Domestic violence is a major problem in the Bronx. It’s an often unseen and unreported issue, something that causes a great deal of pain and harms in many homes. When an individual is charged with one of these crimes, it is the duty of the court to take it seriously. Domestic violence is not always a cut-and-dried situation, though. In some cases, individuals are charged with Domestic Violence even when their actions don’t fall under that umbrella. If you have been charged with such a crime, it’s important you understand both how these crimes are defined and the likely penalties. Only this will help motivate you to find a good attorney and to mount the kind of defense that will help you keep your life on track.
Definition of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence actually has a relatively broad definition in the state of New York. In fact, the crime can best be defined as one that’s about against whom the crime was committed rather than where the crime happened. You don’t have to be at home to commit a crime of domestic violence, nor do you have to be married to the person against whom the crime was committed. Domestic violence has to do with relationship.
In the State of New York, domestic violence is defined as a crime between members of the same family or household. New York defines those relationships as between people who have a bond of blood, marriage, or adoption, as well as those who have intimate relationships or share a child in common. As such, it’s entirely possible to commit a crime of domestic violence against an individual who does not live with you or to whom you have no legal or blood ties.
Domestic violence laws don’t just deal with violence, either. The laws in place currently deal with other issues like menacing and stalking. The statutes that constitute domestic violence in New York cover a broad spectrum with the intent of protecting victims.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
Just as there are many crimes that fall under the umbrella of domestic violence, so too are there many different possible penalties. The penalties that come with domestic violence can range from minor fines to prison time and can greatly effect the freedom of movement for anyone that has been accused of a crime.
Some of the most common penalties are not necessarily what one would consider when looking at the law. Instead of an active punishment, an offender may have an order of protection taken out against them. This can keep an individual away from a certain place or a certain person, causing a major impact on his or her life. While certainly not as restrictive jail time, it can change the way that one lives his or her life.
Domestic violence is also a charge that carries with it a very heavy social stigma. If you are even accused of the crime, you can quickly find a community turning against you. There are some places that are uncomfortable hiring people who have been convicted of a crime and it’s entirely possible that a job could be lost because of the negative associations with the charges.
Defense of Domestic Violence
There are a few different defenses that one can bring forth in a domestic violence case. Perhaps the most common is justification, which is generally used when a parent physically disciplines a minor with what the court finds the be reasonable force. There’s a fine line here, and proving that the force was justified can be difficult.
Self-defense is usually also a good defense for a domestic violence charge. Proving, however, can be very difficult. Self-defense is often raised as a defense even in circumstances when it is inappropriate. The legal definition of the act is fairly narrow, and thus requires the help of an attorney to prove it.
There are also a few other, more complex defenses available. Mental disease or defect – commonly thought of an ‘insanity’ plea – can be a viable defense, though it is also very difficult to provide. It takes the work of a very skilled attorney to mount any sort of defense to domestic violence – and without his or her help, it’s unlikely that the court will show much sympathy to the accused.
Domestic violence is not a charge that can be ignored. Even being accused of the crime can have a huge impact on your future. No matter what you think the truth might be, you need a good Bronx domestic violence lawyer to help you to mount a successful defense. No Bronx domestic violence lawyer can make promises about your future, but a good lawyer will give you your best chance to beat the charges. Always remember that domestic violence crimes will be taken seriously by the court and that you should take them just as seriously.
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