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When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

NYC Family Offense Petition Lawyers

Of course, of course! Let’s discuss an important legal instrument in New York known as a “family offense petition.” Picture this: It’s pretty much your formal request for what’s often called a “restraining order” or, perhaps you prefer the term, “personal protection order.” When, say, someone has committed an act that’s forbidden against someone they’re related to—either by blood, marriage, or a shared child—then that victim can take it to the courts and call for their shield of protection, this family offense petition.

You follow so far? Good.

What’s Considered Offensive Enough?

With this order in hand, the victim is backed up by immediate penalties against the perpetrator, while enjoying the blanket of future protection. Are you curious to know what sort of things could prompt such a drastic measure? Well, the offenses qualifying for a family offense petition encompasses:

– Unwanted contact with another family member
– Physical harm, like hitting or throwing things at the victim
– Endangering the victim in any way
– Threats, harassment, including taunting
– Disorderly conduct
– Criminal mischief

These unpleasant actions, and others like it—that’s what you’re looking to guard against. So the big question comes up…

Who Counts as Family?

A family member isn’t just restricted to blood relatives but also those you’re related to by marriage. Got a step-sibling? They’re covered. A step-parent or step-child? Same deal. Even ex-spouses make the cut. So, if you’ve got an old flame giving you trouble, you could file a family offense petition regarding them. Finally, if there’s a child but no ring, the parents are still considered family for the purpose of this petition. Remember our friend, Todd Spodek, over at Spodek Law Group? He’d express it far more eloquently, but I trust you’re following.

So, How Does This Play Out?

Let’s walk through the steps. Someone files a family offense petition. The courts then treat it as a ‘matter of urgency,’ to put it lightly—they’ll review the case stat. If the court ends up thinking there’s a real cause for concern here, it’ll put a temporary order in place. This temporary order is pretty heavy-duty, you know. It holds until an official hearing can be scheduled, and it might:

– Include a warrant for the person’s arrest
– Order temporary child support

You might be wondering when is an arrest warrant necessary? Well, when the court believes the victim may be in immediate danger, that’s when they’d issue the warrant. Things are getting serious.

What’s Next on the Agenda?

Next on the docket, we introduce the respondent, who’s the subject of a family offense petition. Now, the respondent can accept the court’s protection order. But, say they don’t. In that case, the judge investigates the info alleged in the petition. If the judge agrees that the allegations ring true, they then decide what order to issue. But wait a minute, say the respondent doesn’t agree with the judge’s ruling? The Spodek Law Group recommends consulting federal appeals lawyers for any appeals you want to make.

This next hearing, where the judge decides what order to put out, is cleverly labelled a disposition hearing. Time is a bit fluid in a courtroom, so this hearing might occur straight away, or the judge might take a breather to gather more info. If the judge has reason to doubt the allegations made, they’ll dismiss the petition then and there.

Decisions, Decisions…

Judgment day arrives. The judge has to choose from a menu of possible dispositions which can include:

– Informally postponing judgment for six months as probation for the offender
– Placing the offender on formal probation for up to a year
– Ordering the offender to undergo a domestic violence intervention program
Alcohol or drug treatments
– Ordering the offender to pay restitution up to the princely sum of $10,000

Plus, in special circumstances, a protective order protecting the victim for up to two years or even up to five years.

What’s a Protective Order Contain?

When the court issues a protective order, it could lay out conditions such as:

– Ordering the respondent to avoid contact with the victim and their kids
– Pay attorney fees
– Pay medical bills
– Stay away from the petitioner’s place of work or school
– Not reoffending
– Removing personal possessions from the home
– An order regarding kids’ visitation
– Prohibiting harm to the petitioner’s pets or kids

What if Someone Ignores the Order?

If there’s a violation of a protective order, the court can have the respondent locked up for up to six months per violation. Plus, the family court has every right to pass the issue over to the criminal court. Violate the order, and the respondent could lose their right to own a firearm. Both sides of the case are entitled to a lawyer. If you’re in family court, you could fill out your own petition without an attorney’s help. But in a criminal court, the district attorney might handle the petition on behalf of the petitioner.

In practically any family, disagreements are bound to crop up. However, in certain families, these disagreements escalate into serious situations and could have dangerous outcomes. This is where the family petition comes into play, providing a legal shield for those affected. This legal instrument can help victims obtain legal protection, child support, and other court-ordered actions. The Spodek Law Group can provide further details and assistance on this matter if you need more information.

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