Rockland County Restraining Order Lawyer
Although restraining orders are most often associated with domestic violence, they can also arise from criminal accusations. Either the individual harmed from an alleged crime or the prosecutor may petition the court to create a temporary order of protection at the onset of a criminal case.
These orders can affect every portion of a person’s life, from who they may contact to where they can live. Because of this, it is important to fight back against the implementation of these orders.
A Rockland County restraining order lawyer may be able to defend you against constrictive court orders. In doing so, a seasoned domestic violence attorney could work to keep your life intact while formulating a defense against the underlying criminal charges.
When May a Criminal Court Could Issue a Restraining Order?
Local courts may entertain a petition for a restraining order whenever a defendant is charged with a crime that allegedly put someone in fear of their safety. In the state of New York, this is also known as a protective order. The individual harmed by this alleged crime may argue that their fear for their safety stems directly from the conduct of the defendant.
According to the New York Criminal Procedure Law §530.13, if the court finds that the fear is legitimate, it may order the two involved parties to stay out of contact for the duration of the order. In many situations, the order lasts for the length of the case. If a defendant is convicted of the crime that led to the order, the order may be put into effect for multiple years depending on the severity of the conviction. For more information about when a court could issue a restraining order, contact a Rockland County attorney.
Examples of Crimes Leading to Restraining Orders
A protective order may be born out of any criminal accusation, but usually is the result of an accusation of a violent offense. Some common examples of crimes that give rise to protective orders can include:
- Forcible touching or other sex crimes
- Criminal trespassing
- Domestic abuse
In situations where the criminal accusations involve domestic violence, the prosecutor may make a motion on their own to ask for the protective order. In other cases, the court usually asks the alleged victim if they want to apply for the order. Once a complaining witness seeks a restraining order from the court, what happens with that order is largely out of their hands. There is no mechanism under the law for the complaining witness to rescind their request or otherwise cancel an order.
Possible Effects of a Restraining Order in Rockland County
Restraining orders are designed to protect the individuals of alleged crimes from any further harm. As a result, the orders typically prohibit any contact between the defendant and alleged victim, a condition which can have wide-ranging effects on a person’s life. If the two people live together, for instance, the defendant would be forced to move out of the house. Such an order could also limit where a person can work or go to school.
Restraining orders carry the full weight of the law, which means that any individual who defies these orders is guilty of a crime. Any person who violates a protective order is guilty of criminal contempt in the first degree under New York Penal Law §215.51, a Class E felony. This is in addition to any potential criminal penalties for a conviction on the underlying criminal charge(s) that led to the issuance of the order. Because the effects of a restraining order can be so harsh, it is essential for a defendant to obtain the services of a Rockland County lawyer.
Is it Possible to Set Aside a Restraining Order?
Only the courts have the power to set aside a restraining order. This is true of any order issued by a court of law. Although the court is under no obligation to do so, a judge might take the wishes of the complaining witness into account should they ask the court to set aside a restraining order. The judge will also likely seek input from the prosecution when determining whether or not an order should remain in place.
It could be possible to end a restraining order even in cases where the complaining witness objects. Primarily, this occurs once the person accused of a crime has their case dismissed or is acquitted at trial. The court could also set aside a restraining order in cases where the judge feels they are no longer necessary. A lawyer in Rockland County could help someone subject to a restraining order fight to have it set aside.
Is it Possible to Amend a Restraining Order?
Once a restraining order is in place, it could be possible to alter the terms without rescinding the order entirely. Either party has the right to request the court to make alterations to the terms written into the restraining order. It is important to understand that there are some limitations that apply. Specifically, a Family Court judge lacks the power to make changes to an order issued in criminal court.
There are different reasons why one or both parties might seek changes to the restraining order. This could include new language that allows visitation with a child that was previously prohibited. These changes could also tighten restrictions on contact between the parties. A Rockland County attorney could help someone fight to alter a restraining order that is too restrictive.
Consult a Rockland County Restraining Order Attorney for Professional Help
The primary focus of any criminal case is typically the prevention of a conviction. However, it can be just as important to fight back against any protective orders, since these orders can significantly impact your life even if you are not convicted on the original charges you face.
Furthermore, these orders can be put into effect soon after a case is started in court, meaning it is often important to fight back as quickly as possible. A Rockland County restraining order lawyer could help you argue against the imposition of protective orders, in addition to helping defend against any associated criminal charges. Contact a skilled attorney today to see how they could be able to help your case.