Vacating an Order of Protection: Removing a Restraining Order Post-Conviction in a New York Criminal Court

Our client, previously convicted of Fourth Degree Criminal Mischief, was sentenced in 2015 to a conditional discharge. Further, as part of the disposition of a case involving, among other allegations, Criminal Possession of a Weapon and Menacing, the Court issued a five year Order of Protection in favor of a cab driver despite the fact that the complainant and our client were strangers. After moving out of New York State and pursuing a new career, the Restraining Order, not the underlying conviction, began to cause our client issues because it appeared on background checks. Wanting to secure relief from the Order of Protection that functionally served no purpose to protect an unknown person in a state where our client did not reside, the client reached out to the criminal lawyers at Saland Law PC to vacate the Order of Protection.

Upon retaining the firm, one of our criminal attorneys filed a post-conviction motion to vacate the Order of Protection. In significant part, the argument set forth in this motion grew from the unusual, unanticipated and disproportionate impacts the Restraining Order had on client’s livelihood. After a great deal of negotiation and conversation with the prosecutor handling our motion, and failed attempts to contact the complainant and key witness from the underlying case, the District Attorney’s Office did not oppose our application. More importantly, however, upon reviewing our motion the Court granted the same and vacated the Order of Protection.

While every case is unique, the fact that an allegation involving a knife, damage to property and threatening behavior did not on its face preclude our client from the sought relief is a testament that Saland Law PC’s advocacy. One could argue that where the District Attorney could not consult with a complainant nor advise him of the possible removal of an Order of Protection, the prosecution could have easily taken a different position. Moreover, the same could be said for the judge reviewing the case. Instead, and to both parties’ credit, prosecutors and the court examined the necessity, value, and impact of the Order of Protection on the complainant and our client. Upon weighing all of the factors, the judge rightfully determined that after more than three years, no subsequent criminal involvement, and the ramifications the Restraining Order had on employment, it was appropriate to vacate the Order of Protection.

To learn more about Orders of Protection and whether vacating your Restraining Order is an option, contact the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law PC.

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