What If I Violate a Restraining Order?
If you have been accused of violating an order of protection, it is imperative
that you speak with a New York City criminal defense lawyer at the Law
Offices of Daniel A. Hochheiser as soon as possible. The firm has almost
50 years of collective experience and offers knowledgeable legal counsel
to protect residents throughout NYC. Every case handled is given the personal
treatment it needs.
You could be facing up to 4 years in prison, so you should not hesitate
to act quickly in the interest of your defense. Call today for a free
and confidential case evaluation - (800) 813-9069!
Protection from Family Court vs. Criminal Court
In New York, restraining orders can be issued in both family court and
criminal court—the difference being that family court would handle
the case through civil proceedings, while the criminal court would issue
protection as a condition of a pre-existing case. When an individual requests
a restraining order from family court, the subsequent proceedings would
It must be proven by the petitioner, however, that they have been involved
in some sort of intimate or familial relationship with the alleged abuser.
This could include a current or former spouse, a family member (by blood
or marriage), an intimate partner or the mother / father of their child.
In regard to criminal court, protection can only be issued against someone
who has been charged with a crime.
Understanding Orders of Protection
In the state of New York, restraining orders are more commonly referred
to as orders for protection. These orders can be obtained in either family
court or criminal court, and generally prohibit the "aggressor"
from coming into contact with the "victim." The nature of the
restraints will be dependent on the alleged abuse and the type of relationship
that exists between the two parties.
An order of protection can be taken out against a spouse, family member,
intimate partner or the mother / father of the petitioner's child.
In most cases, the court will grant the request for protection if an individual
has been threatened and/or harmed under one or more of the following circumstances:
Once a restraining order has been granted, the respondent will be asked
to abide by the terms and conditions that have been set out by the court.
In some cases, this could mean that the abuser would be required to stay
away from the petitioner, move out of a shared home, surrender their firearms
and adhere to modified terms of child custody.
The order of protection can also specify that they must refrain from calling
or emailing, visiting the petitioner's place of employment or coming
within a certain distance of their child's school. Should they violate
any of these conditions, they could be facing a criminal arrest and subsequent
time in jail. Contact us for aggressive defense in areas throughout New
York, including New Rochelle, Yonkers, and White Plains.
Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order in NY
When an order of protection is issued by either family court or criminal
court, specific instructions will be outlined, which can include:
- Staying away from the petitioner
- Refraining from calling or emailing
- Forfeiting one's firearms
Should the "offender" violate any of these terms, they could
face serious legal consequences.
If the order was issued in family court, the respondent could be held in
civil contempt for up to 6 months—which is the equivalent of 6 months
in jail. The case could be transferred to criminal court, however, wherein
they could be charged with criminal contempt in the first degree (Class
E felony) or criminal contempt in the second degree (Class A misdemeanor).
If convicted on a felony count, they could be sentenced to 2 to 4 years
What if the petitioner has violated the order?
In some cases, the petitioner will violate the terms of "no contact"
that they had originally requested from the court by calling the subject
of the order. Although this may seem unfair, it is unlikely that they
would face any ramifications for doing so. If the restraining order is
still in place, however, the respondent could still be subjected to civil
or criminal contempt for engaging in contact with the petitioner.
It would not matter who had initiated the conversation and/or meeting.
For this reason, it is highly recommended that the subject of a restraining
order refrain from making contact under any circumstances. Although the
court may not penalize the "offender" for picking up their phone
or responding to an email, it may be a good idea to play it safe.
Set Up a Time to Talk to Us!
During a free case evaluation, a knowledgeable legal guide can assess the
case and develop a straightforward plan for defense. Get the honest and
reliable counsel you need!
Contact our firm today at (800) 813-9069 for a free initial consultation or submit a
case evaluation form online