How Does New York State Law Define Domestic Violence?

Last updated on February 16, 2023

In New York State, domestic violence charges involve Assault or Harassment in the Second Degree between individuals related by blood or marriage, individuals who were formerly married, individuals who are unrelated but have a child together, or individuals who are unrelated and who are or have been in an intimate relationship.

If you or a loved one is facing allegations of domestic violence, it is important to seek the legal advice of an experienced Long Island domestic violence lawyer right away. A skilled attorney may be able to help you explore all the avenues possible to dismiss your case or get you a more favorable outcome. Contact Jason Bassett Criminal Attorney today to learn more about domestic violence cases in New York and how we may be able to help. 

How Do Police Determine Who The Aggressor Is in A Domestic Violence Situation?

When domestic violence is reported, the police will attempt to determine the identity of the aggressor by interviewing the people involved, as well as any witnesses. New York State has mandatory arrest laws requiring the police to make an arrest when they have reasonable cause to believe that the person has committed an act of domestic violence.

What Charges Will I Face If I Am Arrested In A Domestic Violence Scenario?

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Depending on the degree of injury and whether or not a weapon was used, someone accused of domestic violence could be charged with some level of Assault or Harassment in the Second Degree. If there was an Order of Protection already issued for the alleged victim, then the charges could include misdemeanor or felony Criminal Contempt.

Is An Order Of Protection Automatically Put In Place After A Domestic Violence Arrest?

While an Order of Protection is not automatically put in place after a domestic violence arrest, in most instances of alleged domestic violence the judge will issue an Order of Protection in favor of the alleged victim at the arraignment.

What Are The Penalties For A Domestic Violence Conviction In New York State?

Just like any offense, the penalties for domestic violence cases in New York State depend on the level of crime for which the person is convicted (i.e., felony, misdemeanor, or violation).

What Happens If An Alleged Victim Recants Allegations Of Domestic Violence?

If the alleged victim goes to the prosecution and changes their story, the charges could be dismissed. Alternatively, this could result in a favorable plea offer. If the alleged victim refuses to assist in the prosecution in any way, the case will eventually be dismissed on speedy trial grounds.

For more information on Domestic Violence Offenses In New York, a free confidential consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (631) 259-6060 today.

Possible Defenses Against Domestic Violence Cases in New York

There are many possible defenses against allegations of domestic violence in New York. In this section, we will discuss the most common defenses used. While these defense strategies may not be comprehensive, they can be helpful in understanding your case and how you can fight the charges against you.

One of the most common defenses used in domestic violence cases is the absence of proof. Without proof, the prosecution cannot prove the case of domestic violence, and thus the defendant cannot be charged. Lawyers who are skilled in handling domestic violence cases can spot flaws or contradictions in the prosecutor’s argument.

Furthermore, if you can prove that you’re not the one who committed the crime, then you have a solid defense. Having an alibi may help you prove that you were elsewhere at the time of the physical offense. It is possible to find witnesses who may testify that you were present with them and not with the victim. You can support your case by providing photos or videos that were time-stamped.

Another common defense for domestic violence cases is that the defendant is being wrongfully accused. It is possible for a defendant to be falsely accused, especially in contentious divorce cases. One spouse may claim that the other was abusive in an attempt to obtain more money, custody, or satisfy some vendetta. It is possible to protect yourself by identifying inconsistencies and alibis from the opposing story.

Lastly, self-defense is also a great defense against domestic violence allegations. For this defense strategy, you have to show that you acted in self-defense. This could be, for example, when someone strikes you and you need to respond to stop them. However, it can be difficult to plead self-defense if you have elicited aggression towards you. You may have used verbal threats and hostile hand movements to incite someone. In such cases, it can be very difficult to use self-defense since you incited violence towards yourself.

Speaking to an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer can help you explore what options you may have. A skilled lawyer may also be able to help you receive a more favorable outcome. Jason Bassett Criminal Attorney has years of experience defending clients who are facing domestic violence allegations. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. 

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