Is your partner, spouse or family member accusing you of domestic violence? If so, he or she may seek an order of protection, which is a court order directing you to STOP hurting the alleged victim(s) or stop threatening to harm him or her. In New York, the family courts, criminal courts, and the Supreme Courts all have the power to issue an order of protection against an alleged abuser.
If an order of protection is issued against you, what can it do? What types of behavior can it prohibit you from engaging in? If you are named in an order of protection, it may direct you not to threaten, harass, or injure those protected in the order. It can also direct you to stay away from the alleged victim’s family or even certain friends.
An order of protection can order you to:
- Stay away from your spouse or partner
- Stay away from your children
- Move out of your home
- Stay away from your spouse’s work or school
- Stay away from your children’s schools
- Pay child support
- Follow a child custody order
- Not possess any firearms
- Pay certain household bills, such as the car payment or mortgage
If an order of protection is issued by a family court, it will be part of a civil proceeding. If it’s issued by a criminal court, it will be issued following a domestic violence arrest and be a condition of the defendant’s release or bail. Or, a criminal court can issue an order of protection only when a defendant has been charged with a crime. Typically, though, such orders are issued following an arrest.
What if I Violate an Order of Protection?
If you violate a temporary or final order of protection, you are breaking the law. If you disobey an order, the victim named in the order can call the police. You can then be arrested for violating the order of protection, held in contempt of court, fined and jailed.