Orlando Family Law Lawyers Fighting for Victims of Domestic Abuse
No one deserves to become a victim of domestic violence, and no one deserves to be falsely accused. At McMichen, Cinami & Demps, we provide experienced legal representation for victims and the accused throughout the Orlando, FL area.
Each year, there are roughly 50,000 domestic cases filed in the Florida courts. The Florida judicial system takes domestic violence cases extremely seriously, and all accusations are handled very quickly.
As a victim of domestic violence, it is extremely important to use the court system to protect yourself. As someone who has been falsely accused, you need to take steps to protect yourself as well. Regardless of your situation, at McMichen, Cinami & Demps, we can help you seek protection to prevent any additional harm.
Understanding Domestic Violence
While many people think of domestic violence as involving violence between spouses, the definition of domestic violence in Florida is actually much broader. Florida law defines domestic violence as:
“any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”
A “family or household member” includes:
“spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married.”
As you can see, Florida’s domestic violence statute is intended to provide protection not just for spouses, but for all family members and cohabitants who face violence or the threat of violence in their homes.
Help for Victims of Domestic Violence
If you believe you may be in immediate danger, you should call 911.
To prevent future acts of domestic violence, we can help you can seek what is known as an “injunction” through the Florida state court system. An injunction is a court order that prohibits domestic abusers from having any contact with their victims. Once you obtain an injunction, your abuser will be legally prohibited from coming near your home, your place of work, your car, and any other places where you may be vulnerable.
Importantly, there are different types of injunctions for different types of abuse (domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, repeat violence, and stalking). Each injunction has its own requirements, and the type of injunction you need to obtain will depend on your relationship with the accused.
At McMichen, Cinami & Demps, we have helped numerous domestic violence victims seek help through the Florida courts. When you contact us, we will take action quickly to seek an appropriate injunction on your behalf.
Defending False Allegations of Domestic Abuse
In some situations, individuals may make false claims of domestic violence in order to cause harm to their spouses or other family members. For example, false allegations are sometimes used in order to make it more difficult for a parent to obtain child custody in a divorce.
Unfortunately, false domestic violence allegations can do a tremendous amount of damage. As a result, if you have been falsely accused, it is important to speak with an attorney right away. For example, if you do nothing and an injunction is entered against you, you could:
Be forced to leave your shared residence
Lose your right to spend time with your children
Face criminal penalties, including possible jail time, if you accidentally violate the injunction
Face employment-related consequences, including loss of your job or professional license
For more information about how we can help you defend against false accusations of domestic violence, we urge you to contact us right away.
What Happens After an Accuser Files a Petition for an Injunction?
Once an accuser files a petition for an injunction, a judge must consider the petition “at the earliest possible time.” The judge can either (i) grant a preliminary injunction that will remain valid until a full hearing on the petition (which will take place within 15 days), (ii) enter an order setting a hearing without granting a preliminary injunction, or (iii) deny the petition outright. However, if the judge denies the petition, he or she must state the reasons for the denial, and the accuser will then have the opportunity to file a supplemental petition with the court.
At the hearing, the judge will hear arguments and review evidence from both the accuser and the accused. The judge will then decide whether to issue a final injunction.
The attorneys at the Orlando, FL law offices of McMichen, Cinami & Demps have decades of experience representing individuals in cases involving accusations of domestic violence. Contact us to speak with an attorney about your situation. You may call us at (407) 898-2161 or request our help online today.