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Family Offense Petitions & Orders of Protection

The 5 Things You Need to Know About Orders of Protection

  1. WHAT IS AN ORDER OF PROTECTION?

A New York Family Court may issue an Order protecting a complaining individual (the “Petitioner” in Family Court) and prohibiting the person against whom the Order is issued (the “Respondent” in Family Court) from contacting and/or engaging activities relating to the Petitioner. These Court Orders are called Orders of Protection.

Orders of Protection can originate in a Family Court or Criminal Court. Often complaining individuals may obtain Orders of Protection as part of a Family Offense Petition or as part of a criminal complaint. The lawyers at Riebling & Payton, PLLC, regularly appear on behalf of clients facing allegations arising from a specific instance in both criminal courts and family courts. Having a single lawyer who knows how criminal charges and family law cases affect one another is crucial in protecting your rights and interests.

An Order of Protection may direct a person to:

  • Completely stay away from another person (a “stay away” Order of Protection):
  • Have no contact with another person (a “no contact” Order of Protection); or
  • Refrain from committing any Family Offenses or criminal offenses against another person (a “refrain from” Order of Protection).
  1. WHO CAN AN ORDER OF PROTECTION BE ISSUED AGAINST?

In Westchester County, a person can obtain an Order of Protection in Family Court against a person who is:

  • A current or former spouse;
  • Someone that person has a child in common with;
  • A family member to whom that person is related by blood or marriage;
  • Someone with whom that person has or had an “intimate relationship”.
  1. WHAT ARE THE FAMILY OFFENSES?

The elements of each Family Offense can be found in the New York Family Court Act and the New York Penal Law. The Family Offenses are as follows:

  • Disorderly conduct;
  • Menacing in the second or third degree;
  • Harassment in the first or second degree;
  • Reckless endangerment in the first or second degree;
  • Aggravated harassment in the second degree;
  • Stalking in the first, second, third, or fourth degree;
  • Assault in the second or third degree;
  • Attempted assault;
  • Criminal mischief;
  • Sexual misconduct;
  • Sexual abuse in the second or third degree;
  • Forcible touching;
  • Strangulation;
  • Criminal obstruction of breathing or circulation.

At Riebling & Payton, PLLC, we have extensive and proven experience in handling Family Offense Petitions and Orders of Protection in both the New York Family Courts and Criminal Courts throughout Westchester County, NY. If you are involved in a case where you are seeking an Order of Protection or have had an Order of Protection issued against you, contact our Westchester Family Law attorneys for a Free Consultation and find out how we can assist you. Call immediately (914) 712-6878.

  1. WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER FILING A FAMILY OFFENSE PETITION?

Once a Family Offense Petition is filed, the Westchester Family Court will issue a Summons and schedule your case for an appearance. Depending on the allegations in the Petition, the Court may schedule the first appearance on the same day you file the petition. Typically, the first Court appearance is attended only by the person seeking an Order of Protection and their lawyer. The Family Court Judge will take the opportunity to review the allegations and determine whether a Temporary Order of Protection should be issued. “Temporary” means while the case is pending. If you obtain an Order of Protection, it must be formally served upon the Respondent. The Order of Protection is not effective until it is served. Thereafter, court appearances are scheduled where all of the parties are required to appear and determine how the allegations will be resolved.

  1. WHAT HAPPENS IF AN ORDER OF PROTECTION IS VIOLATED?

If an Order of Protection is violated, meaning that the Respondent has done something that they are prohibited from doing, the person violating the Order of Protection may be criminally arrested and charged. It is also likely that a Violation Petition will be filed in the Family Court. Typically, a violation of an Order of Protection will result in both criminal and family law implications.


Call us for immediate help at (914) 712-6878


Are you involved in a Westchester Family Court case or Criminal Court case where an Order of Protection has been issued, you need to take immediate action to protect yourself and your rights. Contact our knowledgeable Westchester Family Law Attorneys today and we will support you throughout this process.

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