New York’s domestic violence laws generally apply to criminal behavior between two or more members of the same family or household who are blood relatives or relatives through marriage. They might be present or former spouses or people with a child in common. They might even have an intimate relationship without a common household.
Allegations of domestic violence are often used to gain an advantage in a relationship, break up or divorce. Many times no domestic violence occurred at all, but the police make an arrest anyway. The person who called 911 often has no idea of what the consequences are going to be or how that phone call impacts their family and the accused person. What frequently follows the arrest is an order of protection being issued. After cooling off, the allegedly battered or abused petitioner often wants the order lifted and the prosecution of the defendant dismissed.
New York’s domestic violence laws address a variety of acts. Some common forms of domestic violence involve:
An assault demonstrates an attempt to cause physical harm to another person or actually causing injury to him or her. Assault is usually charged as a class A misdemeanor. It’s punishable by not more than 364 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000.
Following a person in or around a public place or engaging in a course of conduct that reasonably places a person in fear of bodily harm or death can constitute harassment. Harassment doesn’t necessarily involve threats. It can involve a course of conduct through the use of a telephone or computer coupled with causing annoyance or alarm. Harassment is also usually charged as a class A misdemeanor.
If somebody is charged with stalking, he or she has caused either a reasonable fear of physical harm to a person or their property through telephonic, computer or other contact with that person. Stalking can also contemplate conduct intended to cause mental anguish. It’s usually charged as a class B misdemeanor that’s punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $500.
If somebody intentionally places another person in reasonable fear of physical harm or death, he or she can be found guilty of menacing. The crime is usually charged as a class B misdemeanor, but if a weapon is used during the crime, menacing can be charged as a class A misdemeanor.
A person can be guilty of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation if he or she applies pressure on the throat or neck of a person or blocks their nose or mouth. Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation is also a class A misdemeanor.
Every case involves different facts. Any of the above offenses can be upgraded to a felony if particularly aggravating facts are involved.
Many defenses exist to domestic violence charges. Some of the most common defenses include:
- Self defense in that you were not the primary aggressor
- Defense of others like defending a child from an aggressor
- Denial in that the alleged victim had a motive and no physical evidence
- Voluntary consent to an act
We want to help our clients avoid domestic violence orders and convictions, so we work tirelessly to minimize the hardships of domestic cases on our clients and their families. Once we’re retained on a case, we raise every defense that we believe will yield the best possible result and reduce any possible adverse consequences.
Effective defenses don’t start in courtrooms. They start as soon as you retain us to defend you on a domestic violence charge. Contact us right away after a domestic violence arrest for a free consultation at 888-981-9185.