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Manhattan, NYC Violation of an Order of Protection Attorney

Westchester County Protective Order Violation Lawyer

Lawyer in New York City Representing Clients Charged with Violating a Restraining Order

At The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC, we know that an order of protection can be a valuable tool in protecting victims of domestic violence. We also realize that such orders can be misused in certain cases. For example, a bitter spouse or former partner could obtain a protective order or claim that you violated such an order as a way to gain leverage in a contentious divorce or child-related dispute.

Regardless of how or why it was initiated, however, if an order of protection has been entered against you, it is critical that you understand and comply with the terms of the order—even it was based on false information. A single misstep could lead to criminal charges against you, and the consequences associated with such charges can be severe.

Understanding New York Orders of Protection

New York law gives a criminal court judge the authority to issue a temporary order of protection if the judge determines the order to be necessary in the wake of a domestic violence allegation or for the protection of an alleged victim of harassment, stalking, or similar offenses. A family court judge can also issue such an order if there are legitimate safety concerns present in a family-related dispute.

There are two basic types of protective orders in New York State:

  • A full order of protection will prohibit you from approaching the protected individual at home, at work, and in other locations. You will also be prohibited from making any type of contact with the protected person.
  • A limited order of protection will generally allow you to contact the protected person, but you will be expressly ordered to avoid violent or harassing behavior.

The terms of the order against you may be customized by the court based on the circumstances of the case at hand.

Criminal Contempt Counsel in Queens and The Bronx

If you are accused of violating an order of protection, you are likely to be charged with criminal contempt. Contempt is a legal term that refers to the willful disregard for a directive issued by a court with proper jurisdiction. Violating the terms of an order of protection falls under this definition.

A relatively minor violation, such as contacting the protected individual, is usually a Class A misdemeanor for second-degree criminal contempt. It is important to remember that you could face charges even if the protected party encourages or initiates the contact. Criminal contempt in the first degree is for more serious violations, such as behavior that would meet the definition of assault, stalking, harassment, or other menacing acts. First-degree criminal contempt is a Class E felony punishable by up to four years of incarceration. Repeat violations will lead to even more severe charges and penalties.

Nassau County Lawyer Protecting Your Rights

With more than 25 years of criminal law experience and an additional 10 years of experience in law enforcement, Attorney Gregory J. Watford understands what it is at stake when you have been charged with criminal contempt for violating an order of protection. In addition to the possible criminal penalties, a conviction could affect your relationship with your children and loved ones, as well as your reputation in the community. As a former confidential investigator and a former prosecutor, Mr. Watford has the skills, resources, and legal knowledge to help you build a strong defense against criminal contempt charges. From crime scenes to the courtroom, he has seen it all, and he is prepared to use his background to serve your best interests.

Call 646-580-6675 Today

If you have been charged with criminal contempt related to an alleged violation of an order of protection, contact our office right away and put an experienced New York City defense attorney on your side. Call 646-580-6675 for a consultation at The Law Firm of Gregory J. Watford, Esq., PLLC today. We serve clients in Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Mineola, White Plains, New City, Mt. Vernon, and the surrounding communities.

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