Family Offense

Family Offense Proceedings are difficult because it means filing a petition against a family member or intimate partner when you have been the victim of a crime perpetrated against you.

The results you want to achieve from filing a Family Offense petition is an Order of Protection.  You generally go to Family Court for relief but you can also file for relief in Supreme Court if you are in the middle of a divorce case.

 There are many Order of Protection because the Court may fashion it with its own terms and conditions.

Usually you can go to family court on your own and go to the intake part and fill out a petition.  You will also be asked to fill out a vital statistics form giving the court general information such as your name, address, social security and dates of birth of all those members of the family that are involved in your case.

If you do not have a New York Family Lawyer then you can file the petition on your own with the help of a Family Court Clerk.  You will be seen by the Court immediately and will be asked to explain the circumstances as to why you need an Order of Protection.  Be sure your Family Offense Petition lists the crimes perpetrated upon you with a high level of specificity such as dates, times, injuries sustained and the nature of the offense.  If you have pictures that demonstrate the injuries bring them with you.

If the fear of harm rises to a certain level the Court will usually award your order of Protection that day and adjourn the case so you have an opportunity to serve the perpetrator.  When you come back to court be prepared to bring an Affidavit of Service proving you have served the petition and Order of Protection properly. Next, the court will generally continue the order of protection and give you a court date for a hearing and trial.

You must also realize that you can go to the police and make a police report and if the crime is serious the police will arrest the family member that poses a risk of harm to you

You can have two cases going at the same time and you can also get an Order of Protection from Criminal Court.

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