Saratoga Springs Protective Order Lawyer
It can be frightening to face violence from an intimate partner, spouse, or other family member. Being falsely accused of domestic violence can also be alarming.
A person in fear for their safety, often in response to domestic violence or stalking, may request a court order that mandates what the alleged abuser or stalker can or cannot do; as well as what contact, if any, that person may have with the individual who obtained the order. This could be done with a skilled family violence attorney. Whether you seek protection from the court, or you are the person accused of domestic abuse, it is essential to understand your legal rights and responsibilities. A Saratoga Springs protective order lawyer could guide you through the legal process.
Definition and Purpose of a Restraining Order
Protective orders (also called restraining orders) require the respondent to stay away from, and cease communication with, the petitioner. A protective order can safeguard the petitioner from domestic violence.
Orders of protection restrict individuals from engaging in a wide range of behaviors. In New York, an order can compel a respondent to:
- Refrain from contacting the petitioner via phone, mail, email, text, or any social media
- Refrain from harming pets, or temporarily relinquish pets
- Vacate the family home until the expiration of the protective order
- Surrender firearms to local law enforcement
- Adhere to a court-ordered visitation schedule for children that the respondent and the petitioner have together
Protective Orders for Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is intimidation or a violent act committed against a family member, spouse, child, intimate partner, or roommate. A person who is experiencing domestic abuse may be entitled to a protective order. Actions that can constitute family violence include:
- Menacing (an act that puts another person in fear of immediate physical injury)
- Sexual misconduct or abuse
Both parties to a restraining order hearing have the right to legal counsel. A local lawyer could explain the rights of the petitioner and the respondent under protective orders.
Petitioning for Protection in Court
In New York, a person seeking protection can file a family offense petition in court and request a protective order. The petition must state that the respondent committed a crime against the petitioner.
Respondent’s Rights and Responsibilities
A court may issue an order before the presentation of all the facts to protect all parties. The issuance of an order does not mean that the respondent is guilty of a crime, and they are still presumed innocent. If the court grants protection, the respondent must abide by the order.
A respondent could be arrested if they violate a restraining order. Even a text message to the petitioner may constitute a violation. Because of the potential for incarceration and significant infringement on the respondent’s rights, it is essential to have the assistance of a restraining order lawyer in the area.
Petitioner’s Rights and Responsibilities
The petitioner has the right to protection if they are in potential or actual danger. A protective order remains in effect until changed or terminated by the court. The petitioner can request that the order be renewed or extended if they continue to feel threatened by the respondent.
If the situation worsens, or if the parties want to try to reconcile, the petitioner may ask the court to modify the order by adding or removing conditions. The parties cannot change the order by themselves. An attorney could advise as to when it may be prudent to seek a modification or extension.
Consulting with a Saratoga Springs Protective Order Attorney
If you are suffering from domestic abuse, an attorney could advise you on the procedure for obtaining a protective order and the types of protection available to you. Alternatively, if you face unfounded accusations of domestic violence, a Saratoga Springs protective order lawyer could fight to make sure that your legal rights are secured and that you can communicate appropriately with your spouse or partner, collect your property, and interact with your children and pets. Contact the office now to learn what your options are.