Victims of domestic violence may be able to receive relief through the criminal justice system. Here in Suffolk County, the Family Court and the District Court are available and VIBS advocates are available every step of the way.
There are two Suffolk County Court locations — Cohalan Court Complex, located at 400 Carleton Avenue, Central Islip and Cromarty Court Complex, located at 210 Center Dr South, Riverhead.
The most common way a victim of abuse can seek relief through Family Court is by obtaining an order of protection against their abuser. By filing a Family Offense Petition, a victim has the opportunity to request protection from the court from their abuser. In Suffolk County, a judge may issue one of two types of protective orders: a “refrain from,” which regulates an individual’s behavior in the presence of another, and a “stay away,” which prohibits one party from being near another.
If you or someone you know is seeking assistance filing a Family Offense Petition or have concerns for your safety, VIBS advocates are trained and experienced in filing Petitions and assisting litigants. VIBS’ Legal Services Department exists to provide legal representation to clients in need for the duration of their court proceeding(s).
Suffolk County Criminal Court is often known as “District Court” operates at both the Central Islip and Riverhead locations. Should a victim of violence call the police on their abuser and that individual is arrested, within 24-hours, the detained person will be “arraigned.” They will appear before a judge who will decide to: release the defendant, set a bail for that person, or continue to detain the individual. From arraignment, a new court date will be established for the defendant to move forward in the case.
VIBS’ Victim Advocates can accompany victims of domestic violence to arraignment and all subsequent court dates, they can even assist victims in speaking with Assistant District Attorneys when applicable.