When domestic violence i occurring within a home, an order of protection can provide the victims with a sense of comfort and wellbeing. At the Bombardo Law Office, P.C., our experienced domestic violence and family law attorneys understand that if you are a victim of domestic violence, you may have fears about taking action, and dozens of questions about what legal protections are in place and what will happen next. We also understand that those who have been accused of domestic violence also have worries and questions about the future, and may be unaware of their rights or how accusations of domestic violence may affect them. We work on the behalf of both petitioners and respondents, and can help you to understand domestic violence orders of protection in Syracuse.
What Is a Domestic Violence Order of Protection?
A domestic violence order of protection is a legally binding order that is issued by the court, which means that those named in the order have a legal obligation to abide by it. The order is issued with the intent of limiting or completely stopping the behavior of a person who has been accused of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a broad term that is used to describe “coercive tactics” that are perpetrated by one person against another adult, intimate partner. As explained by NYCourts.gov, coercive tactics may include:
- Emotional abuse;
- Sexual abuse;
- Economic abuse;
- Psychological abuse; and
- Physical abuse.
When a person seeks a domestic violence order of protection, the order may state that the defendant cannot:
- Approach the victim or their children;
- Live within the same home (which may mean that the defendant is forced to move out and secure housing elsewhere); or
- Own a gun.
The order may also state that the defendant must pay child support or/and follow the provisions of a child custody order.
Family Court Orders of Protection
A family court order of protection is a type of order of protection that is specifically designed to protect family members, those who have an intimate relationship (which does not necessarily mean a sexual relationship), or those living together. You must file a family offense petition in order to initiate the process of obtaining a family court order of protection. Family court orders of protection are not criminal court orders of protection. However, if the person against whom you are filing the petition (the respondent) had indeed been charged with a domestic violence-related crime (such as assault), a court may issue a criminal court order of protection.
Keep in mind that when you file the paperwork for an order of protection, the order of protection that you will initially be issued is a temporary domestic violence order of protection, and will only last until the next time you appear in court. If the judge determines that a family offense has indeed been committed, a final order of protection will be issued. A final order of protection will last for between two and five years.
What to Do If You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence
If you are a victim of domestic violence, the most important thing that you can do is to take steps to ensure your physical safety. If the domestic abuse is indeed violent, moving yourself and any children and pets to a safe location should be your top priority. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you should also call 911 and report the incident. If you have suffered injuries, be sure to seek medical treatment.
As you seek the safety and support of others, either in the form of family and friends or staying at a domestic violence shelter, you should start the process of seeking an order of protection. You can contact our law offices directly for assistance during the process. We will help you to petition for an order of protection, and ensure that it is served to the respondent. We can also represent you during any necessary court appearances, and guide you through related issues, such as seeking custody of your children.
Contact Our NY Domestic Violence Attorneys Today
At the firm of Bombardo Law Office, P.C., our Syracuse family and domestic violence lawyers know how scary domestic violence can be. If you have questions about how a domestic violence order of protection can protect you, how to file a domestic violence order of protection, or what your rights are as a respondent when served with a domestic violence order of protection, we can help. To schedule a free consultation with our law offices, please call us directly, or send us a brief message describing your situation and we will get in touch shortly.