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What Are the Consequences of Violating a Restraining Order in New York?

When a person is accused of domestic violence or stalking, a court may issue a protective order to prevent further harm to the victim. Typically a victim or their lawyer requests a protective order which is then signed by a judge and issued by the court. These restraining orders can include several terms to protect the victim including restricting the defendant’s ability to contact the victim, forcing them to move out of their house, requiring that they stay a specific distance away from the victim, instructing them to provide the victim financial support, and more. Because they are court-ordered documents, violating a restraining order can result in serious penalties.

If you are being charged with violating a restraining order you need skilled representation on your side. Speak with a Haverstraw criminal defense attorney to discuss the details of your situation and begin building your case today.

What Types of Restraining Orders Exist?

Different people may need different types of restraining orders depending on their unique situation. While a protective order is most commonly issued in cases related to domestic violence, there are other circumstances where it may be deemed appropriate.

  • A Family Court Order of Protection is a type of restraining order that aims to prevent further violence between family or people with an intimate or romantic relationship. It can be served to a current or former spouse, blood relative, relative by marriage, a person you share a child with, or someone that you currently have or used to have an intimate relationship with.
  • A Criminal Court Order of Protection can be used during a criminal case, especially when the defendant has been arrested. There is no requirement for the relationship between the victim and the defendant. The victim does not need to have a personal or intimate relationship with the person being served.
  • A Supreme Court Order of Protection can be issued when a case reaches the New York Supreme Court. They may deem it necessary during a divorce or criminal case when the victim or their attorney requests it.

What Are the Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order in NY?

Orders of protection are legal court orders, meaning that someone who purposefully violates a restraining order is committing a crime and can be held in contempt, leaving them subjected to various penalties and consequences.

Depending on the way in which a person violates the protection order they could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. The following are standard penalties for each variation of violation.

Class A Misdemeanor:

  • Second-degree criminal contempt
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • Imprisonment of up to 1 year

Class E Felony:

  • Deliberately causing the victim fear of violence or injury (first-degree criminal contempt)
  • Fines of up to $5,000
  • Imprisonment of up to 4 years

Class D Felony:

  • Purposefully causing harm or physical injury to the victim (aggravated criminal contempt)
  • Fines of up to $5,000
  • Imprisonment of up to 7 years
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