Long Island Attorneys Assist Clients Seeking Orders of Protection
Seasoned domestic relations lawyers serving Suffolk and Nassau counties
There is no reason for you to live in fear. If you are being stalked or abused by someone close to you, an order of protection, commonly called a restraining order, can provide an extra layer of security. If you’re seeking relief from the court, Tabat, Cohen, Blum, Yovino & Diesa, PC advocates for victims of domestic abuse and also represents persons who are named in order petitions. From offices in Hauppauge and Garden City, our family law attorneys provide comprehensive guidance on orders of protection on Long Island and guide clients through the process so they can obtain them in a timely manner.
How does an order of protection work in New York?
An order of protection is a court order issued by a judge upon the request of a petitioner who feels threatened by the person named in the order. The order sets forth conditions restricting certain types of behavior for a period of time. Once the court issues the order, neither the petitioner, who is known as the protected person, nor the enjoined person may alter the terms of the order. If the enjoined person violates any of the terms in the order, he or she is subject to sanctions, including fines and jail time.
Types of orders of protection in New York State
In New York, Criminal and Family courts may issue orders of protection. The types of orders available to petitioners include:
- “Stay-away” or full orders — The enjoined party is ordered to have no contact with the protected party. This may require the enjoined party to move out of a residence the two share.
- “Refrain from” or limited orders — The enjoined party may have limited contact with the protected party but must refrain from committing any offense listed in the order, such as stalking, assault or battery.
- Ex parte temporary orders — This is a temporary order given in an emergency context and issued after the judge only hears from the party petitioning for protection.
- Final orders — This is a permanent order a judge issues after a hearing in which both parties can be heard.
Judges have discretion to tailor orders of protection to the specific circumstances before them.
How long does an order of protection last?
An ex parte order, where the alleged abuser does not appear before the judge, is only meant to last until the court can arrange a hearing on the matter. This can usually happen within about four days. If a hearing must be delayed, the temporary order can be extended. A final order of protection can last up to five years, though two years is standard.
Modifications of orders of protection in New York
Once a court issues an order of protection, it has the force of law. The parties cannot modify the order by agreement; only a new order from the court can change its terms. If the petitioner and enjoined party reconcile, they can request that the order be revoked.
Are orders of protection effective?
Although orders of protection are sometimes criticized for being “just a piece of paper,” the sanctions for violating an order are substantial. Criminal penalties for violations include:
- Criminal contempt in the second degree — Class A misdemeanor
- Criminal contempt in the first degree — Class E felony
- Aggravated criminal contempt — Class D felony
Although no court order can guarantee a petitioner’s safety, the strict penalties for violation have proven to make orders of protection effective in safeguarding victims of harassment, stalking, and domestic abuse.
Contact an experienced Long Island lawyer for advice on an order of protection
Tabat, Cohen, Blum, Yovino & Diesa, PC in Garden City and Hauppauge represents clients seeking orders of protection as well as clients named as alleged abusers. To schedule a consultation, please call 631-587-5100 or contact us online.