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NY violations of orders of protection

By Spodek Law Group | February 13, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 27, 2023)

Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 04:35 pm

Protective Orders in New York

Understanding the Consequences of Violating a Court-issued Order of Protection

If you’re facing criminal charges or are involved in a family law matter, there’s a good chance that a court-issued Order of Protection is on your radar. Also known as a restraining order in other states, an Order of Protection is a legal document that restrains or restricts the behavior of a defendant or an individual involved in a family law matter. The Spodek Law Group, led by Attorney Todd Spodek, is here to provide you with more information about what a New York Order of Protection entails and the repercussions of violating one.

What is a New York Order of Protection?

An Order of Protection is issued by a judge in response to a request from a victim of domestic abuse, violence, or harassment. While the legal terminology used in New York may be different, the effect of a New York Order of Protection is the same as a restraining order in other states. The exact conditions of the Order can vary, but it generally restricts the defendant’s ability to contact the victim of a crime or domestic violence.

The Order can be a full Order, also known as a stay away order, which prohibits all forms of contact, or a limited one that only prohibits certain behaviors, such as frequenting the victim’s workplace or school. Examples of restricted behaviors include coming within a certain distance of the victim, going to the victim’s home, workplace, or school, owning weapons while the Order is in effect, calling, emailing, or sending letters to the victim, sending messages to the victim through third parties, and living with the victim (if you share a residence, then you will have to move out).

When is a New York Order of Protection Issued?

There are two courts in New York that issue Orders of Protection. If a victim is facing domestic abuse or violence or is being harassed by a former spouse, then the family court in New York City can issue an Order of Protection. When the basis for an Order of Protection is a separate criminal offense or a domestic matter for which the victim is filing criminal charges, then a criminal court can issue the Order.

The victim needs to provide information and evidence that the defendant is a threat, might be abusive, or is harassing the victim. This evidence is first provided in the filing for a New York Order of Protection and then produced at a court hearing. Just as the supposed victim is given an opportunity to provide evidence of abuse, threat, or harassment, a defendant can refute these claims and offer contradictory evidence. At the hearing for a New York Order of Protection, the defendant should have a New York defense lawyer present to fight the victim’s evidence and arguments.

Violations of a New York Order of Protection

It’s essential to understand that violating an Order of Protection is a serious matter that could result in your arrest for one or more of the following offenses: Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree, Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, or Aggravated Criminal Contempt. If you intentionally disobey a court order, you could spend up to a year in jail and be forced to pay a $1,000 fine. If you deliberately cause (or attempt to cause) the victim to fear for their safety by contacting them, brandishing a weapon, or any other behavior intended to arouse alarm, then you can be charged with Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, which can result in a four-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $5,000. A criminal contempt charge becomes aggravated when you recklessly or intentionally cause physical injury to the victim. It also applies if you are found guilty of Criminal Contempt in the First Degree and have one aggravated contempt charge or two first degree contempt charges (within the past five years) on your record. Aggravated Criminal Contempt is punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

It’s crucial to understand that the person protected by the Order does not have the authority to permit the recipient to disobey it. An Order of Protection can only be modified or vacated by the court. This means that if the person who took out the Order against you changes their mind and decides to communicate with you, then you can be arrested for criminal contempt.

Handling a Violation of a New York Order of Protection

If you’ve been accused of violating a New York Order of Protection, you should immediately seek the help of a New York criminal defense lawyer. At Spodek Law Group, we understand the serious nature of a violation of an Order of Protection and will work tirelessly to defend your rights and help you avoid the harsh penalties that come with a criminal contempt charge.

Our experienced attorneys have a deep understanding of the law and will ensure that you receive the best possible defense. We will fight to show the court that you’re not a threat to the victim and that there may have been a misunderstanding or miscommunication regarding the terms of the Order. We will use emotionally charged words and compelling language to demonstrate your professionalism and experience in handling the legal situation.


At Spodek Law Group, we know that a New York Order of Protection can have serious implications on your life, and violating one can result in severe consequences. We have the experience and knowledge to help you navigate the legal system and defend your rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Attorney Todd Spodek and learn more about how we can help you handle a violation of a New York Order of Protection.

Criminal Charge Classification Punishment
Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree Class A misdemeanor Up to 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine
Criminal Contempt in the First Degree Class E felony Up to 4 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine
Aggravated Criminal Contempt Class D felony Up to 7 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine

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