How Do No Contact Orders Work in New York City Criminal Cases?

Understanding No Contact Orders in New York City Criminal Cases

Dealing with a criminal charge in New York City can be scary and confusing. You may have questions about what a no contact order is and how it could impact your case. This article provides an overview of no contact orders, how they work in NYC criminal cases, and what to do if you receive one.

What is a No Contact Order?

A no contact order, also sometimes called a protective order or stay away order, is a court order that prohibits someone from contacting another person in any way. This includes prohibiting all communication, either directly or indirectly through a third party.No contact orders are commonly issued in domestic violence, stalking, harassment, and sex crime cases in New York. They aim to protect the victim from further abuse or threats during the criminal case. Violating a no contact order is a criminal offense that can lead to additional charges.

How No Contact Orders Work in NYC

There are a few ways a no contact order can be issued in a New York City criminal case:

  • At arraignment: If you are arrested for a crime against another person, the prosecutor may request a temporary no contact order during your arraignment (first court appearance). The judge has discretion whether to grant it.
  • As a bail condition: The judge may issue a no contact order as a condition of releasing you on bail. This means you must avoid contact with the protected party while out on bail.
  • As a sentence: No contact orders can also be part of a sentence if you plead or are found guilty. For example, an Order of Protection could be issued at sentencing.

No contact orders typically include the protected party’s home, workplace, and school. You must avoid contacting them even through a third party. These orders remain in effect until the case concludes or the judge lifts them.

Consequences of Violating a No Contact Order

It’s critical to understand that violating a no contact order is a criminal offense in New York. Even if you don’t intend to scare or harm the protected party, any contact with them directly or indirectly could lead to a violation charge.If you violate the order, you could face additional charges like criminal contempt, stalking, or harassment. The penalties if convicted include fines and jail time. Violating an order could also impact your overall criminal case, including the possibility of increased bail or harsher sentencing.

What to Do If You Receive a No Contact Order

If you find yourself facing criminal charges and a no contact order in New York City, here are some tips:

  • Consult an attorney: Speaking with a NYC criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the order, consequences for violating it, and strategize your defense. They can also advocate to get the order modified or lifted if appropriate.
  • Inform people close to you: Make sure close friends and family members are aware of the no contact order so they don’t unintentionally help you violate it.
  • Avoid the protected person and locations: You must avoid all contact, direct and indirect. This includes social media, phone calls, letters, and using others to reach out. Also steer clear of protected locations like their home and workplace.
  • Document your efforts: Keep records showing you have not attempted to contact the protected party. For example, keep phone and text records, social media archives, and details on your daily activities and locations.
  • See guidance on appropriate contact: If you feel there are valid reasons you still need to communicate with the protected person, consult your attorney about appropriate ways to request court approval. But do not contact them without the court’s permission.

Finding the Right NYC Criminal Attorney

Facing criminal charges is frightening enough without the added confusion of navigating no contact orders. An experienced Queens criminal lawyer can help protect your rights, defend against allegations, and advise you on complying with such orders. They will also aggressively advocate to get unfair or excessive no contact orders lifted.Every criminal case is different, so choose an attorney who takes the time to understand your specific situation. Look for a lawyer with extensive experience handling domestic violence, sex crimes and restraining order cases in New York courts. Also consider someone who is familiar with alternatives like counseling programs if appropriate. The right attorney’s guidance can be invaluable for dealing with no contact orders and resolving your criminal case favorably.

Resources

Overview of no contact orders in New York criminal cases: https://www.nycourts.gov/faq/orderofprotection.shtmlHow courts issue no contact orders: https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/Safety/DVbasics.shtml#ordersPenalties for violating orders of protection: https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/Safety/victims.shtmlFinding a NYC criminal defense attorney: https://www.avvo.com/criminal-defense-lawyer/nyc-ny.html