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Bronx Orders Of Protection Attorneys

By Spodek Law Group | January 22, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 19, 2023)

Last Updated on: 19th October 2023, 12:09 pm


Bronx Orders of Protection Attorneys

Getting an order of protection can be a confusing and scary process. But having the right legal help by your side can make all the difference. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about working with Bronx orders of protection attorneys.

What is an Order of Protection?

An order of protection is a legal order issued by a judge that helps protect someone from abuse or harassment. It tells the abuser to stop the abuse and stay away from the victim. Orders of protection can cover different things like:

  • Requiring the abuser to stay away from the victim, their home, job, school, etc.
  • Preventing the abuser from contacting the victim in any way (calls, texts, social media, etc)
  • Making the abuser temporarily leave a shared home
  • Giving temporary custody of children or pets to the victim
  • Requiring the abuser to pay temporary child support

Orders of protection can provide important legal protection. But the system can be complicated to navigate. This is why working with an experienced Bronx orders of protection attorney is so important.

Do I Need an Attorney?

Getting an order of protection without a lawyer is possible. But it’s often much harder. An attorney knows the laws and court procedures. They can:

  • Advise you on the strongest protections to request
  • Help gather evidence you’ll need to prove your case
  • Draft legal documents and file paperwork
  • Represent you in court hearings
  • Negotiate with the abuser’s attorney
  • Enforce the order if it’s violated

Having a lawyer levels the playing field. It shows the judge and abuser you are serious. This often leads to stronger court orders. So even though hiring a lawyer costs money up front, it can save you time, stress, and abuse in the long run.

How Do I Find a Bronx Orders of Protection Attorney?

Not all lawyers have experience with orders of protection. Look for a Bronx attorney who specializes in family law and domestic violence cases. Here are some tips:

  • Search lawyer directories like Lawyers.com and Avvo
  • Look for lawyers who are members of the New York City Bar Association or Women’s Bar Association
  • Ask domestic violence advocates and shelters for referrals
  • Search online reviews and ask people in your community
  • Schedule consults with a few lawyers to find the best fit

When researching lawyers, look for these important qualities:

  • Experience: Have they handled many order of protection cases before?
  • Responsiveness: Do they return calls and emails promptly?
  • Communication skills: Do they listen and explain things clearly?
  • Courtroom manner: Are they respected by judges and “fight” hard for clients?
  • Affordability: Do they offer payment plans or take legal aid certificates?
  • Resources: Do they connect clients to counseling, shelters, etc.?

How Much Does a Bronx Order of Protection Lawyer Cost?

Average cost ranges from $2,000 – $5,000+ for an experienced attorney. Factors affecting cost include:

  • Experience level of lawyer
  • Size of law firm
  • Complexity of your case
  • How many court hearings needed

Many lawyers offer free initial consults. This lets you explain your situation and get a cost estimate. Be wary of lawyers charging significantly less than $2,000 – they may lack experience. There are some lower cost options like:

  • Legal aid organizations: If income eligible, may fully cover or charge on sliding scale
  • Law school clinics: Law students provide assistance under attorney supervision for low cost
  • Payment plans: Many lawyers allow you to pay in installments over time

How Do I Get Started With the Attorney?

Schedule a consult and come prepared. Bring any evidence like:

  • Records of abusive texts, emails, voicemails
  • Photos of injuries or damage
  • Medical records
  • Police reports
  • Witness names

Be ready to give a detailed timeline of the abuse. Your attorney will explain your options. If retained, you’ll work together to file court papers and build your case. The attorney will represent you at hearings and negotiations. Having an experienced Bronx order of protection attorney in your corner can help you gain protections from abuse. With legal guidance, the court process becomes much less intimidating. So don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Protecting your safety is worth the investment.

Types of Orders of Protection in Bronx County

There are several different types of orders of protection available in Bronx County. The type you need will depend on your specific situation.

Family Offense Order of Protection

This covers abuse between family members related by blood, marriage, or having a child together. Abuse can include harassment, stalking, threats, and physical violence.

Stay Away Order of Protection

This covers abuse between people in an “intimate relationship” like dating, living together, or having a child together. You don’t need to be legally related.

Child Order of Protection

This protects a parent or child from abuse by the other parent or other family/household members. It can cover custody, visitation, communication, and abuse.

Elder Order of Protection

This protects victims over 60 from physical, financial, verbal and emotional abuse by family members, caregivers, or anyone else.

Your attorney will advise which order best fits your situation. They can include multiple protections in one order.

How to File for an Order of Protection in Bronx County

There are a few steps to getting an order of protection in Bronx County:

  1. Consult an attorney – They will advise if you have grounds for an order and which type to pursue.
  2. File petition – Your attorney will draft the petition detailing the abuse and protections requested. It must be filed in Bronx County Family Court.
  3. Attend court hearing – The judge will evaluate the petition and evidence. You’ll have to testify about the abuse. Your attorney will represent you.
  4. Serve notice – If approved, the order must be personally served to the abuser by a process server.
  5. Attend follow-up hearing – The abuser can contest the order at a follow-up hearing. Your attorney will attend to defend the order.

The entire legal process often takes 1-2 months. Having an attorney makes navigating the paperwork and hearings much easier.

How Long Do Orders of Protection Last in Bronx County?

Orders of protection typically last 1-2 years in Bronx County. Some key duration rules are:

  • Family offense orders last up to 2 years initially
  • Child and elder orders last 1 year initially
  • Orders can be extended beyond initial term if abuse continues
  • Stay away orders last 5 years or more for severe cases
  • Orders remain on abuser’s record permanently

The order sets an expiration date. Before then, you can file to extend the order if needed. Checking with your attorney before it expires is important.

Can an Order of Protection Be Modified or Dropped?

Yes, orders of protection can be modified or dropped before they expire if:

  • You wish to reconcile with the abuser
  • The abuser completes counseling or classes
  • Visitation needs are re-evaluated
  • Financial circumstances change

To request changes, you must file a modification petition and attend a hearing. The judge will decide whether to alter the protections. Any changes should be made carefully with your attorney’s guidance. Dropping an order completely is very risky without the abuser truly changing their behavior.

What Happens If an Order Is Violated in Bronx County?

It’s a crime to violate any condition of an order of protection. Punishments for violating orders in Bronx County include:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • More severe restrictions added to order
  • Future orders lasting longer
  • Loss of visitation rights
  • Mandatory counseling

If an order is violated, contact the police immediately and also notify your attorney. Keep evidence of any violations. The judge can hold the abuser in contempt of court for violating the order, resulting in fines or jail time.

Enforcing Your Order of Protection

Having an order is just the first step – enforcing it is key. Here are enforcement tips:

  • Keep a copy with you at all times
  • Give copies to police, work, school, daycare etc.
  • Document any violations and contact attorney
  • Consider security precautions like cameras, alarm systems
  • Block the abuser on all communication channels
  • Get support from counselors, advocates

The more evidence you have, the better. Don’t hesitate to call the police if violations occur. Your safety should be the top concern.

Finding Low Cost Orders of Protection

Although orders of protection are critical for safety, hiring a lawyer can be expensive. Here are some options for reduced cost help in Bronx County:

If income eligible, the Legal Aid Society provides free attorneys. They handle over 10,000 orders of protection in NYC annually.

Sanctuary for Families

This nonprofit offers free legal help for gender violence victims in NYC. They provide attorneys for orders of protection.

Family Justice Centers

These support hubs have legal assistance for domestic violence victims. The Bronx location helps with filing orders.

Court Advocates

Advocates at Bronx Family Court can help you file paperwork and navigate the process for free.

DIY Filing

Filing for an order without an attorney is possible but challenging. Online guides and court staff can provide some guidance.

Don’t let cost stop you from getting protection. With persistence and the right help, affordable options are available in Bronx County.

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