The answer is YES!!! Why? Because many times the judge won’t listen to you without one. The domestic violence courts are overrun with frivolous accusations and the dockets are crowded. Even if you have evidence and witnesses that support your case, a judge often won’t let you present it. In Pasco County, the judge’s have actually told me that I am allowed 15 minutes to present my case. Unfortunately, that is the way it works. And if the judge has any reason to think that the allegations are untruthful, or true, they grant or dismiss the injunction immediately, with barely any testimony from either side.
Let me give you a perfect example: A man in St. Petersburg was recently arrested for kidnapping and raping his girlfriend. They had dated for approximately six months, according to the St. Petersburg Times. He also hid in the trunk of her car and popped out, forced her into the passengers seat and drove her to his house where the offense occurred. These are not the actions of a first time offender.
In 2007 and 2008, another woman whom he was dating filed two separate petitions for domestic violence injunctions against him. On both occasions, a hearing was held at which time I am assuming the woman presented her testimony to the court. On both occasions, the injunctions were dismissed for insufficient evidence. I wonder if the judge’s would believe this woman now? If she had a lawyer to represent her in court, she may have gotten those injunctions. Note he did not have a lawyer either, and he was able to prevail.
The point is that generally, in domestic violence situations, it is better to have an attorney if you have something to say. Contact us if you have any questions – we would be more than happy to represent you or point you in the right direction.