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NYC Domestic Violence Lawyers

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

Domestic Violence Cases in New York City

In New York City, the rate of domestic violence cases continues to rise at a startling rate, and as media coverage continues to increase, law enforcement within the New York area is coming under increased scrutiny in regards to their actions in the prosecution process concerning this type of crime.

Definition and Types of Domestic Violence

While there is no singular crime defined under the category of domestic violence, it is a catchall term that is used to reference crimes that have occurred within a household setting, amongst family members, or between those involved in a romantic relationship. Domestic violence can range significantly in its mean, as stalking, assault, rape, harassment, and murder can all be considered separate forms of the transgression. During instances of domestic violence, the victim can be a roommate, girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, wife, or even a child.

Legal Complications in Domestic Violence Cases

Although domestic violence continues to rise in terms of reported frequency, due to the complex nature of the charge, as well as an intense fervor by the authorities to prosecute this crime, there are, in some cases, unintended errors in the process. In order to ensure that you are receiving the fairest practice regarding your domestic violence case, contact an experienced New York Domestic Violence Lawyer, such as those operating at criminallawyersnyc.com.

Circumstances and Consequences of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a broad term used to describe a crime committed between those in an intimate or social relationship, such as casual dating, a marriage, a family member, or simply living together in some capacity. Domestic violence can vary significantly in its severity, as well as in its punishment.

When charged and arrested for a crime that falls under the domestic violence statute, an order of protection is generally issued by the court as a preliminary action. A conviction regarding domestic violence can range significantly in regards to the penalty, resulting in probation, or possibly, life imprisonment, and if the domestic violence charge includes a crime of sexual misconduct, you may be required to register as a sex offender.

Get Legal Help

Domestic violence, despite its wide range of penalties, can be a severe and complex issue to deal with, so it is important that you seek counsel with adequate experience regarding these issues. The experts at criminallawyersnyc.com are available to handle your case, so please, contact them immediately if you are facing a charge of domestic violence, for a free consultation, today.

New York Domestic Violence Laws

Understanding Domestic Violence

The rate of domestic violence is on the rise at an alarming pace. There have been many celebrity cases, which involve domestic violence, that have plagued the media, New York police, and other law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. In addition, prosecutors are under pressure to prosecute those accused of domestic violence to the full extent of the law.

The term domestic violence can describe any crime that involves two individuals who are in a domestic relationship, reside in the same home, or are family members. There are many types of domestic violence that include harassment, rape, murder, stalking, and other crimes. Victims of domestic violence may include a husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, child, parent, or any other person living in the same residence.

Although domestic violence is a serious problem, prosecutors are often so determined to peruse the accused so aggressively that they are known to make mistakes in these types of cases. If you have been charged with domestic violence, the sooner you consult with an attorney is the sooner that you can start to build a strong defense against the criminal charge.

Domestic Violence in New York

Because New York law doesn’t have a specific crime for domestic violence, an individual can’t be charged with domestic violence. The term is fairly broad, as it can occur between many different groups of people. Although many individuals believe that men are primarily charged with domestic violence, many women in New York face domestic violence charges every year.

Consequences of Domestic Violence Conviction

Protection Orders and Other Restrictions

When an individual is arrested and charged with a crime that directly involves two people who reside in the same house, an order of protection will be issued to the accused by the court. This order is to ensure victims are kept safe from harassment, threats, abuse, and other forms of violence. In addition, other protections and restrictions may be issued to make certain the victim is safe. An example may include a situation that requires the accused avoid all contact with the victim, and they may also be required to pay child support, medical bills, and more.

Penalties and Sentencing

If an individual is convicted of a crime that is due to domestic violence, the consequences can range from probation to a life sentence in prison. The length of the sentence is based on the charge. The least serious domestic violence offenses will result in a disorderly conduct charge, which is classified under New York law as a violation. The maximum possible sentence for a violation is 15 days in jail along with a $250 fine. However, most crimes that are related to domestic violence are classified as a felony or misdemeanor.

The following outlines the sentence possibilities if convicted of a crime that is related to domestic violence:

  • Class B misdemeanor – a maximum jail sentence up to 90 days and a maximum fine of $500;
  • Class A misdemeanor – a maximum jail sentence up to one year and a $1,000 fine;
  • Class E felony – a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a $5,000 fine;
  • Class D felony – a maximum prison sentence up to seven years and a $5,000 fine;
  • Class C felony – a maximum prison sentence up to 15 years and a $15,000 fine;
  • Class B felony – a prison sentence of 25 years and a $30,000 fine.
  • Class A-II felony – a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $50,000 fine;
  • Class A-I felony – life in prison with a fine up to $100,000.

Regulations around Sex Offenders

Not only will those convicted possibly have to serve a jail or prison sentence, participate in probation, and pay a costly fine, if the crime was related to a sex violation, it could result in the accused having to register as a sex offender. According to New York law, sex offenders are required to register for 20 years following their conviction. In addition, there are some instances where individuals will have to remain in the registry for the rest of their lives. If you are a registered sex offender in New York, you will not be allowed to move out of the state without informing the Department of criminal Justice Services. Once you have moved, you must adhere to the local jurisdiction’s sex offender rules on registration requirements. In addition, you may be required to visit a local police station to have your photograph taken every three years. Registered sex offenders also have to inform police of their address and employer. When an individual fails to adhere to these rules, it could lead to a Class D felony charge that will result in prison time.

Seeking Legal Advice

If you are charged with a crime because of domestic violence, you should seek guidance from a criminal defense attorney who has experience with these types of cases. An attorney can help ensure your rights are protected.

Understanding Domestic Violence Law

Rather than one violation, domestic violence is an umbrella term that covers a range of domestic-related criminal offenses from harassment to murder. This can be one of the more volatile areas of law, involving a host of family dynamics. That’s why you need an experienced domestic violence lawyer in NYC to protect your rights.

Types of Domestic Violence Charges

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence or abuse, or a perpetrator, but the crimes usually involve an uneven power dynamic of some sort. Statistically, men are more likely to be perpetrators and women or children the victims. There are crimes that involve actual, physical assault and those that include intimidation or threats of violence. What separates domestic violence from simple assault is the relationship between the parties.

While a domestic assault is still an assault, the perpetrator and victim must have an intimate relationship of some sort for it to be considered a domestic crime. That includes parents or guardians and children, spouses or ex-spouses, domestic partners, and couples, either of the opposite or same sex. Sex crimes, including sexual assault, rape, and child sexual abuse, are also considered domestic violence offenses.

Stalking, Menacing, and Non-Sexual Harassment

Domestic violence crimes that don’t involve battery include stalking, intimidation, menacing, and harassment. Disorderly conduct, if it involves a public argument or threats against an intimate partner or family member, can also fall under the umbrella of domestic violence; both parties can be charged in such incidences.

Harassment is separated into simple harassment or aggravated harassment. Simple harassment involves some sort of physical contact such as shoving, kicking, or hitting that follows a pattern of intimidation. It becomes aggravated harassment if the prior threat is made via text messages, emails, voice mails, or threats made over social media.

Stalking is charged if you follow someone or communicate with them in any way that causes them to become fearful for their safety and well-being. There are four degrees of stalking offenses. First Degree Stalking is charged if you physically assault the person you are stalking, cause them bodily harm, or sexually abuse them.

Sex Crimes

Sex crimes are separated between sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, and rape. There are three degrees of each. Sexual abuse is the non-consensual touching of sexual or intimate body parts for the purpose of sexual gratification. Sexual misconduct is non-consensual penetration or oral contact with the intimate body parts of another. Any forcible sexual penetration that involves someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated, or sexual penetration of anyone under the age of 17, is considered rape. Sexual misconduct and sexual abuse offenses are misdemeanors, and rape is a felony offense in each definition. These become domestic crimes when committed against a romantic partner or family member.

What Happens If I’m Arrested for Domestic Violence?

Any type of domestic violence conviction will not only cost you money and possibly your freedom, it can also alter the course of your life after you’ve fulfilled your legal obligations. It can affect your employment, where you can and cannot live, or prohibit you from contact with your children. For example, a sex crime can make you ineligible to work around children, and you may have to register as a sex offender. A judge may place other restrictions on you after a domestic violence conviction, including orders of protection. You may also by prohibited from contacting your former spouse, romantic partner, or other family members by phone, mail, or electronically.

Domestic Violence Attorneys in NYC

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a domestic violence offense, your first phone call should be to the Spodek Law Group. We’re available 24/7, and we’ll always give your case the kind of personal attention it deserves.

Wrongful Arrests in Domestic Violence Cases

As many judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys can testify, a wrongful arrest in a domestic violence case is too often used as a kind of weapon in a courtroom setting. Most attorneys have seen false accusations leveled against a client in some form or another; fortunately, many good attorneys understand what individuals going through a crisis involving a false accusation are experiencing and are there to help and provide counsel.

A Scourge on Society

However you look at it, false accusations are tragically misguided attempts to manipulate the criminal justice system. Sadly, everyone in society loses when an individual makes a false accusation against an innocent person in order to achieve an end that few people might actually understand.

Unscrupulous individuals have been known to use false domestic violence allegations to secure custody over their children, win divorce disputes, effectively evict a partner from a home, or simply settle scores. They may be so deluded that they believe that a partner or acquaintance “deserves” to be arrested even when the other person has done nothing wrong.

The Impact of False Allegations

Indeed, false accusations negatively affect the reputations of both innocent people who have had such an accusation leveled against them and genuine victims who may not be believed in the future due to unscrupulous actors within the criminal justice system.

Unfortunately, dealing with such accusations can be enormously stressful for a falsely-accused person. Individuals may feel guilt, shame, and self-doubt over something that they have not done. They may go over events again and again in their mind and even begin to doubt their own understanding of reality. (This process is called “gas-lighting” and is often used by false accusers to control the emotions of people around them.)
Because there are often no witnesses to the supposed “crime,” moreover, accusations may end up simply descending into “he said, she said” arguments where accused individuals cannot provide proof of their innocence.

Overcoming False Accusations

Individuals who have been falsely accused of domestic violence may also be deeply affected socially and find even close friends questioning their honest version of events. They may be prevented from living in their own home or have difficulty maintaining a job.

Moreover, a person making a false accusation may be incredibly convincing with their story when discussing their case with police officers or prosecuting attorneys. Indeed, many defense lawyers have seen cases where a person making a false accusation will injure themselves in order to falsify evidence against another person.

When an Accuser is Emotionally Unstable

In cases where the person making the accusation has Borderline Personality Disorder or a similar condition they may lash out at others simply to mete out arbitrary punishment for perceived slights. Such a person will likely experience no remorse for ruining a person’s reputation and wasting the time of police and court officers.

It is imperative for these reasons for individuals who have been falsely accused of domestic violence seek out legal representation. Many attorneys are familiar with the tactics used by accusers to discredit partners or spouses and can significantly help clients with their cases.

What Attorneys Can Do to Help

Every false domestic violence case will be different, and attorneys will need to weigh each client’s options to find a strategy forward. Because every case has its own variables, there is no one systematic approach to dealing with false accusations and arrests.

One important step following any arrest over a false accusation of domestic violence is to gather all evidence for a defense as quickly as possible. The longer a person waits to gather materials that will exonerate them the more they will be at a disadvantage in court at a later date. In the legal world, time is always of the essence; this is particularly true when it comes to exonerating evidence.

For these reasons, fighting against a wrongful arrest in a domestic violence case can be an extremely stressful and difficult process. But the right attorney can help individuals who are innocent to seek justice. It may be a difficult journey, but finding the strength to move forward in such cases is extremely important. And a trusted legal advisor can help you do just that.

Domestic Violence Crimes: Definition & Terms

At the Spodek Law Group, we take the representation of the accused seriously. We want to help you understand the New York laws and rules regarding federal, state, and local prosecutable crimes. While it may seem that crimes require a victim to be able to testify against you, this is not the case. Many cases can be prosecuted without a victim (or a victim’s remains in more serious cases).

Rely on Our Diligence – How New York Defines Domestic Violence Crimes

If you hire our legal team, we will research appropriate statutes and case law and help you negotiate the best possible outcome for your case. If you currently hold a professional license in fields such as law, medicine, teaching, or finance, a conviction could have far-reaching consequences for your career. If you are an immigrant, whether documented or undocumented, many crimes like these could lead to your arrest and deportation and/or hurt your application for residency or citizenship. It’s important to take time to find qualified legal representation and have this person on your side when you receive your day in court.

Reference the Legal Definitions Here:

The New York Social Services Law 459-a contains definitions regarding domestic violence, including who qualifies as a victim in these kinds of cases.

Definition of Victim

In order to be a “victim of domestic violence,” you must be a person who is over age 16, or any married person, or any parent accompanied by his or her minor child or children in certain situations. Crimes that could be associated with victims in this area of the law include:

Take it from our legal team which has defended many accused individuals over the years in the New York federal and state courts. Your future is not worth letting this charge be resolved by a public defender. Get a legal consultation and determine if the Spodek Law Group is the right criminal defense firm to represent your case!

New York Domestic Violence Attorneys

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you probably have many questions and concerns. This can be a scary time. Domestic violence charges carry a very negative stigma. They can cause significant problems with finding employment, friends, family, and your neighbors. You may even be subjected to court-imposed restrictions with your children. While you may not be guilty, the courts tend to side with the victims in these cases. They also require a much lower burden of proof than in other court cases. If you’re facing these charges, it’s imperative that you have a skilled domestic violence attorney to represent you. They can either have the charges dismissed or significantly reduced in many cases.

Types of domestic violence charges:

Domestic violence charges can include many different types of crimes. Harassment, stalking, battery, menacing, kidnapping, false imprisonment, reckless endangerment, and more can all fall under the domestic violence umbrella depending on the specific circumstances. On the surface, these charges are labelling that sound very serious in nature. Many of these actions describe behaviors that aren’t quite as severe as the labels imply. For example, being labeled as a stalker by contacting someone more times than they liked is rather common. Kidnapping can be as simple as returning home late with a child that you have custody of for the weekend. Regardless of the scenario, these are very serious charges with severe penalties.

Domestic violence penalties and fines:

Due to the nature of domestic violence being a family court issue in many cases, self-representation often seems like a good idea. Unfortunately, this is a very bad idea in a matter where the victim doesn’t have to prove much to have you convicted. The actual fines and penalties vary based on the specific nature of the crime. However, fines of $1,000 or more and 30 or more days in jail aren’t uncommon. There’s also a significant risk of losing visitation rights with children and having to stay away from the victim for a very long time if not indefinitely. There’s also a chance you’ll have to attend court ordered counseling and classes for rehabilitation. If you’ve had a prior conviction of domestic violence, the charges and penalties increase significantly with each offense. This can include significant jail time and hefty fines. If you’re convicted of aggravated domestic violence charges, you’ll also be facing much higher fines and penalties. A highly skilled New York domestic violence lawyer is your best bet to defend yourself in any of these scenarios. The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence provides a great deal of information relating to domestic violence laws. Click here to access their website.

Possible defenses in domestic violence cases:

Domestic violence cases are often subjected to heavily exaggerated claims. Often, a victim’s testimony is enough to substantiate a conviction with very little to no physical evidence required. If the victim does have evidence, they stand an even greater chance at obtaining a conviction against the perpetrator. In cases where the victim doesn’t personally know the perpetrator, they’ll often identify the wrong person. An attorney can examine the witness to check for inconsistencies in their testimony. They’re also able to ensure that any evidence presented is legitimate and has been properly submitted. Many times, the victim will represent themselves or have an advocate by their side for emotional support. While the advocate isn’t an attorney, they may offer advice to the victim independent of the trial to help strengthen their case. If the victim is a former spouse or partner, they may be motivated to be dishonest to seek revenge. Domestic violence attorneys are skilled at exposing the victim’s true intentions when this occurs. Self-representation for the respondent in these matters is highly discouraged and can lead to even greater charges than anticipated.

Get in touch with our New York domestic violence lawyers today:

Our domestic violence attorneys can help you defend against any charges and possibly help you beat or have them reduced. We offer a free no-risk consultation to see how we can help you. Don’t risk your reputation, relationships, and livelihood. Get in touch with us via telephone or online, today.

Don’t deal with Domestic Violence alone. Speak to the Spodek Law Group today.

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