Orders of Protection (Family Offense Proceedings)

Orders of Protection (Family Offense Proceedings)

Domestic Violence is a very serious and dangerous offense which can have major effects on you and your family. However, a false allegation of domestic violence can be just as devastating to family relationships and finances.

Although not a criminal prosecution, if you have been accused of a family offense and have an order of protection against you, then you have been alleged to have committed a family offense against a person who has a domestic or intimate relationship with you. In order to ultimately succeed in obtaining a permanent order of protection, a family offense must be proven.

The following are a list of Family Offenses: disorderly conduct, harassment in the first or second degree, aggravated harassment in the second degree, assault in the second degree or third degree, criminal mischief, sexual abuse in the second or third degree, strangulation, menacing in the second or third degree, reckless endangerment, stalking, attempted assault, identity theft, grand larceny, sexual misconduct, forcible touching and/or criminal obstruction of the breathing passage or circulation. (The law pertaining to Family Offenses has been modified over the years, so consultation with an attorney specializing in this area is required to get a complete and updated list of Family Offenses.)

If one of these offenses is not alleged in the petition filed by the person making an allegation against you, or you did not commit the offense(s) alleged, then you can file a motion and/or request a hearing in order to dismiss the petition and have the Court vacate the order of protection.

In contrast, if you are in need of an order of protection against a person who has a domestic or intimate relationship with you, you may apply for an order of protection in Family Court where a Family Offense has been committed against you (even if you have been denied by the police department). You may also obtain an order of protection on behalf of your child in appropriate circumstances.

Unlike a criminal proceeding, you will need an attorney to assist you in prosecuting a petition for an order of protection as there is no prosecuting agency to assist you. You will also need an attorney if you wish to effectively and successfully defend yourself from a petition filed against you for an order of protection. Often these cases appear to be “he said she said”, but you may tip the scales in your favor by gathering any appropriate and relevant evidence. An experienced and professional attorney can help you to identify and gather that evidence.

We have handled hundreds of cases involving orders of protection and look forward to meeting with you in order to assist you with this very serious matter.