Restraining Orders Lawyers in Utica, NY Assisting Clients With Orders of Protection
An Order of Protection, also known as a restraining order, is an order granted to a petitioner in order to keep the respondent (the individual who was served with the order) away from them. The order is granted through the court when it deems the petitioner has a legitimate reason to believe that the other party will cause harm to them.
An Order of Protection can stipulate that the respondent stay away from the petitioner or other family members included in the order. In some cases, the court may make exceptions in order for child visitation to occur. The order may also permit some contact with the provision that the respondent does nothing that could be considered to be harmful to the other person.
If you have been served with a restraining order or have been charged with being in contempt of an Order of Protection, you need to seek legal representation immediately. If your case ends up going to court, you could suffer severe personal consequences such as loss of employment or loss of a professional license. In addition, if you own any firearms, you will be ordered to surrender them to the authorities as long as the Order of Protection is in force.
Contact the law offices of Passalacqua & Associates, LLC and ask to speak with one of our experienced restraining order attorneys who can review your case and help to determine the best strategy going forward.
What Happens if I Violate the Terms of an Order of Protection?
An Order of Protection is considered to be a legally binding court order. If you violate the terms that have been set forth by the court in the order, you have broken the law. As such, you can be arrested and will face criminal charges. Often individuals will make the argument that even though they violated the terms of the restraining order by making contact with the other individual, no one was physically harmed. It does not matter to law enforcement or the court; violating the order in any matter is justification for your arrest.
If you are arrested for violating an Order of Protection, it is treated like any other criminal offense. Typically, a charge of criminal contempt is lodged against you. Since all orders of protection are court orders, being in violation is considered to be a Class E felony. However, the court will look at the nature of the criminal contempt charge in order to determine whether or not it should be classified as a misdemeanor or felony. Penalties for violating an Order of Protection can range from 1 to 7 years in prison and fines from $1,000 to $5,000.
Does a Restraining Order Stay on Your Permanent Record in New York?
If the Order of Protection was issued by Family Court, then no, it will not show up on a criminal background check. Cases that are brought before Family Court are not considered to be criminal cases.
Nevertheless, if the Order of Protection was ordered in connection with a criminal case, it is a matter of public record. Therefore, it can be discovered during the course of a criminal background check.
It should also be noted that when potential employers conduct background checks, they frequently only seek to determine Whether or not you have committed serious crimes. It is often cost-prohibitive for employers to conduct a background check in which they attempt to search for every potential crime that you may have committed.
If you are attempting to secure employment in a job that would require you to obtain a security clearance, a restraining order would, in all likelihood, prevent you from being able to do so.
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last in New York State?
If a final Order of Protection is issued, it may be legally valid for up to five years. The length of time the order is valid is normally dependent upon the individual circumstances that surround the case. In most situations, a judge is most likely inclined to grant the order for up to two years. However, if the judge feels that there are what is termed to be “aggravating circumstances” involved with the case, the order may be in effect for up to five years.
If you have had an Order of Protection granted against you, you need assistance from a qualified legal professional who has extensive experience in these types of cases. You will need to be sure that you are able to protect your own legal rights, especially if there are aspects of your case that involve child visitation.
Why Should I Hire a Restraining Order Lawyer to Help Me With My Case?
If you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, harassment, or stalking and had an Order of Protection served against you, the first thing that you need to do is hire an experienced lawyer who can fight to clear your name and have your rights restored.
A restraining order may prevent you from being able to live in your own home or visit with your minor-aged children until the case works its way through the court system. It is critical that you have a Utica criminal defense lawyer who is highly knowledgeable in handling cases that involve an Order of Protection.
One of the worst things that you could do is to improperly respond to a restraining order, especially if the petitioner has retained their own counsel. Hiring an attorney could potentially expedite your case in Family Court. Because this is a formal court process, you need a qualified attorney by your side who can defend your rights and future.
Contact the law firm of Passalacqua & Associates, LLC by calling us at (315) 500-6425 and scheduling a free strategy session. We look forward to serving you.