Although many people think that domestic violence only involves spouses or couples who share children, the reality is that Florida also specifically recognizes another form of domestic violence, known as dating violence. Dating violence is defined as any violent acts that occur between two individuals who have a continuing relationship of an intimate or significant nature. Like domestic violence charges, accusations of dating violence can have serious criminal consequences for defendants, who could face jail time, steep fines, and the creation of a criminal record, so if you have been accused of dating violence, it is critical to contact an experienced Seminole domestic violence attorney who can help protect your legal rights.
What is Dating Violence?
Florida law defines dating violence as violence that occurs between individuals who have or have had a continuing relationship of a romantic nature. Whether a particular relationship satisfies this definition depends on a number of factors, including:
- Whether the relationship has existed within the prior six months;
- Whether the relationship was characterized by an expectation of affection or sexual involvement; and
- Whether the parties involved were in a relationship over a period of time and on a continuous basis.
It’s important to note that Florida law specifically excludes violence committed in casual relationships or between two individuals who are acquaintances or have only engaged in ordinary fraternization in a social or business context from the definition of dating violence.
Dating Violence Injunction
Under Florida criminal law, the only people who can file a request for a dating violence induction are:
- Victims; and
- A victim’s parents.
The latter is only permitted, however, when the alleged victim is a minor and still resides in the family home. Otherwise, those who accuse someone else of dating violence must request an injunction on their own and only if they believe that they:
- Are in imminent danger of becoming a victim of dating violence; or
- Are in imminent danger of becoming the victim of an additional act of dating violence.
If granted, an injection, or restraining order, can restrict a person from:
- Going within 500 feet of the accuser’s residence, school, or place of employment;
- Going within 500 feet of places that the victim regularly visits;
- Going within 500 feet of the school attended by the victim’s minor children;
- Using or possessing firearms;
- Committing further acts of violence;
- Contacting the accuser in any way; and
- Going within 100 feet of the victim’s vehicle.
Failing to comply with the terms of a dating violence injunction is a first degree misdemeanor and as such, is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Furthermore, restraining violation orders are usually followed by additional criminal charges for domestic violence, which come with even more severe penalties.
Contact an Experienced Seminole Domestic Violence Lawyer for Help with Your Case
Please call Reep Coleman & Stubbendorff at 727-330-6502 today to schedule an initial case review with a dedicated domestic violence lawyer who can walk you through your legal options.