Domestic violence affects thousands of people across the country. In fact, as many as 202,000 orders of protection were entered into the Domestic Violence Registry in a single year in New York alone. These types of allegations should be taken seriously, so if you are concerned about the safety of you or your children or have been unfairly accused of domestic violence, it is critical to contact an experienced Dutchess County domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible.

Filing a Petition in Family Court

Only certain individuals are permitted to file a petition requesting an order of protection in family court, including those who:

    • Are related to the accused by marriage or by blood;
    • Have been married to the respondent;
    • Have a child with the respondent; or
  • Had an intimate relationship with the accused.

Whether a relationship qualifies as intimate is a matter left up to the court, which will take into consideration the following factors before making a decision:

    • The nature and type of the relationship;
    • The frequency of interaction between the parties; and
  • The duration of the relationship.

If a court determines that a relationship qualifies as intimate, it will address the request for the petition itself, which should contain as many details as possible about the abuse, including whether it was verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, or threat-based. By describing when and where each incident occurred, petitioners can give the court a better understanding of the extent and severity of the charges.


Temporary vs Final Orders of Protection

Temporary orders of protection are issued on the day that a person files the petition with the court, even before the respondent even receives notice of the filing. Most temporary orders of protection prohibit the respondent from assaulting or harassing the petitioner. However, petitioners are allowed to ask the court for additional restrictions, including that the respondent:

    • Stay away from their home, children, and place of employment;
    • Refrain from taking certain actions, including calling them at work or attempting to speak with their children;
    • Collect his or her belongings under police escort;
    • Exclude him or her from entering the home;
    • Pay temporary child support; and
  • Surrender his or her firearms.

Temporary orders only remain in effect until the next time the petitioner comes to court, at which point the court will usually extend the deadline until the case has concluded. If at that point, the judge determines that a family offense was committed, he or she can issue a final order of protection, which lasts for two years and requires the respondent to pay restitution for damaged property and for medical bills related to the abuse, as well as participate in a batterer’s education program or attend drug or alcohol counseling. In situations where a judge finds that aggravating circumstances exist, such as the use of weapon or a history of repeated violations of prior orders, the final order can be extended to five years.

Call Today to Schedule an Initial Consultation with a Dedicated Domestic Violence Lawyer

If you have received notice that an order of protection has been levied against you or you have questions about filing your own petition, please contact us at The Colwell Law Group, LLC by calling 518-312-4058 today. A member of our legal team is standing by and eager to help you throughout each step of your case.

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