Orders of Protection in Criminal and Civil Matters

A topic of usual concern for clients involved in both Family Law Cases and Criminal Defense Cases is the issuance of an order of protection by the court. The attorneys at Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP regularly appear in the Family Courts and Criminal Courts of Westchester, Orange, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and New York to defend clients against the issues that arise when an order of protection is issued.

An order of protection may be granted in a number of different cases pursuant to various criminal and civil statutes, including Criminal Procedural Law sections 530.12(1) and 530.13(1); Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10 of the Family Court Act; and Section 240(3) of the Domestic Relations Law. Generally, orders of protection fall under two categories, temporary and permanent. A temporary order of protection is typically made during the pendency of the action. A permanent order of protection is usually issued at the conclusion or disposition of the case. Frequently, temporary orders of protection precede permanent orders of protection.

New York Law prohibits the extension of an order of protection to a person(s) unrelated to the underlying criminal action. See People v. Konieczny, 2004 WL 1263762 (N.Y. 2004). The order of protection may cover the complainant and family or household, but not beyond. People v. Petrusch, 306 A.D.2d 889.

Orders of protection may also be issued in instances where the person being “protected” by the order opposes the terms of the order of protection and does not want the defendant being barred from contacting him or her. People v. Monacelli, 299 A.D.2d 916. This particular event often occurs in cases involving spouses and families.

In criminal cases, an order of protection may be part of the court’s order allowing for the defendant release from custody. CPL Sections 530.12 (family offenses) and CPL 530.13 (non-family offenses). At times, a court may issue an order of protection on its own, based upon “good cause shown”, when an accusatory instrument (complaint) is filed by the prosecution. In such an instance, the defendant has a right to contest the issuance of the order of protection in those circumstances where a constitutionally protected right, such as being excluded from the defendant’s residence or being prohibited from contacting the defendant’s family, is restricted.

Also, a court can suspend or revoke a pistol permit and possession of firearms. A defendant has a right to hearing on the issue of firearms. It should be noted that a violation of an order of protection due to firearm possession is also a violation of federal criminal law.

By understanding these important aspect of the law as they pertain to orders of protection, the criminal, matrimonial and family law (child custody, child support, family offense) trial attorneys of Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP continue to successfully assist their many clients.

If you or someone you know needs the assistant of a criminal, family or matrimonial attorney, please contact Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP for a free consultation. The firms trial attorneys regularly appear in the courts of Westchester, Bronx, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess and Orange Counties in New York State.