What Does an Order of Protection Do?

An Order of Protection limits or prevents contact when one person claims to feel threatened by another and when the court feels protection is warranted.

As part of a domestic violence incident and investigation, an Order of Protection may be ordered by the criminal court to keep the parties separate while the case is ongoing. When an individual feels harassed or intimidated by a partner, a former partner, or even a short-term intimate relationship partner, they may also be able to seek an order of protection through the family court system to keep that person away from them.

In either case, having an Order of Protection against you can have a significant impact on your life, both personally and professionally. If an Order of Protection has been brought against you, you may choose to fight it. Long Island criminal defense attorney Jason Bassett brings over 20 years of criminal law experience to the table, aggressively fighting for the rights of his clients who have been arrested, accused, or charged with domestic violence or an Order of Protection violation (also known as Criminal Contempt).

What is Limited By an Order of Protection?

An Order of Protection, sometimes called a restraining order, is a protective order issued by the court to protect one party from another. An Order of Protection may be sought by one partner against another through the family (civil) court or may be ordered by the criminal court as part of a criminal investigation and case.

In New York, an Order of Protection can order an individual to refrain from actions against the protected individual, including

  • An order to stay away from the protected party
  • An order to stay away from the protected party’s home, school, or workplace
  • An order to not communicate with the protected party through telephone, written communication, or electronic communication
  • An order to prohibit the possession or license for any weapons

What Are the Penalties For Violating an Order of Protection?

Violation of an Order of Protection can result in serious consequences. Depending on the violation, it can result in the following penalties:

  • Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree — This is a Class A misdemeanor and can be punished by up to 364 days in jail and fines of up to $1,000.
  • Criminal Contempt in the First Degree — This is a Class E felony and can result in a prison sentence of up to four years and fines of up to $5,000.
  • Aggravated Criminal Contempt — This is a Class D felony and can result in up to seven years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.

Violation of an Order of Protection can lead to charges and penalties in addition to any domestic violence charges already brought.

What Happens if the Charges or Allegations Are False?

While an Order of Protection is designed to protect individuals from violence, harassment, or intimidation from another, there are times when an Order of Protection is ordered in association with false charges. These false charges and the Order of Protection are often used as leverage in family disputes such as divorce, custody, or just to keep one party away from the home.

Unfortunately, a false complaint can lead to a lengthy battle in family court, criminal court, or the Integrated Domestic Violence Court and follow the accused around for the rest of his or her life. Filing a false complaint in order to obtain an Order of Protection is unlawful.

Getting the Assistance of an Experienced Order of Protection Lawyer

If an Order of Protection has been filed against you, you still have rights and you need to know your legal options. Getting the skilled legal representation of an experienced Long Island defense attorney is critical. If you have been charged with domestic violence or violation of an Order of Protection, the experienced criminal defense team at Jason Bassett Criminal Attorney can help. Call us at (631) 259-6060 or contact us online to understand your rights and options under the law.

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