Interaction between Family Court and Criminal Court

With a practice in both Poughkeepsie criminal law and matrimonial law there is often overlap in the two areas which often revolves around allegation of domestic violence or substance abuse.  It is important to have an Dutchess County attorney who understands the interaction between both the Poughkeepsie Family court and the Criminal court.  I will limit this blog to orders of protection.

            Orders of protection:  Both the family court and the criminal court have the authority to issue what is commonly referred to as the order of protection.  This order will limit a person’s ability to be near the named person or persons, take their firearms and comes with various restrictions.   When a family member is the person requesting the order this often happens in both family court and criminal court on the same allegation.  This will often result in two orders of protection.

            Confusion arises when one court removes some of the restrictions and the other court does not.  I find client’s often may think that because the one court lifted the restrictions the other court’s restrictions will be automatically lifted.  THIS IS NOT THE CASE!!!  In order to modify the restrictions it is necessary to have both Court’s modify their orders.  One method I use to assure that this happens is to make sure in a case where the two courts are involved is to have the Criminal court with the consent of the Judge have a provision in their order which allows it to follow the family court order so that the it basically will allow the family court order of protection to be the primary order.  It is still two separate orders, but should family court allow for more contact then the criminal order will automatically do so as well.  Understanding this interaction is essential to practicing in both courts and avoiding a client’s arrest for contempt of court.

         This brief paragraph above explains just a small aspect of the interactions between Poughkeepsie family court and Dutchess County criminal court.  When you find yourself in both courts at the same time it is essential that you have a highly experienced Poughkeepsie attorney in both criminal law and family law, your freedom is at stake.