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Last Updated on: 2nd August 2023, 12:23 am
Domestic abuse involves crimes that occur between members of the same family or household. Those involved may be people who are legally married, formerly married, have a common child, have been in an intimate relationship or are related by affinity or consanguinity.
New York laws classify domestic abuse into four categories: menacing, assault, stalking and strangulation. Assault occurs when the offender causes physical harm to another person using a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon. Menacing occurs when the offender threatens to kill or cause physical harm to someone else. The offender is guilty of stalking when he knowingly and for no valid reason engages in a conduct that is likely to cause fear of harm to the safety and physical health of another person. Stalking also involves situations where the person targeted feels his business or career is in danger. Strangulation occurs when the offender applies pressure to the neck or throat of another person with the intention to prevent air and blood circulation.
Penalties for Domestic Abuse
The severity of a domestic abuse penalty depends on what the charges are. Individuals who are convicted of violent offenses such as first-degree assault can get between five and 25 years in prison or a fine not exceeding $5,000. The first-degree strangulation, which is also a violent felony offense, can attract a prison sentence ranging between three and 15 years or a fine of up to $5,000. Menacing, another violent felony but of a lesser magnitude, can attract up to four years in prison. The offender might also go through a probation program or forced to go for anger management therapies. Stalking also attracts penalties similar to menacing.
There are several defenses you can explore when you are charged with domestic abuse. A domestic abuse case must constitute certain acts. Such acts may include stalking, harassment, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, criminal sexual contact, assault, homicide, menacing and strangulation. If the charges are based on a conduct that does not fit in any of the above, you may have no case to answer.
Another possible defense strategy you could explore is to check if the jurisdictional requirements have been met. A case may lack jurisdiction if the plaintiff and the defendant do not fall under the category of individuals protected by the The New York State Domestic Violence Prevention Act. Individuals protected under this act include those who are married, are formerly married, have an intimate relationship or have a common child.
You can also claim self-defense. In this case, you can say that you used a reasonable amount of force to defend yourself against the physical actions of the plaintiff. The judges might dismiss your case if they believe that your actions were due to self-defense.
If you feel someone might file a domestic abuse complaint against you, you can conduct a discovery prior to trial. Ask the person to provide you with copies of medical reports or records regarding the injuries he claims to have suffered and a list of witnesses he intends to call. You may also need copies of the evidence he plans to rely on during trial. These may include tape recordings, expert reports and photographs.
Get a Lawyer
While it is possible to defend yourself against domestic abuse charges, there a lot of complex legal terms you have to understand and procedures to deal with. This can be very challenging if you don’t have any legal experience. Hire an experienced lawyer instead to help you go through the complex legal procedures associated with domestic abuse crimes. A lawyer will work day in day out to build a strong defense and protect your rights during such difficult times.
Contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation over the phone or via email. You can also schedule an appointment at one our offices in New York.
Domestic violence is aggression committed by an adult in a marriage, love, or family relationship. The hostile behavior can manifest itself through physical, oral, psychological, or physical attacks. The aggressor’s goal is to force the victim into complying with particular instructions or to exercise control over the lover or spouse.
In 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice estimated that up to four million citizens suffer domestic abuse incidents every year. In a report the Bureau of Justice Statistics released in 1994, women constitute 92 percent of domestic abuse victims.
Understanding the Nature of Domestic Violence
• Domestic-based abuse can involve the fiancée, current spouse, former spouse, family member, parents, in-laws, or child.
• Sometimes, the aggressor is the same gender relationship partner, the dating partner, an unmarried person of the opposite gender, adopted parent, stepfather or mother, and even a person who offers refuge.
• Domestic violence victims are not exclusively female. Men too suffer domestic abuse.
• Although physical, sexual, and psychological abuse is the most common forms of domestic aggression, the destruction of property or pets does happen.
Protecting yourself from Domestic Abuse
When you share a residence with the aggressor, you should take care of your life and the lives of the children as well. A person with the tendency to commit domestic violence crimes is more likely to cause death. Also, the following steps can help a domestic violence lawyer to initiate legal action against the abuser:
• Document the abusive incidents: Keep the records of the incidences of emotional or physical abuse involving you and the kids. The time, date, and the description of every aggression or injuries are essential.
• Seek a safe residence: Never put your life in danger. You can seek refuge in a hotel, the house of a friend, or co-worker, but avoid predictable homes, such as your parents’ home.
Consult a Domestic Law Expert Immediately
Sometimes, circumstances can force you and the children to vacate the marital or shared home quickly. Call a domestic abuse defense attorney without delay for help in seeking the court to provide emergency protective orders for you and the kids. Failure to get the protective order will make the spouse accuse of you of kidnapping. The order will also require the abusive party to stay away from the victims.
What Behavior Constitutes Domestic Violence?
You should consult domestic violence attorneys if you experience the abuses below.
• Physical actions, such as slapping, pulling of hair, kicking, boxing, punching, or shoving.
• Coerced sexual acts, unwanted intercourse, or sexual jokes, and insults.
• Threats of abuse including the threat to hit, use a weapon, or harm.
• Psychological abuse, attacks on your self-esteem, interrogation, limiting of your movements, or repeated insults.
• Stalking, following another person, appearing in a workplace or person’s home.
• Cyberstalking that leads to emotional distress
Long-Term Protection for Domestic Abuse Victim
Emergency custody orders will protect you for a while. You need to work with the domestic Your text to link…abuse lawyers on a longer-term program that involves the issues below:
• Divorce proceedings or a separation process if you are unmarried.
• Child custody, child support, and alimony.
• Division of marital property and liabilities.
• Visitation rights.
Federal and U.S. State Domestic Violence Laws
Both the federal and state robustly protect the citizens at the risk of domestic abuse. The 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) while safeguarding women against sexual and domestic violence against women also calls for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.
Jail Sentence and Penalties for Perpetrators of Domestic Violence
In Alabama, stalking a former spouse is a class A felony which invites up to 99 years in jail. Florida laws state that a defendant who inflicts intentional physical injury in a domestic scuffle must spend five days in prison. Penalties for domestic violence include community service, fines, jail, restraining orders, termination of parental rights, supervised visitation rights, and deportation for non-nationals.
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