Orders for Protection in New York City
Family Court vs. Criminal Court Orders
In the state of New York, an individual can seek protection from an abusive
party through the family courts or criminal courts. Orders for protection
can be issued from the family court during a civil proceeding in which
the petitioner must be able to prove that the respondent—i.e. spouse,
former spouse, boyfriend / girlfriend, family member or roommate—has
inflicted, or threatened to inflict, harm upon them or their child.
While similar to this, criminal court orders for protection would be issued
as a condition of the defendant's release and/or bail in a criminal
case. This means that the respondent must first be charged with a crime.
In either case, the conditions of the restraining order are usually the
same, which may include:
- You must stay away from the petitioner
- You must abstain from any sort of contact
- You must forfeit your registered weapons
- You must move out of your shared home
- You must stay away from your children
What happens if I violate the restraining order?
Once an order for protection has been issued by the court, you would be
required to abide by every single condition that has been included in
the order. Should you accidentally
violate the terms of the restraining order, you could be subject to further prosecution. If the restraining order
was issued by a family court, you could be held in civil contempt for
up to six months. If the restraining order was issued by a criminal court,
however, you could be charged with criminal contempt in the first degree—which
is a Class E felony that is punishable by two to four years in prison.
Even if you were to be charged to a lesser degree, you could still face
a Class A misdemeanor conviction. Fortunately, a judge may waive the chance
to prosecute such a violation if you can successfully show that you had
not intended to violate the order. If you happened to find yourself in
the same vicinity as the petitioner, for example, you would need to prove
that it was nothing more than coincidence.
This can be difficult to do without the expert guidance of a NYC domestic
violence attorney, however, so the team at the Law Offices of Daniel A.
Hochheiser encourages you to
discuss your case with our firm today. When you contact our firm today at (800) 813-9069, your initial consultation
is free. You can also submit a
case evaluation form online. We proudly represent individuals throughout New York, including
NWestchester, Bronx, Manhattan, and Scarsdale.