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Orders of Protection

New York Family Court Orders of Protection and Family Offense Petitions

To secure an order of protection in any of New York's Family Courts, one must first allege in a family offense petition to the judge that the other party committed a “family offense.”  Even if the party you seek protection from with a restraining order committed a family offense, you and that person must have an intimate relationship or be of the same family (siblings, parents, spouses). If you are not married, but have a child in common, this allows you to get a Family Court or order of protection attorney to secure a restraining order.


Some crimes found in the New York Penal Law are also family offenses. Some crimes are not. For example, Trespassing and Criminal Possession of a Stolen Property are crimes, but those crimes would not rise to the level of a family offense if committed against a family member. New York Family Court Act 812 guides us on what specific crimes are also family court offenses. 

Some of the most common offenses are as follows (this is not a complete list):

  • disorderly conduct;
  • harassment in the first degree;
  • harassment in the second degree;
  • aggravated harassment in the second degree;
  • stalking in the first, second, third and fourth degree;
  • criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation;
  • strangulation in the first and second degree;
  • assault in the second and third degree.

Although it is easy to file a Family Offense Petition in the Family Court, it is not easy to draft the petition by yourself. It is crucially important that you seek the assistance of counsel before presenting your petition to the Family Court. If you leave certain things out, or do not include enough facts, the Family Court could deny the petition. If you have already filed a petition, you do have the right to amend the petition but the time to do so expires very quickly, as little as 20 days in some cases. Therefore, it is important that if your petition is already filed that seek the assistance of counsel as soon as possible. 

Call us at (631) 724-5251 or contact us here to aid you in securing an order of protection or to defend you against a family offense petition. 

Litigation for when you need us, intelligent counseling so you won't.

Arnold A. Arpino & Associates, P.C., is a full service law firm that represents individuals and businesses in a variety of different practice areas. Our firm regularly appears in the Courts throughout Long Island, New York City, and the Hudson Valley.