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How do I obtain a New York Order of Protection from domestic violence?

UPDATED: March 9, 2020

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Domestic violence can tear relationships apart, and when it happens, many people simply don’t know what to do or what rights they have under New York law to obtain an Order of Protection. Elliot Schlissel, a Lynbrook, New York-based attorney who has been assisting clients in Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County and New York City's five boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island for over 30 years, provides answers to the following frequently asked questions (FAQs) about how to obtain an Order of Protection:

Question: Who can obtain an Order of Protection?

Answer: An individual who is threatened with an assault, or is actually assaulted, may obtain an Order of Protection (sometimes referred to as a Restraining Order). There are two places you can go to obtain an Order of Protection. One is the Family Court if the Order of Protection will be against individuals related to you or with whom you are in a relationship.

The second option for obtaining an Order of Protection involves going to the Criminal Court. If you can have an individual charged with assault, or threatening to assault you, in the Criminal Court will usually give you an Order of Protection.

Question: What would be an example of a domestic violence threat?

Answer: An example of a threat would be language such as, “I will punch you in the face,” “I will kill you,” or actions such as holding one’s fist up near someone else's face or grabbing a weapon, whether it be a knife, a stick, or bat, and acting in a threatening manner with that weapon. The weapon can be as innocuous as a telephone or even a shoe. The idea is that you must feel threatened, and there must be some legitimate threat to you.

Question: What should you do if you are threatened with domestic violence?

Answer: Call the police. Their job is to protect you from that threat and to help you eliminate the threat at the time it takes place. Let the police know you’re in imminent danger of being assaulted and you need a quick response when you make the call.

Question: What should you do if you’re a victim of domestic violence?

Answer: Again, call the police. After the situation involving the threat has been alleviated, you should go to a doctor or a hospital to document the injury received. If you do not go to a doctor or a hospital, you should photograph the injury because you may have to show documententation or proof at a later point for a judge.

Question: What should you do if you are charged with domestic violence?

Answer: If you are charged with a domestic violence incident, either in the Family Court or the Criminal Court, you should retain counsel. There are important rights that an individual has if he has been charged with a crime. A knowledgeable criminal defense or Family Court defense attorney will be able to represent you and ensure that your rights are protected.

The Family Court and Criminal Court defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Elliot Schlissel have been defending individuals charged with domestic violence matters from more than 30 years. We know the ins and outs of the legal system. We protect our clients’ rights and we are available seven days a week in emergency situations. Feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431 if you have been charged with, or you expect to be charged in a domestic violence incident. The earlier you retain counsel, the better your rights can be protected.

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