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Last Updated on: 18th August 2023, 07:57 pm
Obtaining an Order of Protection in NYC: Your Legal Rights and Options
Obtaining an Order of Protection, also referred to as a “stay away order” or restraining order, can be a crucial legal step for your safety and well-being in New York City. This legal document holds significant importance and can have various implications, depending on the circumstances of your situation.
Understanding the Purpose of an Order of Protection
An Order of Protection serves several key purposes:
- Defining the Terms of Contact: This legal order specifies whether the involved parties can contact each other and under what conditions.
- Regulating Permissible Contact: It outlines the types of contact that are allowed between the parties, if any.
- Legal Ramifications: An Order of Protection can be a step toward charging the offending party with a criminal offense, if the terms of the order are violated.
If you find yourself in immediate danger, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety by calling 911.
Seeking Protection Through an Order of Protection
If you believe your safety is at risk from a potential threat, it’s recommended to visit your local police department to file an Order of Protection. This step is particularly important if you are dealing with an issue that poses a potential threat to your safety and well-being.
If you have been anticipating such a situation, have already faced problems related to an Order of Protection, or are involved in ongoing family law matters, seeking advice from an experienced Order of Protection lawyer is essential. A lawyer specializing in this area can ensure proper documentation of all relevant issues, making them legally admissible in court.
Role of an Order of Protection Lawyer
An Order of Protection lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in various scenarios, including:
Building a Strong Case for Custody
If the safety of a child or a loved one is at stake, having a well-documented Order of Protection and keeping records of any violations is critical to your case. Violations of an Order of Protection, such as attempts to initiate contact or harassment, can significantly impact your case. Consulting your lawyer is crucial to understanding the guidelines for reporting and handling violations.
Ensuring Safety for You and Your Loved Ones
Dealing with an unpredictable and potentially dangerous individual can be challenging. While an Order of Protection offers a legal basis for taking action against violators, it doesn’t physically prevent harm. If you believe you are in immediate danger, contact law enforcement by dialing 911.
Filing an Order of Protection Beyond Intimate Relationships
Contrary to popular belief, an Order of Protection isn’t limited to restraining orders against spouses or romantic partners. The term “intimate” encompasses various relationships beyond physical partnerships. Whether you’re concerned about an acquaintance, former friend, or online contact, seeking advice from an Order of Protection lawyer can help you determine if pursuing a restraining order is appropriate.
Filing for an Order of Protection can be emotionally taxing, but remember that seeking protection is a legitimate and important step. Your fears and concerns are valid, and there are legal avenues to safeguard yourself from harassment and harm.
Orders of Protection: Understanding the Process and Seeking Legal Representation
Orders of protection are a grave matter. Problems can arise during a divorce or other family situation when someone becomes abusive. Abuse has the potential to rise beyond your threats. The mental anguish the threats cause or nothing to take lightly. People suffer great anxiety when stressed over the potential harm someone can drive.
Besides “potential” harm, the real threat of physical violence exists. Unfortunately, a family member terrified for his or her life for the well-being of young children may not be in a situation where they can effectively protect themselves. Therefore, they must turn to the courts for a protective order. The first question involved determining what particular court must be partitioned to acquire a valid and legitimate protective ruling.
The Courts for Orders of Protection
What exactly is an order of protection? A common name for an order of protection is a “restraining order.” With such an order, the court tells another person how he or she must limit his/her contact or behavior when dealing with another person. In addition to telling someone what not to do, the order could be affirmative. That means the order may dictate what a person must do. The petitioner can seek an extension when an order of protection is set to expire.
Anyone subject to an order of protection must accept the consequences of violating the judge’s stated conditions. To do so could lead to a contempt of court citation. That means jail time and a fine may be imposed.
Three courts can provide an order of protection: The Supreme Court, Family Court, and Criminal Court. Depending on the situation, all three courts could issue an order of protection in family-related. The Supreme Court and Family Court would more commonly give protective orders than the criminal court.
With the Supreme Court, protection orders may be issued during divorce or marriage-related proceedings. With a Family Offense, the Family Court may issue an order of protection. A Family Offense is a crime someone commits against a relative or person with which he/she maintains an intimate relationship. Family Offenses do not need to be limited to Family Court. A petition for the order of protection may be filed in family court, but the incident could also be carried over into the Criminal Court.
Retaining the Necessary Representation for a Petition
Anyone who believes it’s possible to go into court and petition the judge for a favorable ruling without possessing any experience might be in for a terrible outcome. Yes, it’s possible to represent yourself in court and to fill out and submit the necessary paperwork. However, the other side will have a say in the matter. Many resist the issuance of a restraining order that determines their behavior. Arguing issues related to the approval of the protective order is a job best left to a qualified council.
Experienced attorneys can point toward the many approved orders of protection they acquired on behalf of their clients. With experience comes knowledge and understanding of how the courts work. No attorney can answer for a judge, which is understood. However, a committed attorney can dedicate passionate effort to arguing a protective order’s merits and necessities.
When an agreement deriving from a divorce case of family offense does not exist, an order of protection requires a preponderance of the evidence to be in effect. Without a majority of the evidence, a petition for an order of protection would be dismissed. An attorney knows how to present evidence so that it rises to a level of preponderance.
Before venturing into court, the attorney can provide an opinion on the merits of a particular protection order. Upon walking into the quart room, the lawyer brings forth the necessary evidence to prove to the court the dangers the plaintiff faces. For example, the attorney may submit into evidence several threatening text messages. Steps such as these can sway the court toward deciding the victim’s best interest.
Understanding Domestic Violence and Criminal Matters
What happens when things move to the criminal courts, though? Domestic violence cases are tried in criminal court. During criminal proceedings, the preponderance of the evidence no longer applies. The bar raises beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, victims do not handle requests for an order of protection. The prosecutor takes over the responsibility.
Domestic violence cases don’t necessarily stay in the criminal courts. A case could be referred to the Integrated Domestic Violence Court or IDV courts, a subset of the Supreme Court. To move to IDV, criminal proceedings related to domestic violence must co-occur in a family court case and a matrimonial or divorce matter. In a way, the IDV system consolidates the proceedings from the various other courts. Doing so benefits the petitioner/victim as well as the courts. Reducing the confusion of addressing multiple different court cases can be overwhelming. So, Integrated Domestic Violence serves a practical function.
A Qualified Attorney
All this can be overwhelming for those who never navigated the New York Court System. Speaking with an attorney known for handling cases related to orders of protection and Family Offenses helps. Dealing with the different courts and matters involved with adjudicating an order of security can be overwhelming. Why not work with the right attorney capable of relieving the burden?