This article is about family offense petitions, and how you can get one. In addition, you’ll learn about what constitutes a family offense, and how to obtain an order of protection in family court. In simple terms – a family offense is a crime committed against a relative/person with whom the perpetrator has a relationship. This could be someone you’re married to, someone you used to marry, or someone you have a child with. Some crimes included in the definition of family offense include: harassment, disorderly conduct, stalking, assault, and more.
If a family offense has been committed against you, or your person, then you should call the police and file criminal charges. After doing that, you should go to Family Court and file a Family Offense Petition. In the petition, you explain the offense which was committed against you, who did it, and the relief you are seeking. Typically, the most common form of relief people look for is an Order of Protection.
Order of protection – issued by the family court, can be either a full order of protection, or a limited order of protection. Full order of protection requires the perpetrator of the offense to stay away from the victim, and refrain from any contact at all. Limited order of protections don’t require the perpetrator to stay away from the petitioner, or to cease all contact with the petitioner. It prohibits the person from engaging in any further criminal activity towards the petitioner. Many call this, a “be good,” order – because it prohibits the person from misbehaving.
When you go to family court to get a family offense petition, you will seen by a judge, and in most cases, issues a temporary order of protection, which is served on the respondent. You are then given a date to come back to court, at which time the respondent has a chance to appear and respond to allegations made in the Petition.
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