An Order of Protection, or restraining order, is a serious matter in New York. If you violate one, the police may arrest you. If the other party files a violation in criminal court instead of family court, the charges could become significantly more serious.
According to the New York State Unified Court System, you do not have to harm or threaten the victim to violate an Order of Protection. Simply meeting that person may result in dire consequences if the order specifies no contact.
The purpose of an Order of Protection is to keep dangerous people away from their victims, but some people request restraining orders for other reasons. If you are facing charges for violating a restraining order, call the Law Offices of Darren DeUrso at 914-772-8614 to discuss your circumstances with an experienced criminal lawyer in White Plains. In the meantime, read on for three possible charges you may face if you violate an Order of Protection:
- Second-Degree Criminal Contempt
If you intentionally disobey a court order or resist the lawful mandate or process of a court order, you may face charges of criminal contempt in the second degree. This is a Class A misdemeanor, which means that you could spend one year in jail and have to pay a fine of $1,000. While this is the lowest charge for ignoring Orders of Protection, these penalties highlight the seriousness of violating them.
- First-Degree Criminal Contempt
A charge of criminal contempt in the first degree is a Class E felony, which can result in penalties of a $5,000 fine and no more than four years of incarceration. If you deliberately violate an Order of Protection with the intention of causing the victim death or injury, you will likely face this charge, especially if you stalk, harass, contact or threaten the victim. Furthermore, if you use weapons, you may face even more charges for weapons possession.
- Aggravated Criminal Contempt
A Class D felony, aggravated criminal contempt is serious. You may face this charge if you intentionally or recklessly cause the victim serious physical injury while violating an Order of Protection.
If a judge convicts you, you could spend the next seven years in jail. If you have previous convictions for criminal contempt, you may also find yourself facing this charge.
Orders of Protection extend beyond New York’s boundaries, which means if the victim decides to move to another state or country, the laws there may still enforce the order. The new jurisdiction will have its own rules, and the victim may have to reregister the order to make it formally effective in other states.
Regardless of whether a family or criminal court issues the Order of Protection against you, it is still a court order. If you violate it, you are breaking the law and may have to deal with criminal charges.
It is always wise to get legal guidance from an experienced criminal attorney when facing serious charges. Call the Law Offices of Darren DeUrso at 914-772-8614 for a free, private consultation to discuss your circumstances.