How Are Domestic Violence Cases Handled In New York?

Last updated on June 20, 2023

While domestic violence has long been a problem throughout the country, allegations of domestic violence have increased dramatically in part due to living conditions caused COVID-19 lockdowns. Lawmakers and law enforcement alike have faced increased pressure to treat those charged with domestic violence swiftly and harshly. While domestic violence should always be treated seriously, in their zeal to prosecute, the legal system has also disrupted the lives of those who have been falsely accused of domestic violence. Even if the alleged victim recants their statement, accusations of domestic violence can have serious consequences. If you are facing charges of domestic violence in New York, the representation of a Long Island domestic violence lawyer is critical.

What is Considered Domestic Violence?

There is no one crime defined by the term domestic violence in New York. Instead, it is a term that includes a group of crimes that involve individuals who are closely associated, either in romantic relationships, living arrangements, or members of the same family. Domestic violence can include crimes that range from stalking and harassment to rape and murder.

Long Island domestic violence lawyer

What Happens When Law Enforcement is Called to a Domestic Violence Incident

The state of New York has what is called “mandatory arrest” laws. When police are called to a domestic violence incident, and they believe that they have reasonable cause to believe that a crime has taken place, they are required to make an arrest.

In the case of mandatory arrest, they must make an arrest regardless of whether the accuser wants to pursue charges or not. One exception to the mandatory arrest laws is when both people are alleged to have committed misdemeanors against one another. In those cases, the police have to identify the “primary aggressor” and arrest only that person.

After the Arrest

After the arrest has been made, the officers will transport the accused to the police station, where the arrested individual will be booked. At this point, the accused should be allowed to contact a New York domestic violence lawyer.

An arraignment typically takes place within 24 hours of the arrest, when a judge will detail the charges and decide whether the defendant will be released on their own recognizance, placed on Supervised Release with or without a GPS ankle monitor, or held in custody on bail. There is often an order of protection issued in which case the defendant may not return to the home or otherwise have any contact with their accuser.

False Charges Can Ruin Reputations and Futures

Unfortunately, many defendants get caught up in false domestic violence charges in mandatory arrest scenarios. Arrests and charges of domestic violence can not only require that an individual stay away from their home and children, but they can follow an individual around for the rest of their lives, wreaking havoc on their reputation, their career, and their future.

If you have been charged with domestic violence in New York, the skilled and experienced representation of the best domestic violence lawyer possible is essential. Contact the offices of Jason Bassett Criminal Attorney for a free consultation.

Topic Actions Taken Consequences
Law Enforcement Police must make an arrest if they have reasonable cause. Mandatory arrest in New York regardless of the accuser’s desire to press charges. Exception for mutual misdemeanors. Accused can seek legal counsel. Order of protection may be issued against the accused.
After the Arrest Accused is booked and faces arraignment. Order of protection issued. Booking at the police station. Arraignment within 24 hours. Release conditions determined by the judge. Restriction on returning home or contacting the accuser. Impact on reputation, career, and future.
False Charges Defendants may face false charges in mandatory arrest scenarios. Forced separation, potential long-term impact on reputation, career, and personal life. Stigma associated with domestic violence accusations.

Can Domestic Violence Charges be Dropped?

Television dramas and films often depict victims retracting their statements and opting to drop the charges against the accused. In these scripted narratives, the NYPD and the prosecutor halt the criminal proceedings, thereby concluding the duties of a domestic assault lawyer. However, real-life scenarios differ significantly from these dramatized portrayals.

In the state of New York, once a prosecutor has leveled charges for domestic assault, the supposed victim lacks the power to dismiss these charges. Despite being the one directly impacted, the victim’s position is not the only consideration in such cases. In New York, crimes are viewed as transgressions against the state, contravening state law rather than merely violating individual rights. Thus, the trajectory of a domestic assault case ultimately lies in the hands of the prosecutors.

In these circumstances, a skilled attorney can be an invaluable ally. Our experienced Long Island domestic violence defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Jason Bassett, P.C. can provide crucial guidance, defend the rights of the accused, and navigate the complexities of the legal system. We strive to ensure all pertinent evidence is taken into account, challenge any inconsistencies in the prosecution’s arguments, and pursue the most favorable outcome possible. Contact us today at (631) 259-6060 for a free consultation.

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