In New York State, a family offense is a crime committed against individuals related by blood or marriage, individuals who were formerly married, or individuals who are unrelated but have a child together; and individuals who are unrelated who are or have been in an intimate relationship.
While it may be unimaginable that a significant other would ever want to harm you, you should always remove yourself from a situation if you feel in danger. The next step is to consult with an attorney that can help ensure your safety.
Family offense proceeding are limited to certain kinds of behavior or contact, such as:
- Disorderly conduct
- Harassment or aggravated harassment
- Sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, forcible touching
- Criminal mischief
- Menacing in the second or third degree
- Reckless endangerment
- Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation
- Assault or attempted assault
Family Offense Petition
Family offense petitions are used to obtain Orders of Protection against people that are considered family under the law. Conducted in Family Court, there are two types of Orders of Protection. A “stay away” order of protection requires the Respondent to stay away from your home, place of business and any other location or restriction the court may include. A “refrain from” order of protection prohibits the Respondent from abusing, harassing or threatening you.
To get an Order of Protection, you have to prove that a family offense has been committed. It is important for you to understand your rights and how an Order of Protection may safeguard you, your children and loved ones.