Signing a Contract

Meth Law Offices Advocates for Victims of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a serious and pervasive problem in our society. Meth Law Offices, PC regularly assist clients who have been victims of domestic violence or who are facing accusations of spousal abuse or child endangerment. If you feel threatened by a family member or intimate partner, there is no reason to live in fear any longer. As an experienced Orange County domestic violence attorney, Michael Meth, Esq. can help you get the legal protection you deserve. Likewise, if you have been wrongly accused, we can help you safeguard your rights and your reputation. 

NEW YORK DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWS

New York law considers various unlawful acts to be domestic violence if they occur between people whose relationship fits any of the following descriptions:

  • Related by blood or law

  • Presently or formerly married

  • Parties who have a child in common

  • Parties who are, or have been, in an intimate relationship

Victims of domestic violence can seek civil protection in family court by petitioning for a restraining order and can also report abuse to the police, which might lead to criminal charges. Meth Law Offices, PC is experienced in this specific area of law and can help you navigate this tedious process. Call today for a free consultation. 

WHAT IS CONSIDERED AN ACT OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCEW IN NEW YORK?

The following acts between persons in a qualifying relationship are considered domestic violence:

  • Assault — Causing physical harm to another with intent, recklessness, or criminal negligence.

  • Menacing — Placing another person in fear of imminent physical injury.

  • Stalking — Engaging in a course of conduct designed to place another person in reasonable fear of imminent harm.

  • Strangulation — Criminal obstruction of breath or blood flow.

Other acts, such as sexual assault, can be charged under other sections of New York Penal Law even when the defendant and victim have an existing relationship. Meth Law Offices, PC can discuss your options with you. Call today for a free consultation.

WHAT PENALTIES DOES A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGE CARRY?

New York law treats domestic violence offenses as serious misdemeanors and felony crimes, which may carry penalties including significant fines and lengthy incarceration. These offenses include:

  • First-degree assault, with a possible sentence of five to 25 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000

  • First-degree strangulation, which can result in imprisonment of 3.5 to 15 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000

  • First-degree menacing, a Class E felony which can result in 1.5 to 4 years in New York State prison

  • Third-degree assault and second-degree menacing, each Class A misdemeanors that are punishable by imprisonment of less than one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000

If you believe you’ve been accused unfairly of domestic abuse, defenses are available, and you are entitled to representation. While protecting victims' rights, Meth Law Offices, PC also understands how devastating a domestic violence claim can be to someone’s reputation and we work diligently to reach a fair resolution. Call for a free consultation today.

WHAT ARE THE LEGAL PROTECTIONS AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN NEW YORK?

No one should have to live in fear. If you are or have been the victim of domestic violence, or if you feel menaced by a relative or intimate acquaintance, you have the right to legal protection. Meth Law Offices, PC can help you obtain an order of protection. Michael Meth, Esq. is experienced, accessible, and responsive, especially in emergencies. If you have been threatened, assaulted, battered, stalked, or menaced, you should immediately contact an attorney for assistance. If you are in suspected imminent danger, immediately contact the police. 

 

A person who has a reasonable fear of domestic violence can petition the court for an order of protection, commonly known as a restraining order. Courts issue orders on an emergency basis for immediate relief, as well as orders that can last several years. An adult who has child custody can request a protective order on behalf of a child.

WHAT IS A RESTRAINING ORDER?

Formally known as an Order of Protection, a restraining order is a court order prohibiting the person targeted in the order from engaging in certain behavior. Petitioners can obtain orders of protection from either the Family Court or the Criminal Court. You would seek an order from the Family Court if you are seeking a civil resolution to the matter and do not wish to pursue criminal charges. However, if you fear for your safety because of a pending criminal case, you should ask the Criminal Court for an order of protection. In some cases, you may obtain an order that addresses both civil and criminal measures from the Integrated Domestic Violence part of the Supreme Court.

Contact Meth Law Offices, PC today to discuss which option best suits your situation and goals.

HOW DO YOU GET A RETRAINING ORDER?

Often, a petitioner seeks a restraining order because of a threat of domestic violence from someone in their household. The order can force the abuser to leave the home and stay away from members of the household. You can also seek an order if you are being harassed, stalked, or threatened by someone to whom you are related or with whom you have had an intimate relationship. The order would prohibit the targeted person from contacting you and approaching you at your home or in a public place. A restraining Order is beneficial for victims whose abusers do not live in their household as well.

The first step in obtaining an order of protection is to file a Family Offense Petition with the court identifying yourself and the person to be restrained. You describe the family offenses committed and the relief you are seeking, such as:

  • Expelling the abuser from your home

  • Prohibiting contact with you and your children

  • Complying with child custody and support orders

  • Surrendering firearms to authorities

Meth Law Offices, PC prepares necessary documents and supporting materials to strengthen victims’ applications for relief. If you are going through a divorce, you can file for your restraining order with a Motion or Order to Show Cause.

After you file your Petition or Motion, the judge decides whether to issue a temporary order based on your allegations. The court then schedules a hearing, usually within about three days, to decide whether to issue a permanent order. Permanent orders generally last for two years but can be renewed.

A person named in a restraining order must adhere to the terms or face serious sanctions, which could include fines and jail time for contempt of court, as well as possible criminal charges, depending on the nature of the violation. Contact our office today for a free consultation to discuss your options.