New York Restraining Orders: FAQ

How do I get a restraining order?

In New York, a restraining order is called an Order of Protection. Orders of Protection are typically issued by a Criminal Court judge in connection with a criminal case, or a Family Court judge in connection with a Family Offense Petition. A person cannot request that an Order of Protection be issued in a criminal case directly, but a person can make that request directly in Family Court.

Is a restraining order the same thing as an order of protection?

Yes. In New York, what many people refer to as restraining orders are actually called Order of Protection. These documents order one person to refrain from having any contact with the protected person. There are “restraining orders” in civil cases in New York, but those refer to a very different kind of order and are issued in much different situations.

What proof and evidence do you need to get a restraining order?

In a criminal case in New York, for a restraining order, called an Order of Protection, to be issued, the police must make an arrest based on probable cause, the person arrested must be formally charged by the the District Attorney's Office or other prosecutor's office, appear in front of a judge, and the judge will decide if an Order of Protection is appropriate in the particular case. A person can also petition a Family Court judge for an Order of Protection, in which case the person must file a petition in Family Court that adequately accuses the other person of committing one of several specific crimes and offenses, such as Assault in the Third Degree, PL 120.00, or Harassment in the Second Degree, PL 240.26, or Menacing in the Third Degree.

How long does a restraining order last in NY?

In New York, a restraining order, called an Order of Protection, can be repeatedly issued and re-issued for as long as a criminal case or a Family Court case lasts. Once the case is over, a final Order of Protection can be issued that lasts for any period of time up to 10 years.

What is a stay away order?

In New York, what is commonly referred to as a “stay-away order” is called an Order of Protection. An Order of Protection is a court order that directs one person to have no contact with the protected person. It can also impose other restrictions and requirements, such as forfeiting any firearms the restricted person might have.

Can you get a restraining order taken off?

In New York, restraining orders, or Orders of Protection, are typically issued by a judge in a criminal or Family Court case. Only a judge has the power to lift or end an Order of Protection. If a case is dismissed, any Orders of Protection in that case will immediately come to an end.

Will restraining orders show up on background checks?

Whether a restraining order, or Order of Protection, issued by a New York court will show up on a background check depends on the nature and type of the background check and where the Order of Protection comes from. An Order of Protection issued in Family Court will not show up on a criminal background check, since cases in Family Court are not criminal cases. However, an Order of Protection issued in connection with a criminal case is a public record, and can be discovered in a criminal background check.

Call the New York State criminal defense lawyers and former New York City prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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