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Here’s What You Need To Know About Protective Orders In Florida

Family violence is a serious matter in the state of Florida. In order to combat it, Florida law has established a mechanism for individuals to request a protective order from the court. Here’s what you need to know if you are involved in a protective order in Florida.

Basics

Florida law establishes four different types of protective order:

  • Dating,
  • domestic,
  • repeat, and
  • sexual.

While used in different situations, each of these are geared towards preventing future incidents of violence by ordering an individual not to do some thing or things, which usually involves not contacting the individual seeking the order.

Dating Violence

Florida statute provides for a dating violence protective order. This protective order is meant to stop violence between people who have a continuing and significant intimate or romantic relationship with each other. When determining whether such a relationship exists, the court considers three factors

  • If the parties have dated within the past six months,
  • if the relationship was one in which affection or sexual involvement is expected, and
  • whether the individuals in the relationship have been involved with each other continuously.

Domestic Violence

This is probably the most common sort of protective order in Florida. A domestic violence protective order is appropriate when a member of a family or household commits

  • Assault,
  • aggravated assault,
  • sexual assault,
  • battery,
  • aggravated battery,
  • sexual battery,
  • false imprisonment,
  • kidnapping,
  • stalking
  • aggravated stalking, or
  • any other crime leading to injury or death.

A domestic violence protective order is only available if the victim is the abuser’s

  • Current or former cohabitant,
  • current or former spouse,
  • the other parent of a child, or
  • related by blood or by marriage.

Repeat Violence Protective Order

Florida law allows for a protective order meant to prevent repeated acts of violence. If two or more acts of violence (as outlined above) has been committed by the abuser upon the victim or victim’s immediate family member, and at least one of those occurrences was within six months of the filing for protective order. For this sort of order, the abuser’s relationship to the victim is not taken into account; the repeat violence protective order may be filed against anyone who meets the other criteria.

Sexual Violence

A sexual violence protective order may be issued after the abuser allegedly carries out any of the following acts regardless of whether the abuser was arrested or prosecuted for the act

  • Lewd or lascivious act on or in the presence of someone under 16,
  • luring or enticing a minor,
  • sexual battery,
  • sexual performance by a child, or
  • any other forcible felony or attempt at one that involves a sexual act.

Duration

Protective orders in Florida are either temporary or general. A temporary protective order can be filed ex parte and may only last for 15 days. Meanwhile, a general protective order can be issued for one year, and it may be extended for one year as often as needed if the other party files for an extension with the court and the court approves of it.

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