Switch to ADA Accessible Website
Orlando Criminal Lawyer

What Is The Legal Standard For A Domestic Violence Injunction In Florida?


Under Florida law, a person who is a victim or potential victim of domestic violence may request a court injunction against their alleged abuser. This is a very serious matter. If the court issues the injunction, the respondent faces potential criminal charges–and thus jail time–if they violate the terms of the order.

At the same time, the respondent has certain basic due process rights to contest the validity of the injunction. For instance, the petitioner–the person seeking the injunction–must prove there is “objectively reasonable cause to believe” they are in “imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence.” The word imminent is crucial as it means that a domestic violence injunction typically cannot be justified by citing alleged incidents that occurred years earlier or are otherwise too “remote” the timing of the petition.

Appeals Court Tosses Injunction Due to Lack of “Imminent” Danger to Petitioner

A recent decision from the Florida Third District Court of Appeals, McGuire v. Boscan, provides a useful example. In this case, the appellate court actually vacated–threw out–a domestic violence injunction issued by the trial court. The petitioner in this case filed for the injunction in March 2020. She alleged her former live-in boyfriend had committed acts of domestic violence against her on four occasions dated May 2017, September 2017, February 2020, and March 2020.

Critically, the two alleged 2020 incidents did not involve any specific allegation of violence. Rather, they involved coincidental encounters between the parties. In February 2020, the petitioner said she was in downtown Miami when the respondent happened to pass her by while jogging. Similarly, the March 2020 “incident” was nothing more than both parties shopping at the same Whole Foods store at the same time.

As the Third District explained in its opinion, neither of these encounters placed the petitioner in any objectively reasonable fear of imminent domestic violence. That left only the two alleged 2017 incidents. Even assuming those incidents were domestic violence, they occurred more than two years before the petitioner sought an injunction. The Third District said those incidents “standing alone, cannot support the entry of the domestic violence injunction,” as once again, the legal standard is fear of imminent violence. So without more recent credible allegations of domestic violence, there was simply no legal grounds to issue an injunction.

Speak with a Florida Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Today

If someone has filed for a domestic violence injunction against you, it is critical that you act promptly to assert your rights. A domestic violence order can have a significant impact on your life even if there are never any criminal charges. The mere existence of such an order can taint you as undesirable in the eyes of potential employers or landlords. And even accidental contact with the petitioner while under an injunction can potentially lead to further legal problems.

So if you need legal advice or representation from an experienced Orlando domestic violence lawyer, contact the Baez Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.



  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Miami Office

1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1410
Miami, FL 33131
Office: 305-999-5100
Fax: 305-999-5111

Orlando Office

250 N Orange Ave, Suite 750
Orlando, FL 32801
Office: 407-705-2626
Fax: 407-705-2625

Email Us

Fields Marked * Are required

DISCLAIMER: Completing and submitting this form or otherwise merely contacting The Baez Law Firm or any individual at the firm will not establish an attorney/client relationship. Our firm cannot represent you until we determine that there would be no conflict of interest and that we are otherwise able to accept representation of your case. Please do not send any information or documents until a formal attorney/client relationship has been established through an interview with an attorney and you have been given authorization in the form of an engagement letter with The Baez Law Firm. Any information or documents sent via this form or otherwise prior to your receipt of an engagement letter will not be treated as confidences, secrets, or protected information of any nature. Submitting information regarding your potential case will not bar The Baez Law Firm from representing or continuing to represent a person or entity whose interest are adverse to your in condition with your case.

protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms
Please review the highlighted fields. They are required.
DISCLAIMER: This website contains information about The Baez Law Firm that includes testimonial statements from persons who are familiar with the firm's services. The testimonials shown are not necessarily representative of every person's experience with us. Testimonials from every client are not provided. As no two situations or persons are identical, the facts and circumstances of your situation may differ from those for which testimonials are shown. This website also includes information about some of the past results that we have obtained for our clients. Not all results are provided, and the results shown are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by us. No two situation are exactly alike; every person's situation is unique and the outcome for each person depends on the individual facts.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2015 - 2024 Baez Law Firm. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab Contact Form Tab