle domestic violence cases throughout the year. If you’re seeking legal guidance on domestic violence, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Fusco Law Group at (904) 567-3113.

Florida Domestic Violence Offense Statistics

According to the FL Health Charts for Domestic Violence Offenses compiled by the Florida Department of Health, Florida law enforcement agencies reported 104,914 domestic violence crimes in 2018.

Below are reported numbers of domestic violence 2018 offenses in Duval County and the surrounding areas:

  • Duval County Domestic Violence Offenses: 8,568 (ranked third in Florida)
  • Baker County Domestic Violence Offenses: 112
  • Clay County Domestic Violence Offenses: 835
  • Johns County Domestic Violence Offenses: 719
  • Nassau County Domestic Violence Offenses: 344

What is Considered Domestic Violence in Florida?

Florida Statutes 741.28 defines domestic violence as:

  • Assault and aggravated assault
  • Battery and aggravated battery
  • Sexual assault and sexual battery
  • Stalking and aggravated stalking
  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment
  • Criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of a family or household member

Domestic violence is generally considered controlling behaviors (violence or threats of violence) a person uses to establish power over another person who either resides within a household (or resided in the past) or has a child in common.

Who are Considered Family or Household Members in Florida Domestic Violence Offenses?

In Florida, family or household members are defined as:

  • Spouses or former spouses
  • Persons related by blood or marriage
  • Persons presently residing together
  • Persons previously residing together
  • Persons who have a child in common

How Do You Get a Florida Restraining Order in Cases of Domestic Violence?

In Florida, a restraining order is considered a domestic violence injunction.

You have the right to file various types of protective injunctions if you are a victim or threat of being a victim of:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Dating violence
  • Repeat violence
  • Stalking

An injunction or restraining order can be filed at no cost at your local courthouse. Injunction forms may be obtained online at the Florida Courts Self Help Center

At the time of filing, the petitioner will be asked for identification.

Do You Need an Attorney to File a Florida Domestic Violence Restraining Order?

You do not need an attorney to file a domestic violence injunction (restraining order) at a Florida courthouse. However, it’s important to know that courthouse staff cannot provide legal advice. A Family Law Attorney may be helpful to fully understand your rights in a domestic violence situation.

What Do You Do If You’ve Been Served a Notice of a Domestic Violence Injunction (Restraining Order)?

If you’ve been served a domestic violence protection injunction (restraining order), you are considered an alleged respondent. The Florida Courts recommend contacting an attorney or the jurisdiction clerk’s office. Keep in mind that Florida Court staff cannot provide legal advice.

A domestic violence case can have significant future consequences. Beyond legal consequences, a civil injunction can impact your job prospects, background checks, employment, housing, ability to possess a firearm, etc.

Since violations can have serious legal and life-impacting consequences, it’s important that you fully understand the terms and conditions of the order.

Get the Help You Need

As mentioned above, if you require immediate assistance, please call the Florida Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-500-1119 or TDD (TTY) 1-800-621-4202.

Whether you’re a victim of domestic violence or accused, it’s important not to make rash legal decisions. Getting the right legal guidance can help you protect your rights.

That’s a good reason to have an experienced attorney by your side. Fusco Law Group is experienced in Criminal and Family Law. If you have legal questions regarding domestic violence, contact the Fusco Law Group: (904) 567-3113 for a free consultation.