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Domestic Violence / Orders of Protection

Domestic Violence is a crime that impacts the lives of thousands of New Yorkers every day with tragic and sometimes fatal results.  The State of New York defines domestic violence (DV) as:  A pattern of coercive tactics, which can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic and emotional abuse, perpetrated by one person against an adult intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim.

It affects the lives of men and women from all backgrounds and circumstances, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, socioeconomic status, education, occupation, etc.

The experienced and compassionate attorneys at the Law Offices of Nathan Pinkhasov, PLLC understand that Domestic Violence is a difficult issue to discuss and will not only try to help you through the challenge of telling your story, but will vigorously act on your behalf to help ensure that the proper Court Orders are in effect to help protect you and/or your children against future violence and/or abuse.

If you or your children are the victims of Domestic Violence, you can apply to the court for an Order of Protection.  An order of protection is issued by the court to limit the behavior of someone who harms or threatens to harm another person. It is used to address various types of safety issues, including, but not limited to situations involving domestic violence.  Family Courts, criminal courts, and Supreme Courts can all issue orders of protection.

An order of protection may direct the offending person not to injure, threaten or harass you, your family, or any other person(s) listed in the order. It may include, but is not limited to, directing him/her to: stay away from you and your children; move out of your home; follow custody orders; pay child support; and not possess a gun.

Family Court Order of Protection:

To obtain an order of protection in the Family Court, your relationship to the other person must fall into one of the following categories: current or former spouse; someone with whom you have a child in common; a family member to whom you are related by blood or marriage; someone with whom you have or have had an “intimate relationship.” an intimate relationship does not have to be a sexual relationship. a relationship may be considered intimate depending on factors such as how often you see each other, or how long you have known each other. After a petition is filed, the court will decide if it is an intimate relationship.

To start a proceeding in Family Court, you need to file a form called a Family Offense Petition. The person filing the petition is called the “petitioner,” and the person the petition is filed against is called the “respondent.”  Although it is not required to have an attorney represent you, it is recommended as an experienced attorney understands the procedure and nuances needed to help you receive the relief you are seeking.

Criminal Court Order of Protection:

A criminal court order of protection is issued as a condition of a defendant’s release and/or bail in a criminal case and may only be issued against a person who has been charged with a crime.  In New York State, criminal cases are prosecuted by the district attorney and the district attorney will request that an order of protection be issued for the victim or complaining witness.  Ultimately, the Judge will decide whether to issue the order of protection and what terms and conditions will be included in the order.

Supreme Court Order of Protection:

A Supreme Court order of protection can also be issued as part of an ongoing divorce proceeding.  Your attorney can request an order of protection by making a formal motion to the Court or by oral request at a court appearance.  The judge will decide whether to issue the order of protection and what terms and conditions will be included in the order.

Violation of an Order of Protection:

It is a crime to violate a temporary or final order of protection.  If the subject of the order of protection does not obey the order, then you can call the police.  The police will probably arrest the individual for violating the order of protection. The individual does not have to hit you to violate the order.  If the individual comes to your home and the order says he/she can't, then you can call the police.  You also have the right to file a violation of the order in Family Court.  Filing a violation in Family Court usually will not result in arrest of the individual who has violated the order.  You can choose to go to Family or criminal Court, or both.