Domestic Violence / Restraining Orders

Legal Representation for Victims of Domestic Abuse in West Palm Beach

Domestic violence is a serious crime that can result in civil repercussions as well as criminal charges. In Florida, victims of domestic abuse can petition family law courts to order an offender to keep his or her distance. My name is William Wallshein, and I am a domestic violence lawyer in West Palm Beach with over three decades of experience practicing law, and most of that time as a family law attorney. I have helped domestic violence victims get the legal protection their family needs. I understand the strength it takes to make that first step to come forward and take action, and I am dedicated to making sure my clients feel safe from domestic violence.

Family Violence Offenses in South Florida

For an act to qualify as “domestic violence” in Florida, two things must be shown. First, the offender must have committed an act or made a threat. Second, that act must have been committed against someone with whom the offender has had a familial relationship. Acts of family violence are not always actually violent and can include a number of different situations. In Florida, the following are classified as acts of domestic violence:

  • Stalking or aggravated stalking
  • Assault or aggravated assault
  • Battery or aggravated battery
  • Sexual battery and assault
  • False imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Other criminal offenses that result in physical injury or death

Not all instances of family violence result in criminal charges, but there still may be civil family law remedies against the accused, such as a restraining order or domestic violence injunction. Other possible consequences include loss of custody, a criminal record affecting employment opportunities, and loss of access to the family home.

Acts of domestic violence are committed when the victim has a familial, or family-like, relationship with the aggressor. Under Florida law, relationships that qualify include:

  • Spouses, including former spouses
  • Blood relatives
  • Those living as a family together, either presently or in the past
  • Individuals who have a child together, irrespective of marital status

Since victims of domestic violence share this familial bond with their aggressor, they are often hesitant to receive the help they need. Consulting a compassionate attorney regarding your legal options is an important step to take in protecting your family.

Seeking a Restraining Order

Domestic violence victims, or those in fear of imminent danger, may file a petition in court to seek a restraining order. Restraining orders can be temporary or permanent, and they require the named individual to remain a specific distance away from the victim. To get a permanent restraining order in family court, the party petitioning the court must usually show that he or she has been a victim of domestic violence, or that it is likely to occur. Temporary restraining orders, however, may be granted without a hearing. The victim may enter sworn pleadings to get a temporary restraining order, which is only effective for 15 days but can be extended.

Discuss Your Domestic Violence Matter with a Palm Beach Gardens Lawyer

Victims of domestic abuse often feel trapped and at a loss of how to protect themselves. As a Palm Beach Gardens family violence attorney practicing law for over 30 years, I am committed to protecting my clients. I represent people in Palm Beach, Broward, and Martin Counties, as well as throughout South Florida, in seeking restraining orders so that they feel safe to move on with their lives. Please call my office at 561-533-1221 to schedule a free initial consultation about your case, or contact us online. We accept credit cards.