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Injunction for Protection from Dating Violence

If you were served with an injunction for protection from dating violence, then you have come to the right place to learn more about how to fight false or exaggerated accusations.

Under Florida law, dating violence is abusive, aggressive, and controlling behavior in a romantic relationship. It can include physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual violence or a combination. Dating violence can occur in a straight or gay relationship.

The alleged victim of dating violence can file a petition for protection in order to obtain a temporary or final injunction. To qualify as "dating violence," the petitioner and respondent must have a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature, to be determined by consideration of such facts as:

  • whether the dating relationship existed within the past six months;
  • whether the nature of the relationship included an expectation of affection or sexual involvement; and
  • whether the frequency and type of interaction between you and the individual included involvement over time and on a continued basis.

Dating violence does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who have only engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context. See In re Amendments to Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms, 205 So. 3d 1, 381 (Fla. 2015).

Attorney for "Dating Violence" Injunctions in Tampa, FL

If you were served with a petition for an injunction against dating violence pursuant to section 784.046(2)(b), then contact an attorney who can help you fight against false or exaggerated accusations.

In Hillsborough County, injunction for protection hearings occur at both the Tampa and Plant City courthouse. We also represent clients seeking to modify or dissolve a dating violence injunction under the procedures found in § 784.046(10), Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.610(c)(6).

Our attorneys represent the respondent in these cases. We work hard to show the court that there is no immediate or present danger that dating violence exists under § 784.046(6)(a).

We also have a second office in New Port Richey and help clients fight petitions for a protective order from violence in Pasco County, FL. We also represent clients against petitions for injunctions against dating violence throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including Pinellas County, Hernando County, and Polk County, FL.

Call (813) 250-0500.


Allegations in a Petition for a Dating Violence Injunction

An injunction against dating violence is not authorized without competent and substantial evidence of the following three elements:

  1. a dating relationship within the past six months;
  2. at least one occasion of dating violence; and
  3. reasonable cause to believe that petitioner is in imminent danger of another act of dating violence.

To obtain an injunction, “[i]t is not sufficient to have been the victim of one incident of dating violence in the past.” Alderman v. Thomas, 141 So.3d 668, 669 (Fla. 3d DCA 2014).


What is a Dating Violence Injunction?

A petition for injunction for protection against dating violence is intended to protect the victim of dating violence. The petition requires a showing that the victim of dating violence has either:

  • reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming the victim of another act of dating violence; or
  • reasonable cause to believe that he or she is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of dating violence.

Under Florida law, dating violence means violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.

The dating relationship must have existed within the past six months, the nature of the relationship must have been characterized by the expectation of affection or sexual involvement between the parties, and the frequency and type of interaction must have included that the persons have been involved over time and on a continuous basis during the course of the relationship.

Dating violence does not include violence in a casual acquaintanceship or violence between individuals who have only engaged in ordinary fraternization in a business or social context.


Criminal Offenses that Can Constitute Dating Violence

Florida Statue 784.046(1)(d) defines "dating violence" to include any incident resulting in physical injury or any of the following specified criminal offenses:

  • assault / aggravated assault;
  • battery / aggravated battery;
  • sexual assault;
  • sexual battery;
  • stalking / aggravated stalking;
  • kidnapping; or
  • false imprisonment.

When Minor Children are the Alleged Victim of Dating Violence

Teenagers under the age of 18 are often the victim of dating violence. If the victim of alleged dating violence is under the age of eighteen and has never been married or had the disabilities of nonage removed by a court, then the alleged victim's parent or legal guardian must sign the petition.

With respect to a minor child who is living at home, if the party against whom the protective injunction is sought is also a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian, then the parent or legal guardian filing the petition must have been an eye-witness to, or have direct physical evidence or affidavits from eye-witnesses of, the specific facts and circumstances that form the basis of the petition.

If the party against whom the protective injunction is sought is a person OTHER THAN a parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of the minor child, then the parent or legal guardian who files the petition must state why they have reasonable cause to believe that the minor child is a victim of dating violence.


Violations of an Injunction Prohibiting Dating Violence

If it is alleged that a violation of an injunction prohibiting dating violence has occurred, the court shall enforce, through a civil or criminal contempt proceeding, a violation of an injunction for protection. The court may enforce the respondent’s compliance with the injunction by imposing a monetary assessment as explained in § 784.046(9)(a).

Alternatively, if the violation of the dating violence injunction meets the statutory criteria, it may be prosecuted as a crime as explained in Fla. Fam. L. R. P. 12.610(c)(5).

A person who willfully violates an injunction for protection against dating violence issued pursuant to 784.046, or a foreign protection order accorded full faith and credit pursuant to section 741.315 commits a misdemeanor of the first degree punishable as provided in section 775.082 or section 775.083. § 784.047.

As explained in § 784.046(9)(b), if the respondent is arrested under section 901.15(6) for committing an act of dating violence in violation of an injunction for protection, the respondent will be held in custody until brought before the court as expeditiously as possible for the purpose of enforcing the injunction and for admittance to bail in accordance with chapter 903 and the applicable rules of criminal procedure, pending a hearing.


Additional Resources

Dating Violence Bulletin for Teens - Visit the National Center for Victims of Crime to find a bulletin for teens who need information about dating violence. The article explains when dating violence occurs and how to get help or help someone else. The article is part of the Teen Tools series that helps teens recognize when a crime of violence has occurred within an intimate relationship.


This article was last updated on Friday, July 8, 2018.