Queens Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic Violence Charges in NYC, Brooklyn & Manhattan
If you have been accused of domestic violence, your entire future may be
on the line. A domestic violence accusation may quickly escalate to formal
charges and a conviction if you do not have a competent
New York City criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and interests. You may face fines, imprisonment
and even loss of custody if you are in the midst of a divorce or custody
battle. Understanding the definition of domestic violence and how these
cases work can help you get a better idea of what to do if you are accused
We serve clients in The Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Rockland County
and Westchester County, NY.
What is domestic violence?
The general definition of domestic violence is some form of physical, emotional
or sexual abuse between spouses, family members, people who live together
or are in a romantic relationship with one another. The New York State
Unified Court System defines domestic violence as:
A pattern of coercive tactics, which can include physical, psychological,
sexual, economic and emotional abuse, perpetrated by one person against
an adult intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining
power and control over the victim.
New York Code § 459 states that domestic violence is:
(i) such act or acts have resulted in actual physical or emotional injury
or have created a substantial risk of physical or emotional harm to such
person or such person's child; and (ii) such act or acts are or are
alleged to have been committed by a family or household member.
Domestic violence offenses may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies under
New York Penal Code, depending on the severity of the offense and the
specific law that applies. A person may face
criminal charges based upon a single event or a pattern of alleged abuse. As such, a defendant
may face time in jail or prison and may face additional restrictions if
convicted, such as the loss of the right to own a firearm. A person who
is accused of domestic violence may also have an order of protection served
on him or her, which will restrict the accused from coming into contact
with or even coming within a certain distance of the alleged victim.
The Challenges of Dealing with Domestic Violence Accusations
Domestic violence is a grave issue, described by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) as a "serious, preventable public health
problem." This does not necessarily mean, however, that every domestic
violence charge stems from a true act of violence or abuse. The amount
of political and other attention that domestic abuse has received through
the years has resulted in the implementation of criminal procedures that
could lead to unfounded charges of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
The fact that women are most frequently the victims of domestic violence
may also lead to a certain bias when it comes to these allegations. A
law enforcement officer called to the scene of a domestic dispute may
be too quick to side with the woman in the relationship, but what if the
situation was actually simply a disagreement that got out of hand, or
what if the woman wanted to take revenge against the man by accusing him
of something he did not do? False accusations may fly in the heat of the
moment, causing all too serious consequences.
When the police are called and arrive at the scene of an alleged domestic
dispute, they must make decisions based on their observations and what
they are told by the parties present. Placing the safety of the alleged
victims first, they may decide to make an arrest based on what they see
and are told. Once an alleged domestic violence offender is arrested and
booked, it may be extremely difficult to have the accusations dropped.
It will no longer be in the hands of the alleged victim to decide whether
to press charges. The case will now lie in the hands of the District Attorney,
who works for the government. This prosecuting attorney will have the
power to decide whether to press charges and even if the alleged victim
does not want to proceed, the prosecutor may decide to move forward.
Speaking with a New York Criminal Defense Attorney
Make sure you work with a competent attorney who is not afraid to fight
for your rights in the face of domestic violence charges.
Contact a Queens domestic violence defense attorney at Musa-Obregon & Associates today.