Facing Orders of Protection or Contempt Charges in New York?

Seeking Immediate Counsel from a State Defense Lawyer is Imperative

The earlier you receive expert counsel, the more likely your matter will end favorably. If you’re facing prosecution, contact us immediately.

Orders of Protection Charges in New York

Pursuant to New York Penal Law § 215, orders of protection are legal safeguards issued by the court to protect individuals from harassment, abuse, or threats. Violating an order of protection can lead to criminal charges and significant legal repercussions.

In New York, a court-issued Order of Protection prohibits an individual from committing certain acts to or around the person who requested protection. A full order (or stay away order) bans all forms of contact while a limited one only prohibits certain behaviors or simply subjects the full order to any subsequent conditions and carve-outs implemented by a family court.

Orders of Protection are typically associated with domestic violence offenses such as stalking and assault, but can also be issued in situations involving reckless endangerment, assault, and disorderly conduct. Examples of restricted behaviors include:

  • Coming within a certain distance of the victim
  • Going to the victim’s home, workplace, or school
  • Owning weapons
  • Calling, emailing, or sending letters to the victim
  • Sending messages to the victim through third parties
  • Living with the victim

Contempt Charges in New York

Contempt comes in many forms. In its most classic version, contempt may occur within the courtroom, whereby a judge deems you in contempt for disorderly conduct or for deliberately resisting or disobeying a court order. More often than not, the courtroom contempt is seen within the federal realm, where a witness previously issued a subpoena refuses to answer questions and refuses to participate in a federal grand jury inquiry. Violating a court order can result in severe consequences, including fines, penalties, or even imprisonment.

There are different degrees of criminal contempt:

  • First Degree: A Class E-felony which carries the potential for jail time, this charge requires that an individual not only violate an order of protection but also that he or she used a weapon, made certain threats, or assaulted the protected party.
  • Other forms of aggravated criminal contempt, or criminal contempt in the second and third degrees, are commonly charged where an individual recklessly or intentionally injured the protected party or has a prior contempt conviction.

As it relates to disorderly conduct within the courtroom setting, if an individual refuses to be sworn in as a witness, refuses to answer proper and legal questions, misbehaves while court is in session, indulges in public demonstrations while call the court’s integrity into question, or publishes grossly inaccurate reporting of a proceeding, a second-degree contempt charge will follow.

What many recipients do not understand is that the person protected by an order of protection does not have the authority to permit the defendant to disobey it. An order 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 if you respond.

Possible Sentencing & Penalties in New York

Given the various degrees of criminal contempt and protection order violations, sentencing options may range greatly. While these may not, in a vacuum, be cases which lead to prison, prosecutors in New York and beyond typically proceed with caution with such cases as they typically involve romantic relations or ex-partners. Often times, contempt charges are just one piece of the equation, and the true underlying charge (i.e., sexual assault, domestic violence assault, or stalking) will carry an enhanced penalty.

How We Fight Orders of Protection and Contempt Charges in New York

Contempt charges and orders of protection are complex legal matters that require the expertise of a knowledgeable and experienced federal criminal lawyer. Whether you find yourself facing contempt allegations or dealing with an order of protection, it is crucial to have a legal professional by your side who specializes in federal criminal law.

Many times, creative defense attorneys can and will put for a powerful mitigation package in an effort to obtain a more lenient sentence. These materials include character letters, medical reports, and other mitigating material. 

Finally, and more importantly, an experienced defense lawyer will hone in on the underlying charges which led to the contempt charge in order to lessen one’s sentencing exposure.

Your Defense Begins Now

If you are being prosecuted for contempt, or are alleged to have violated a criminal or family court order of protection, hire a former prosecutor and seasoned defense attorney who has dealt with these charges on both sides of the courtroom. Being charged with violating a court’s order is serious, but is only one small piece of the puzzle. What your defense attorney does afterwards, by way of investigation and creative advocacy, will both increase your chances of successfully walking away from these accusations and shape the rest of your life.

Contempt charges and orders of protection can have significant consequences, impacting your personal and professional life. Hiring a skilled federal criminal lawyer is essential to navigate these complex legal matters effectively. They will provide you with valuable guidance, protect your rights, and build a strong defense on your behalf. By having a trusted legal advocate by your side, you increase your chances of a positive outcome and safeguarding your future. The sooner you put your case in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the more likely your matter will end favorably. To hire a Top Federal Criminal Lawyer in NYC contact The Law Offices of Jason Goldman.

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