Many people are familiar with the concept of domestic violence as violence or abuse between people who are married or couples who share a child. However, dating violence is also subject to criminal penalties. Dating violence can include many different types of violence perpetrated by someone against another person whom he or she is dating. The violence may take the form of assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, the aggravated form of any of the foregoing, and other crimes. If you have been charged with an offense of this nature, or are worried about a petition for a dating violence injunction, the seasoned St. Petersburg dating violence attorneys at Hanlon Law may be able to help.What is Dating Violence?
Under Florida Statutes section 784.046(d), dating violence involves violence between people that have either previously maintained or are currently maintaining a significant, continuing relationship that is either romantic or intimate. A court examining whether this type of relationship is in place must look at certain factors. They will look at whether the dating relationship has existed within the last 6 months, whether the relationship was characterized by an expectation of sexual involvement or affection, and the frequency and type of interaction that has occurred between the people involved.
Dating violence does not exist where victim and perpetrator are casual acquaintances or have socialized only at parties or for business. Where the relationship was casual and superficial, the violence wouldn’t qualify as dating violence, though you may still face charges for battery or assault against the victim.Injunction for Dating Violence
When someone is the victim of dating violence, she or he can ask for an injunction for protection from dating violence against the perpetrator. This is separate from the criminal charges that may be filed for dating violence. If you are subject to this type of injunction, your life may be significantly changed. This injunction can affect where you go, your contact with the victim, and other aspects of your life. It will stop you from possessing a firearm. A violation of a dating violence injunction can result in criminal penalties including incarceration and fines. A lawyer with experience defending clients against sex crime charges can help you navigate the restrictions involved with this type of court order.Petition for Injunction
The victim can file a petition for an injunction for protection against dating violence with the clerk of the circuit court. The victim will need to show that he or she is the victim of dating violence and has reasonable cause to think that he or she is in immediate danger of being victimized by dating violence again. Alternatively, he or she will need to show reasonable cause to think he or she is at immediate risk of becoming a victim of an initial act of dating violence. The parent or legal guardian of a minor living at home has standing to file a sworn petition for an injunction for protection against dating violence on behalf of the minor.
If you are the respondent to a petition for an injunction, you cannot violate the order or you risk criminal penalties. Actions that could constitute violations include a refusal to vacate a shared home; coming within 500 feet of the victim’s home, job or school; committing an act of repeat dating violence against the victim; committing another violation of an injunction through words, violent acts, or illegal threats; refusing to give up firearms; defacing the victim’s car or other personal property; or contacting the victim indirectly or directly in violation of the order.
Your violation of a dating violence injunction can result in a first degree misdemeanor charge. If convicted, you may face incarceration for a year and a $1000 fine. If you commit three violations of the dating violence injunction, you could face third degree felony charges.St. Petersburg Attorneys Representing Criminal Defendants
If you’ve been accused of dating violence or violating a dating violence injunction in St. Petersburg, it is advisable to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Violating a dating violence injunction can have serious consequences, particularly if it involves a felony, and it is important to have someone on your side who understands the applicable strategies for fighting this kind of charge. At Hanlon Law, our founder Will Hanlon has provided strong strategic defenses to the accused since 1994. Please contact Hanlon Law at 727.897.5413 or via our online form.