Family Offense Petitions in New York State
You may find yourself in a situation where a family member has harmed you and you have concerns about your safety and the safety of your children or others. Perhaps there has been a history of abuse or violence in the home. A family offense may also be committed in response to a divorce or a child custody or support issue. Sometimes, a family offense is committed outside of these circumstances.
Fortunately, there is a way to seek safety through a family offense petition in Family Court. Our attorneys at Donnellan Law, PLLC can help you with this petition. A family offense petition is filed when a family member claims that another family member has committed certain offenses against them. The purpose of a family offense petition is to obtain an order of protection through Family Court. In a family offense petition, family members are defined as:
- Individuals related by blood or marriage.
- Individuals formerly married.
- Individuals who are unrelated but have a child together.
- Individuals who are unrelated who are or have been in an intimate relationship.
What Crimes Are Eligible For A Family Offense Petition?
There are certain offenses listed in a family offense petition that may apply to you, depending on your situation and what you experienced. The offenses that are eligible for a family offense petition are:
- Disorderly conduct
- Unlawful dissemination or publication of an intimate image
- Aggravated harassment
- Sexual misconduct
- Forcible touching
- Sexual abuse
- Reckless endangerment
- Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation
- Assault of attempted assault
- Criminal mischief
- Identity theft
- Grand larceny
If a family member has committed any of these offenses against you, you may want to file a family offense petition in order to seek an order of protection. The attorneys at Donnellan Law, PLLC can help you navigate this process while prioritizing your safety and needs.
Filing A Family Offense Petition
To file a family offense petition, you must complete a petition which may be done through an attorney or through Family Court. You will need to describe what happened and provide information about yourself, the person who harmed you, and the addresses where you both live. The petition will also ask you for the relief you are seeking. This relief can include requesting that the person who harmed you:
- Stays away from you and your children.
- Has no contact with you.
- Provides temporary child support to you.
- Relinquishes guns to appropriate authorities.
- Other relief depending on your situation.
Once you file your petition, you can request to have an immediate court appearance where a judge can issue a temporary order of protection. Typically, the person who harmed you is not present at the initial appearance, but will likely be present at further appearances.
The family member who harmed you may deny the allegations that were described in the petition, or they may consent to the order of protection. If they deny the allegations, additional court appearances will be required to explore the allegations and make a final determination in regard to the order of protection.
If you are a victim/survivor of domestic violence, you have the right to receive assistance from a domestic violence advocate, who can help you navigate the initial filing of the family offense petition. For domestic violence advocacy services in New York by county, please visit the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence directory.
How We Can Help
The attorneys at Donnellan Law, PLLC understand that your safety and the safety of your family are of utmost importance. We can help you navigate the Family Court process, while prioritizing the safety of you and your family.
Our attorneys will work with you to learn your needs for safety and what relief you hope to receive through an order of protection, provide you professional advice and guidance, and will help you find solutions that work for your unique situation.
The attorneys at Donnellan Law, PLLC will actively advocate for what you need and will passionately represent you in court if necessary. If you have been accused of a family offense, it is important to have legal counsel advise you through the process and protect your rights.