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New York Domestic Violence Order of Protections & Restraining Orders

Understanding Orders of Protection in NY Criminal Court

Some attorneys in New York call them restraining orders, but Assistant District Attorneys, judges and New York Domestic Violence lawyers refer to no contact orders by the courts as orders of protection. While a case is pending, these orders are called temporary orders of protection and ultimately final orders of protection if and when there is a plea or disposition. Further, these orders of protections can be “limited” orders in that they permit some contact as long as there is no harassment, assaultive behavior or other intimidating and violent conduct. “Full” orders of protection limit any and all contact. However, “full” orders of protection may be limited in their scope if subject to another order such as an order of protection issued in Family Court. It is critical to recognize that if your order needs some limitations due to custody, divorce or other matrimonial type proceedings (this is merely an example), you must discuss this with your criminal defense attorney in order to ensure another court can modify the criminal court order of protection. If not, you run the risk of violating the order of protection and facing a charge of Criminal Contempt.

The Arraignment & Your Order of Protection

As noted in the second section bulleted above involving the arrest process, criminal court orders of protection are routinely full orders. That is, you, as the person arrested for an alleged Domestic Violence crime, are not permitted to have any type of contact with the complainant. To be clear, not only can you not call, email, speak to or have any type of physical contact with this person, but the order of protection will likely have a “no third party contact” clause that in substance prevents you from having contact with the complainant through a friend or family member. Simply put, having these people relay messages may violate the terms of the order of protection.

Generally, after you are arraigned the court will adjourn your case to a future date. Orders of protection are often valid to the date you are required to return to court. When you return, a new order is issued. If warranted or possible, the Domestic Violence attorney you retain may seek to limit or remove that order of protection during the period of time between your initial appearance in court and the return date. Discuss whether this is necessary or a viable option with your criminal attorney.

Remember, any contact involving a full order of protection can result in new criminal charges including felony offenses. This is true even if the complainant initiates contact with you. Protect yourself, educate yourself about orders of protection and ascertain the best way to challenge the Domestic Violence accusations. Failure to do so may leave you with not only the potential for incarceration, but also a criminal record that will never be expunged.

Call the New York criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan domestic violence prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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