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Dealing With Orders of Protection When Disaster Strikes

Orders - ProtectionDealing with complex issues in family law, like orders of protection, is complicated at the best of times. However, when disaster strikes, causing the courts to reduce the number of cases that they are willing to deal with, it can be even more challenging to know what your next step should be.

Mr. Darren M. Shapiro does his best to continue serving his clients in any circumstance, provided that he can follow the guidance laid out by the government in New York and Long Island. This was the case in the recent COVID-19 epidemic, where Mr. Shapiro was able to keep his office open (albeit a little differently, like working out of his home) for as long as possible to deal with cases that the courts deemed “essential”, like order of protection cases.

However, pandemics aren’t the only issues that could leave you wondering about how to deal with your essential issues. When crisis strikes, knowing how to proceed with your order of protection could make a huge difference to how safe you and your family can feel.

Assessing the Essential Nature of Cases

When a crisis happens, the courts may be required to close their doors for some cases. In this case, it is within the courts’ jurisdiction to determine what they will class as an “essential” case. In some situations, orders of protection, which are designed to keep people safe and protected from possible harm, could be deemed essential. These cases are usually managed in Family Courts within Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens County and the surround areas. Depending on the nature of the crisis that may be happening when you’re pursuing your order of protection, there is a chance that you may be asked to continue your case through virtual court appearances.

Orders of protection are available to family members who are concerned that other members of their family might present a danger to them if a family offense has been committed. Mr. Darren Shapiro has helped clients to deal with a wide selection of these cases over the years. Orders of protection can even be given to alleged victims of possible offenses without a criminal prosecution needing to take place. To access this strategy, clients can go through the family court with their order of protection lawyer, or on their own. This office represents both people seeking and people defending against orders of protection.

In most cases, if a person alleges a family offense in their petition to the courts, the court will typically grant a temporary order of protection, based on the presentation by the petitioner. Frequently, agreements are made to put an order of protection in place for a specific amount of time, often between 6 months and up to 2 years. It is possible in some cases to get these orders of protection even if the accused party doesn’t admit that any of the allegations against them are true.

The lower burden of proof in order of protection cases can make it easier for some clients to get the protection that they need. However, there still is a certain degree of proof required for these cases to go ahead. That’s why it’s so important for clients to ensure that they have the right legal guidance in place, either when requesting, or fighting against an order of protection.

Accessing Protection Against a Family Offense

To get an order of protection, individuals can work with lawyers like Mr. Shapiro to show that a family offense has been committed against them. These offenses are defined by the New York Penal Law, Section of 812. Examples of family offenses can vary depending on the situation. For instance, attempted physical contact, or following a family member in a public place could be deemed stalking or harassment in the second degree. Alternatively, if an incident occurs where someone attempts to physically injure another family member, this could be seen as assault in the third degree.

Family offenses can also refer to disorderly conduct, which may include reckless behavior causing annoyance or alarm. Additionally, you may be able to pursue an order of protection if someone from your family follows you persistently, with intent to cause physical or mental harm. This is known as stalking in the third degree. If a family member puts another at fear for their life or of serious injury, then this menacing in the third degree. Even intending to threaten or alarm another person, using electronic means of communication like phone, email, or text, can be a form of family offense, known as aggravated harassment.

Aside from identifying the potential offense that has warranted the order of protection, clients also need to make sure that they understand what the court defines as a family member. The family court deems people who are legally married, were formerly married, or have a child in common as members of a family at this time. Additionally, people who are not related to each other but still have an intimate relationship or have had one in the past may be eligible for orders of protection.

Addressing Your Unique Case

In family law, every case is different. Your attorney will need to discuss your situation with you in-depth, considering the unique context that a crisis situation can exhibit. The good news is that when disaster strikes, there may still be support out there for those who need to access orders of protection for the defence of themselves or their family members.

If you’re dealing with a complicated issue right now, but you’re not sure what your rights are regarding orders of protection due to a crisis, reach out to Mr. Darren M. Shapiro’s office. You can contact Mr. Shapiro at any time to arrange a free initial consultation, up to the first thirty-minutes are free. During this free consultation, Mr. Shapiro can introduce your prosecuting or defending against the order of protection options to you, and help you determine what steps to take next.

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