According to Florida Statutes 741.28(2), domestic violence includes: assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death to one family or household member by another family or household member.
Florida Statutes 741.30(6)(b) discusses whether the respondent engaged in any other behavior or conduct that leads the petitioner to have reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.
Since domestic violence is such a common issue around United States, it is important to discuss its key points.
In determining whether the petitioner has “reasonable cause to believe he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence”, the court must consider all relevant factors alleged, including, but not limited to:
– The history between the petitioner and the respondent, including threats, harassment, stalking, and physical abuse.
• Whether the respondent has attempted to harm the petitioner or family members or individuals closely associated with the petitioner.
• Whether the respondent has threatened to conceal, kidnap, or harm the petitioner’s child or children.
• Whether the respondent has used, or has threatened to use, against the petitioner any weapons such as guns or knives.
• Whether the respondent has intentionally injured or killed a family pet.
• Whether the respondent has physically restrained the petitioner from leaving the home or calling law enforcement.
• Whether the respondent has a criminal history involving violence or the threat of violence.
• The existence of a verifiable order of protection issued previously or from another jurisdiction.
• Whether the respondent has destroyed personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communication equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the petitioner.
In Florida, domestic violence is treated as a criminal act rather than a private matter. Consequently, criminal prosecution shall be the favored method of enforcing compliance with injunctions. §741.2901(2), Florida Statutes.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has established and maintains a Domestic, Dating, Sexual and Repeat Violence Injunction Statewide Verification System capable of electronically transmitting information to and between criminal justice agencies relating to domestic violence injunctions issued by the courts throughout the state.
The Court may enforce a violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, or the state attorney may prosecute it as a criminal violation under §741.31, Florida Statutes. The court may enforce the respondent’s compliance with the injunction through any appropriate civil and criminal remedies, including but not limited to, a monetary assessment or fine. §741.30(9)(a), Florida Statutes.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 25% percent of women have experienced domestic violence, with an estimated number of domestic violence incidents per year of about 960,000. Women between ages of 20-24 are at highest risk of domestic violence and about one in three high school students have been or will be involved in an abusive relationship. Only the health costs of domestic violence yearly are about $5.8 billion.
Given the common occurrence of domestic violence across the U.S. and in South Florida, our criminal defense team in Fort Lauderdale recommends all our clients and readers to avoid getting involved in violence acts of any kind, especially domestic violence. If you get legally involved in such a case, you should ask for advice from a specialized and experienced criminal defense lawyer, like our criminal defense team in Fort Lauderdale.