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Can I File for an Order of Protection in New York After Domestic Abuse? │ Heidi Opinsky Law

What You Need to Know About Filing for an Order of Protection in New York

Domestic violence is a highly prevalent crime. According to government statistics, the New York City Police Department responds to over 230,000 domestic violence incident reports annually. (1)

If you are being abused, harassed, threatened, or intimidated by someone in your circle, the good news is you don’t have to suffer alone. There are legal options at your disposal that can help you protect yourself and your family members from facing any more harm.

An order of protection is one such option that gives you court-ordered protection from the person who is abusing you. Such orders are usually given when cases of domestic abuse occur and are proven.

What Can You Request in an Order of Protection?

When you file your order of protection you can ask for the abuser or respondent to stay away from you entirely or refrain from specific acts — such as calling you when you are at work. You can also request a police escort to come home and safely collect your belongings, and in some cases, you may also ask the court for the respondent to be removed from the home.

An order of protection may also include the ordinance of temporary child support, and the revocation of firearms.

If your application is successful, you will be granted a temporary order of protection. If you win the case, this temporary order can be turned into a final order. Most family court protection orders are effective for two years, but you may request an extension for up to five years if your circumstances are considered aggravating.

Who Can Go to Family Court for an Order of Protection?

Certain individuals are eligible to file an order of protection in case they are abused.

You can file for an order of protection against your abuser if:

  • You are married to the abuser
  • The abuser is your ex-spouse
  • You have children with the abuser
  • You currently are in an intimate relationship with the abuser
  • You were previously in an intimate relationship with the abuser

If you were abused by anyone in the above categories, you should reach out to a qualified family law attorney as soon as possible to get assistance in filing an order of protection. It is important to note that the term ‘intimate relationship’ is used vaguely, and the court will examine various factors to determine if you are eligible to apply for the order. Matters such as how frequently you interact with the respondent and the duration of your relationship with them will be taken into consideration before the final order is issued.

If the person who abused you is not related to you, the case will not go to Family Court but will be taken up in Criminal Court. In such cases, the police must first make a valid arrest for the order to be granted.

What Should Be Included in an Order of Protection?

The best way to ensure your order of protection is filed properly is by contacting an experienced lawyer. They can help you ascertain all the relevant details are included and the right paperwork is filled out and submitted on time. In your application, you have to describe the family offense that occurred in detail.

What incident occurred? Where did it take place? Were weapons used? Did injuries occur? Do you have any evidence?

All these questions will have to be answered in as much detail as possible. Factors such as the exact wording the abuser stated, and the first and worst incident are all important aspects to include when filing a legitimate order of protection.

What Happens if There is an Order of Protection Violation?

If your abuser violated the order of protection, they have committed a crime and can be held liable for their actions. If they violate their order in a way that brings out an immediate threat of harm to you, you should call the police right away so the individual can be arrested. If there is no serious emergency, but the order was still violated, you need to file a violation of the order of protection with either the police, Family Court, or both.

If you’re confused about the best legal route to take so your safety is ensured in such situations, it always helps to connect with a qualified family law attorney and seek their advice.

Connect with a Family Lawyer in NY Today

When you are being abused by someone related to you, or someone close to you, it can be very scary to take the first step to break the cycle of abuse. However, you don’t have to suffer alone. You can turn to the law and get an order of protection to help ensure your safety and security. Connect with an experienced family lawyer, Heidi Opinsky, at the Law Offices of Heidi Opinsky, LLC, today to learn more about filing an order of protection.

Visit our website to send us a message or call 203-653-3542 now and we will get back to you as soon as possible.