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Orders for Protection

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.

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