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The state of New York takes the commission of alleged crimes seriously and has many legal consequences for people who are repeat offenders. For example, we’ve seen many domestic violence cases come into our office that seem simple enough on the surface, but the person has had previous offenses that qualify him or her to be accused of this additional crime: Aggravated Family Offense.
Explanation of Aggravated Family Offense
Let’s say that you are a person who has committed one of the following crimes in the previous five years, as defined in statute, and, of course, the calculation of the five years before this arrestwould exclude any times when you were incarcerated.
You could be hit with this charge if you had been convicted of crimes such as:
Understanding the Victim or Complainant’s Position
You are reading this page because you or someone you know has been accused of domestic violence (DV). This offense is something that is brought as a charge against you because it was related to the current alleged “victim.” Remember, that New York State takes a wide view of what constitutes a family and what constitutes “domestic violence.” People could be potential victims of your domestic violence charge because they lived with you at one point in time, were intimately involved with you at least once, or had children in common with you but never lived with you. Because of the broad definitions of these types of concepts in the Empire State, you need to explore and define the nature of your relationship to the present “victim” with your Domestic Violence attorney. Don’t assume that just because you weren’t related by blood, marriage, or another domestic relationship, you would not be subject to this charge.
**The Victims Don’t Have to Be the Same Person**
It’s very important to note that New York Penal Law 240.75(3) does not require your new alleged offense to be against the same individual who was the “target” in your previous conviction (described above). The two “victims” don’t even have to be people who knew each other or who resided in the same home.
Protecting Yourself During This Case
There are related issues to consider when you have been accused of an Aggravated Family Offense. The maximum sentence that you could receive upon conviction of this crime is four years in prison because it’s a Class “E” felony. The presiding judge will also have to take steps to protect the person who has complained against you, or the alleged “victim.” This means the judge will need to grant an order of protection agains this “victim” until the entire case is resolved. If you violate this order of protection, then the prosecutors (or District Attorneys) in the case can also bring more charges against you, including Criminal Contempt. You could end up facing more jail time than you would if you had stayed away from the “victim” until your case was completed. Furthermore, the District Attorney will typically ask the presiding judge for higher bail in your case. Greater bail is designed to make it harder for you to get out of confinement until the trial. Finally, you will expect that having an arrest on your record for potentially committing this offense, or, worse, having a conviction, under the 240.75 law, will affect your employment options in the future. People who are considered foreign nationals can also jeopardize their ability to legally stay in this country.
Take Action Today to Resolve Your Aggravated Family Offense Charge
When you are initially arrested in this kind of Domestic Violence matter, you want to believe that your innocence will protect you. However, anything that you say in a statement to the police, the prosecutors, or the judge could hurt your case. It could even make you “guilty” when you weren’t. It’s important to contact a licensed attorney and get legal advice on New York criminal defense matters like these ASAP. Contact us at the Spodek Law Group for more information today!