How Long Do The Orders Of Protection Generally Last?

Orders of protection generally last for two years. They can last for as long as five years, if there are aggravating circumstances. There can also be shorter orders of protection, if the parties settle or resolve the case. There also is the potential of someone filing a petition at the end of the term of the order of protection for an extension of the order of protection.

What Can I Do If Someone Violates The Order Of Protection?

If someone violates an order of protection, call the police right away. The person can be immediately arrested. You can also file a violation petition, which brings the case to criminal court and/or family court. The person would be looking at jail time at that point.

Can I Decide Not To Pursue The Order Of Protection For Some Reason?

The court cannot force someone to proceed with an order of protection, if they choose to withdraw it. The only theoretical exception is where the judge feels that in withdrawing the order of protection, the petitioner may be putting children at a risk of harm. In that case, they do have the authority to order Child Welfare to step in, conduct an investigation, and report back to the court as to whether a possible child neglect case needs to be filed.

The judge also has the power to refer the case over to the District attorney's office for criminal prosecution. Even then, it remains the sole province of the District Attorney to determine whether they accept the case and actually file a criminal case or not. A judge has no authority to order a District Attorney to actually file and prosecute a case. The third option is where my client will contact me saying that the order of protection has been violated. They don't necessarily want to do anything about it but they want me, as the attorney, to issue a "cease and desist" letter to the other side, warning them that we will immediately call the police and/or file a violation petition upon the next violation.

What Happens If the Petitioner Is Afraid to Face the Respondent In Court?

The court has the power to allow the petitioner to appear at pretrial hearings either over the phone, via video conference, or via their attorney. However, in 20+ years, I've seen only one or two cases where the person has not physically appeared, out of safety concerns, within the courtroom. Most courtrooms have at least two court officers present at all times. A lot of the courts can arrange for the person to come in separately as well.

What Should People Generally Know About Family Offense Cases In New York?

If you've been accused of a family offense, make sure that the attorney representing you has done a lot of family offense petitions and is not the type of attorney who has just dabbled in family court law. Family law is very particular. If someone is not a specialist, they are not going to be as well versed in that area of the law as a specialist would be. Make sure to shop around and interview your potential attorneys along those lines.

For more information on Orders Of Protection In New York, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (914) 368-7580 today.