Q: I have been separated from my common law wife / mother of my children for approximately 7 months. I was served with a petition for custody and a family offense petition. My question is regarding the family offense petition. There was a restraining order attached and a list of crimes that I am supposed to have committed on the family offense petition. Am I facing criminal charges? Is there a chance I will be arrested on the date of the first hearing?
A: David's Answer: If the case is merely pending in Family Court, then that's NOT a criminal case. Family Law allows for civil prosecution of "family offense" crimes in Family Court, but there's no risk of going to jail unless you willfully violate an order of protection. Schedule a consult with a NYC Family Law attorney for a full assessment.