Injunctions for protection against domestic violence are very important things that can have major impacts on your life. That’s true whether you’re the alleged abuser or the victim. As the victim, denial of an injunction can place you is serious, perhaps even life-threatening danger. As an alleged abuser, an injunction can lead to you losing your job, losing future job opportunities for which you apply, denial of housing and surrender of your firearms. That’s why, whichever position you’re in, it is always worth your while to hire an experienced Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney.
If the alleged abuser does not participate in his case, that can be a huge disadvantage for him and advantage for the alleged victim. For example, there’s the case of A.B., the wife of M.W., who filed a request for an injunction for protection against domestic violence in Broward County. According to the wife’s court documents, the husband had committed multiple acts of domestic violence, including a 2016 choking incident to which the police responded, as well as an April 2018 incident in which the husband allegedly told the wife that he “should put bullets in her head.”
The appeals court determined that this was enough evidence. If the wife had presented only an isolated incident that occurred years earlier, Florida law would have required denial of the injunction based on insufficient proof. However, A.B. had “several previous violent acts” committed by M.W. that had occurred over the years, including incidents that were quite recent.
One of the key incidents – the April 2018 threat – also was sufficient under the law. Florida law says that vague, general threats may qualify as “only words,” and not count against an alleged abuser. However, this husband made a very specific threat, and one that involved “a specific act of killing — namely, to put bullets in [the wife’s] head.” That kind of violent, specific threat can be enough to show an immediate threat.
In this case, the wife had the legal representation she needed to get the necessary evidence on the record. The husband did not. He did not appear at the trial court’s final hearing and he did not participate in the appeal. At no time did he hire an attorney. The appeals court made a point of explaining that, when one spouse makes claims regarding the other spouse’s acts of domestic violence and the only evidence presented in the case is the alleged victim’s then, unless the trial judge decides that the alleged victim’s evidence was not credible, the court is required to accept the alleged victim’s testimony and, generally, grant an injunction.
When you’re accused of having committed acts of domestic violence, hiring capable legal counsel for your defense can help you avoid serious problems. Had this husband hired an attorney and participated in his case, it is at least possible that he might have been able to achieve a more successful result.
Whichever side you find yourself on in a domestic violence injunction case, it is very important to have strong and capable legal counsel. Count on the experienced South Florida domestic violence attorneys at Sandy T. Fox, P.A. to give you the thoughtful advice and strong advocacy you case needs. Contact our attorneys online or by calling (800) 596-0579 to schedule your confidential consultation.