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Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection on Long Island, New York

As a family law attorney serving Suffolk County and Nassau County residents of Long Island, I am saddened to see a number of domestic violence cases each year.

For a person experiencing family violence, including threats or other abusive behavior, an Order of Protection is a helpful tool that can help to limit the behavior of the offender.

In Suffolk County or Nassau County Family Court, these orders are often between a current and former spouse, a person with whom the victim has a child in common, another family member related by either blood or marriage, or a person with whom the victim has had an intimate relationship. Many Orders of Protection in New York are “limited” in that they allow contact between the offender (also known as the respondent) and victim (also known as the petitioner) so long as there is no harassment, physically abusive behavior, or other intimidating or threatening conduct.

Orders of Protection Vary in Nassau County and Suffolk County Family Courts
Orders of Protection can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of each case and the reason the order is needed. Orders of Protection can instruct an offender to “stay-away” from the victim and the victim’s children and/or to “refrain from” certain abusive behaviors or activities. In certain circumstances, an Order of Protection may direct the offender to move out of the home in order to protect the victim. An order will likely direct the offender to refrain from threats, intimidation, or physical abuse. The Order of Protection can also instruct the offender to follow custody orders, pay child support, to not have a gun, or to stop calling or texting the victim.

In Suffolk County & Nassau County, Orders of Protection Issued by Family Court, Criminal Court & Supreme Court
Orders of Protection may be issued by the Family Court, Criminal Court, or Supreme Court. The existence of any other legal proceeding involving the parties may determine which court issues the Order. For example, for couples involved in a divorce, an Order of Protection may be issued in Supreme Court where the matrimonial proceeding is pending. For parties involved in a domestic violence or other criminal charge in Criminal Court, the Criminal Court may issue the order. And, finally, a family member may petition the Family Court for an Order of Protection.

Family Offense Petition
In Family Court, the victim may wish to file what is called a “Family Offense Petition.” The petition should contain all of the relevant information, including the conduct and behavior that caused them to believe the protective order is necessary. Once the petition is filed, a temporary order of protection may be issued until the other party has a chance to appear in court. Once the court determines that, based on the petition, an Order of Protection may be necessary, both parties will be asked to appear in court. The judge will decide which terms and conditions are to be included in the order based upon the nature of the offense and conduct in the petition.

Orders of Protection Can Be Useful Deterrents for Abusive Behavior on Long Island
An Order of Protection is often a useful deterrent for abusive behavior. It is a crime to violate an Order of Protection. The Order acts as probable cause for an arrest if police are called to a scene of a domestic dispute. This means that the police will not have to use judgment in determining whether to arrest the offender at the scene; the order of protection will allow the police to arrest if it appears that the Order of Protection is being violated. Any violation of an Order of Protection can result in new criminal charges. It is important for offenders to know that even if the victim/petitioner initiates the contact, it does not excuse the violation of the Order of Protection.

Contact Long Island Family Law Lawyer for Information on Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection in Nassau County and Suffolk County

If you believe that you may need an Order of Protection, or if an Order of Protection has been issued against you, it is important that you speak with an experienced attorney to know your rights and options. The Law Office of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. can assist you with your Family Law and Divorce Law matters in Nassau County and Suffolk County. Contact our office at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page to schedule your free consultation.
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