In the US, there is a rising call for domestic violence cases to be taken seriously and lawmakers and law enforcement have heeded it by taking accusations of domestic violence seriously. For vulnerable victims, this is a positive outcome but those falsely accused can face serious implications.
Facing a domestic violence case can be one of the most stressful experiences a person can have. Aside from criminal proceedings and the prospect of conviction and the accompanying penalties, dealing with orders of protection from your own family and not being able to access your family home can be emotionally draining. Any legal case can be demanding but even more so when one’s family is involved.
Domestic violence cases can also require a lot of patience to conclude due to the backlog in the courts. Getting the help of a skilled Long Island domestic violence attorney can be crucial in clearing your name and getting your charges dismissed. At the offices of Jason Bassett Criminal Attorney, we work diligently to investigate the details of your case and work towards the best possible outcome for your case whether it is a dismissal or a reduction of the charges. Call us today at (631) 259-6060 to learn more about how we can help you.
Domestic Violence Charges on Long Island, NY
Domestic violence in New York is an umbrella term for offenses and criminal acts that occur between individuals who have a relationship – either social, romantic, or familial. The definition can extend to include those who have been living in the same household for a period of time or those who were in an intimate relationship even if the relationship has ended.
While discussing the matter of domestic violence, it is important to remember that domestic violence and abuse in this context do not only apply to physical abuse but also to abuse such as psychological, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse.
Charges falling under the category of domestic violence can either be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the criminal act committed. Domestic violence can involve the following charges in New York:
- Disorderly Conduct
- Sexual Misconduct
- Sexual Abuse
- Forcible Touching
- Reckless Endangerment
- Criminal Mischief
- Identity Theft
- Grand Larceny
Penalties upon conviction may vary depending on the charges against the defendant. A person who is convicted of third-degree rape will be punished with a class C felony and registration to the Sex Offender Registry while a person who is convicted of criminal mischief faces a class A misdemeanor.
Regardless of the charges, an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights. With the help of a skilled attorney, you have someone standing by your side and representing your best interests in a court of law.
Hiring an attorney is especially important as your attorney will be the one to figure out the defense strategy applicable to your case. In New York, police are required to make a mandatory arrest when an emergency call for domestic violence is made. An arrest will be made even if the alleged victim tries to recant their statement.
Due to the dangerous nature of domestic violence and emotional abuse and the fact that law enforcement can be held liable if a repeat offense happens, prosecutors cannot just drop charges even when accusers request. The state is also the one who would bring criminal charges. When the arrest has been made and charges have been filed against the defendant, they would have to face the charges regardless of whether the accusations were true or not.
How are Domestic Violence Cases Concluded?
Domestic violence cases can vary greatly in the ways that they are concluded, especially since each charge can be vastly different from the next. The time it would take to conclude a case would be affected by how much backlog the court has and whether there are mitigating or aggravating factors in the case. Even taking these facts into consideration, domestic violence cases that conclude with a trial only occur seldomly.
One of the most important things in a domestic violence case is never to violate a protective order. While waiting for the case to be heard, the court may issue an order of protection that prohibits the defendant from making contact with the victim. During this time and while the order of protection is in place, it is crucial to exercise patience as a violation of a protective order can result in additional charges which can damage your defense.
For people who are facing charges of domestic violence for the first time or any criminal charges for the first time, the prosecutor may be more willing to reach a plea deal with the help of a skilled attorney. In this case, it may be possible to reduce or dismiss the charges altogether.
Accepting a guilty plea may be advertised as a convenient and more efficient way to settle the matter, however, this may not be the best option in your case. Each case is unique and must be carefully investigated before making a decision as drastic as accepting a guilty plea.
Getting convicted on any criminal charge, even more so a domestic violence charge, can cause a significant impact on your life. Future career opportunities, getting custody of your child, immigration prospects, and even housing options can be taken away from you because of a conviction.
Building a Strong Legal Defense
There are some defenses an attorney can use depending on the facts and existing evidence of the case. While the zeal with which prosecutors try domestic violence charges is understandable, they would not want to waste the court’s time pursuing false claims. The court may be more willing to dismiss domestic violence cases due to the following reasons:
- History of false accusations – The court will investigate if the accuser has a history of sending false claims and this can weaken the prosecution due to the possible lack of credibility of the accuser
- Lack of supporting evidence – If there is no evidence of the defendant’s guilt, the prosecution may dismiss the charges due to the burden of proof
- Lack of cooperation from the accuser – The accuser in a domestic violence case serves as a valuable witness. If the accuser takes their statement back or refuses to follow the prosecution’s instructions, the prosecution may be forced to dismiss the charges if there is a lack of other evidence.
- Mistaken reports – Concerned neighbors and friends sometimes report a domestic violence case that proves to be a misunderstanding in the end. In this case, the prosecution may dismiss the charges due to a lack of basis.
- Injuries inflicted on the accuser were due to self-defense – In some cases, the accuser would be the one inflicting abuse on the defendant in the hopes they retaliate. When the defendant acts in self-defense and is taken into custody, a medical inspection of the accuser and the defendant’s injuries can reveal whether the defendant was acting in self-defense.
- Contradicting evidence – If eye-witnesses or witnesses who have no standing relationship with either party submits evidence or testimony contradicting key elements of the case such as the accuser being the perpetrator of the domestic violence or that the report was a false claim, it can contribute towards building a legal defense in favor of dismissing the case.
A Long Island domestic violence attorney may be able to gather evidence on your behalf and champion your interests in court. While your case is ongoing, it is crucial to follow your attorney’s advice to avoid any complications that may jeopardize your chances of getting the best possible outcome for your case.
At the offices of Jason Bassett Criminal Attorney, top-rated Long Island criminal defense attorney Jason Bassett leverages his years of experience to carefully investigate each case and provide a tailored legal defense to clients. We leave no stone unturned in gathering the necessary legal evidence that may help achieve a favorable outcome. Criminal attorney Jason Bassett provides aggressive legal representation to Long Island residents who have been accused of a crime. Contact our office today at (631) 259-6060 to schedule a free consultation.