There are times when a person charged in New York with a crime such as assault becomes the subject of a criminal court order of protection. This order may be necessary before the defendant secures bail or other release from custody pending his trial.
As noted by the New York State Unified Court System, like a family court order of protection, with a criminal court order of protection the complaining witness or victim of the alleged crime need not have any particular relationship with the defendant. To have an order of protection issue from a family court, the family or intimate relationship must have existed, unlike in criminal court.
An order of protection is requested by the district attorney
Typically, the state district attorney prosecuting a criminal case against the defendant will ask for the order of protection on behalf of the alleged victim. However, it is the judge who makes the decision of whether the request is appropriate for an order and what the order’s terms will be. It is a very case-specific decision.
Violating an order of protection is a crime
Once a criminal court order of protection exists, a defendant who fails to comply with the order may find him or herself the subject of another criminal charge. That other crime is the violation of the order of protection itself.
The New York Consolidated Laws, Criminal Procedure Law, section 530.13 governs the issuance of a criminal court order of protection when the victim and defendant are not family related.
An order of protection may include many conditions
It can include many conditions required of the defendant in the order of protection, including the following:
- Staying clear of the victim’s home, job or school
- Abstaining from any kind of interference with the victim or family of victim, including threatening, scaring or bothering them
- Abstaining from intentionally hurting or killing a companion animal to the victim or child in the home of the victim, without justification
Such an order of protection can be a tool to protect witnesses in addition to a victim of an alleged crime.