As long as most of us have been practicing criminal defense, if a person is arrested and accused of committing a crime against their spouse, girlfriend, partner or roommate, a full order of protection was automatically issued, and the accused was ordered to stay away from the person for the duration of the criminal case. This, of course, included the home of the person, so the accused was effectively rendered homeless, separated from their home, family, property, belongings, etc. This happened in nearly every single case, no matter if the “complainant” was cooperative or not. On occasion, the complainant would even appear at the criminal court arraignment and plead with the prosecutor not to ask for an order of protection. No matter. The accused was ordered out. Many of these cases were dismissed at the earliest possible date, which is 3 months after the arraignment. Many were not, and as the criminal justice system became overloaded, these cases could last for over a year.
Imagine being kicked out of your home for a year for something you may not have done?
Well, now things are changing. In late June, a New York appellate court issued a landmark ruling intended to prevent people from being needlessly rendered homeless or separated from their families during their criminal cases. In a June 24 decision in a case known as Crawford, a state appellate court held that when a proposed order of protection threatens to deprive defendants of “substantial” interests — such as access to their home or children — a court should conduct a hearing shortly after the order is issued to determine whether it is truly necessary. In Crawford, the First Department held that when the defendant presents the court with a showing that there may be an immediate and significant deprivation of a substantial personal or property interest upon the issuance of a temporary order of protection with a full “stay away” provision, “the Criminal Court should conduct a prompt evidentiary hearing on notice to all parties and in a manner that enables the judge to ascertain the facts necessary to decide whether or not the order of protection should be issued.
Armed with this case law, the criminal defense attorneys at Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins have been successful in getting orders of protection negated or reduced to limited orders of protection, which allows our clients to return to their home. This is an incredibly important and rapidly evolving area of law. If you or a loved one are facing a similar issue, contact Michael Jaccarino or one of the criminal defense attorneys at Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins as soon as possible.
At Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, our criminal defense lawyers have a wealth of experience in both Federal and State Court, and have defended some of the most high profile cases in the country. Contact us today if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges of any kind.
Michael Jaccarino, and the criminal defense attorneys at Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins, PC, have decades of experience.
For more information or more fact-specific discussions, call our office and ask to speak with attorney Michael Jaccarino.