No one wishes to believe that a person close to them, one they have loved and trusted, could ever harm them or their children. Yet, the reality is that when emotions escalate—typically amid conflict—physical and emotional harm can result. One’s personal safety, and their ability to protect and keep safe their children, becomes paramount when a member of the family finds themselves unable to control their temper or rage. Should you feel caught in a similar situation, or fear for your safety or that of your family, we suggest obtaining an Order of Protection.
Most often referred to interchangeably with the term, ‘restraining order,’ an Order of Protection is a protective order from the court directing the offending person to refrain from causing physical injury, harassment, threats or harm, while also outlining regulations for maintaining distance away from school, day care, place of business, or any place frequently visited from the person obtaining the order (and included children) at all times. Additionally, the Order forbids contact via email, phone, text or any electronic means.
If you are amid divorce or a custody dispute, an Order of Protection can direct the offending party to move out of your home, follow court custody orders, and pay child support. Most importantly, any breach of the Order of Protection is considered a serious criminal offense that can result in arrest and likely, time in prison. If any part of an order of protection is violated, you should contact your attorney, the police, and/or the court. Violation of an order of protection is a crime, and the offender can be arrested.
Three court levels in New York State can grant an Order of Protection:
Family Court: A family court Order of Protection is more frequently issued to halt violence within a family, including a current or former spouse, someone you may share a child with, someone you’ve had an intimate relationship with, or a family member that is a blood relative.
Criminal Court: A criminal court typically issues an Order of Protection to an offender who has already been charged with a crime, upon his or her release, or bail. In this case, there does not need to be a relationship between the victim and the offender (defendant) in order for the Judge to issue an Order of Protection.
Supreme Court: A Supreme Court most often issues an Order of Protection as part of an ongoing divorce proceeding.
How long is an Order of Protection valid?
Two forms of Order of Protection exist: temporary and final. A Temporary Order of Protection lasts from one court date to another, while a Final Order of Protection is issued when a final disposition in a case is reached. A Final Order of Protection can last from one – several years, depending on the seriousness of the case. Should the case be dismissed however, the Order of Protection would also end.
It is always a wise to seek the assistance of an attorney prior to petitioning the court for an Order of Protection as seasoned attorneys can advise you of your rights, explain the documents/proof necessary to obtain an Order, and also provide support. At Marnell Law Group, we concentrate on defending the rights and interests of our clients and can be reached 7 days a week, 24 hours a day in an emergency. We stand equipped to protect the rights of our clients – who are always first priority – as evidenced by our hallmark Client Centered-Client Focused Care® approach.
As no two people are alike, neither are any two families, or legal matters involving family situations
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