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According to figures compiled by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, there were 560 domestic violence incidents reported in Fulton County during 2016. This includes reports made to the Fulton County sheriff, the Gloversville and Johnstown City police departments, as well as the state police. Of course, even one incident of domestic violence is too many, especially if you are the victim.

If you are the victim of assault by an intimate partner–or have been threatened with violence–you need to take immediate action. Your first step should be to remove yourself from harm’s way. If your home is no longer safe, seek an immediate safe harbor for you, and if necessary, your children.

Your second step should be to contact a Fulton County domestic violence lawyer. At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, we can help you obtain an order of protection against an abusive family member. Beyond that, we can assist you with enforcing a protection order and advise you on additional legal steps you can take to protect yourself.

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How to Obtain and Enforce an Order of Protection in Fulton County

To obtain an order of protection, you need to convince a Fulton County judge that the accused poses a current or potential danger to you. If there is an immediate serious threat, a judge may issue a temporary order before scheduling a formal hearing. The order itself will specify certain conditions the subject must obey, such as refraining from any contact with you.

By law, the judge must specify an expiration date for an order of protection, although the time can be extended if circumstances warrant. The judge also has the sole authority to modify any conditions of the order. This means that once an order is in effect you cannot unilaterally–or in agreement with the other person–choose to disregard any of its terms. But you can ask the judge to modify or rescind the order if you no longer believe the other person is a threat, or you even wish to attempt a reconciliation.

Let Us Help With Your Fulton County Domestic Violence Case

Once an order of protection is in place, you have the right to call the police if the other person violates any of its terms. This means, for example, if the judge orders “no contact” and the other person shows up at your doorstep, you should call the police. Even if the other person is not making an immediate threat, it is still a violation of the order and the police can take him or her to jail.

One thing to keep in mind is that orders of protection are confidential. Unless the subject violates the order and is criminally prosecuted–a matter of public record–your friends and neighbors do not have to be made aware of the order. Remember, an order of protection is designed to keep you same from acts of domestic violence, not subject you to public humiliation.

At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, we understand the sensitivity surrounding domestic violence cases. That is why we strive to handle any matter involving an order of protection with the utmost discretion and professionalism. Call us today at 518-213-4204 or send us a private message online to let us know how we can help you.

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