Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges NYC: What You Need to Know

Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges NYC: What You Need to Know

If you, or someone you know, has been indicted or arrested on domestic violence charges, you must contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer. Domestic violence is a serious crime in New York, and can carry a range of penalties – the most extreme being life in prison.

New York State rarely allows any domestic violence charges to be dropped due to their sensitive nature, and it pursues an aggressive mandatory arrest policy.

Regardless of your guilt, a charge of domestic violence can affect your reputation, your career, and your life in general. It’s important you have the proper representation to stand up for you in court and fight against any domestic violence charges.

NYC citizens involved in a domestic violence charge should be aware of the severity of a conviction and understand the prosecution process. Here, we’ll examine the methods lawyers will employ to defend domestic violence cases and explore your options.

Understanding Domestic Violence Charges in NYC

Domestic violence is an umbrella term that covers a vast range of threatening crimes. It’s an abusive pattern of controlling behavior that can occur between family members or people in an intimate relationship.

Intimate relationships include any current or past partners, people you have a child with, people related to you by marriage, people related to you by blood, and unrelated people you have lived with for a long period of time. Domestic violence can happen to anybody regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or background.

Domestic violence often includes physical assault; however, this isn’t the only basis for a case. Anyone using threats or acts of emotional, financial, psychological, or sexual abuse to maintain control over a family member or intimate partner is guilty of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is not a criminal charge, but you may be charged with a crime associated with domestic violence. Common examples of domestic violence crimes in New York are:

  • Stalking and Harassment
  • Communicating Threats
  • Kidnapping
  • Sex Crimes
  • Assault
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Reckless Endangerment
  • Burglary
  • Murder/ Attempted Murder

The Impact of Domestic Violence Charges

If you’re convicted of a domestic violence charge, you could face fines, community service, probation, a prison sentence, or a combination of these penalties, depending on the severity of the offenses. As well as the damage to your personal reputation, you will also have to navigate life with a criminal record.

Carrying a criminal record has far-reaching impacts. For those in professions such as law, finance, or medicine, their professional licenses might be at risk.

You may find it tough to find housing or employment, and those with certain immigration statuses may face the possibility of deportation. If the conviction involves a sex crime, you could be required to register as a sex offender.

There is also a high likelihood of a court issuing an order of protection (a restraining order) against the accused within days of an arrest. This prevents alleged perpetrators from communicating with the alleged victim and will direct the accused to move out if the parties live together. Breaching an order of protection is a criminal offense and could result in criminal penalties.

Legal Consequences For Domestic Violence Charges

Penalties for domestic violence offenses under New York penal law vary depending on the severity of the charge and the type of offense. Domestic violence cases often come with heavy penalties, however, these are typically tougher for the prosecution to prove.

Misdemeanor Charges

Some offenses may result in misdemeanor charges, which carry lesser penalties and can range from probation up to one year in jail. Class A misdemeanor charges are the most serious and can come with up to a year of jail time or three years probation.

A Class B misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a year’s probation. Class A and B misdemeanor charges also come with a possible fine.

Felony Charges

Other more serious offenses may be charged as a felony. Felony offenses have heavy penalties, fines, and jail sentences. Felony assault charges, for example, can be tried as high as a Class B felony, which carries with it a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 25 years in jail, as well as a fine of up to $30,000! Any Class A felony conviction comes with a possible sentence of life in prison.

There are a number of aggravating factors in a case of domestic violence, including whether a weapon or other dangerous instrument was involved and if there are any past crimes committed by the accused against the victim.

Due to the severe nature of domestic violence charges and the heavy potential penalties, it’s vital that you have an experienced New York criminal defense lawyer on hand to represent you in court.

Our team is well experienced in defending against domestic violence charges – we know your rights and can determine the best defense strategy for your case.

Legal Defense Strategies for Domestic Violence Charges

Defense strategies are decided on a case-by-case basis, with multiple potential strategies available to you depending on the circumstances of your case. A skilled defense attorney will explore several strategies before settling on one appropriate to your case.

False Accusations

Sometimes defendants find themselves on the other end of a domestic violence offense through no fault of their own. A false accusation is a serious crime that can result in dire consequences. Due to New York’s mandatory arrest policy, if the police determine there is probable cause, you can be arrested without hesitation.

False accusations are most common when there are divorce or custody proceedings happening, as one party tries to gain an advantage over the accused. An expert criminal defense lawyer will be able to put the alleged victim’s credibility under the spotlight and show the jury why they shouldn’t trust them.

The Burden Of Proof

To successfully prosecute a criminal domestic violence case, the prosecution must meet the required burden of proof. As charges escalate, the burden of proof becomes harder to meet, requiring the prosecution to present more substantial evidence to persuade the jury.

Insufficient Proof

If there is insufficient proof, then a defendant cannot be convicted. Good defense attorneys will look to poke holes in the prosecution’s argument by exploring any contradictions in witness testimony and questioning the motives behind the accusation.

Often in cases of domestic violence, defendants were acting in self-defense. Everyone has a right to protect themselves from physical harm. If your lawyer can prove that you were acting out of self-preservation or protecting your children, you will have established a strong defense.

Have You Been Accused Of Domestic Violence?

If you have been accused of a domestic violence crime, it’s crucial you contact an experienced New York defense attorney immediately. At The Law Offices of Julie Rendelman, we can help you fight against any criminal charges.

We understand how daunting facing a criminal charge for domestic violence can be, and we will work to create the best possible defense for your situation. With our experience of New York domestic violence cases and the penal code, you can rest assured you have the best legal representation fighting for your rights. Call now for a free consultation: (212) 951-1232