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Domestic Violence Lawyers NYC

Fighting Domestic Violence Charges in Queens, 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 domestic violence lawyer to protect your rights and interests. Musa-Obregon Law PC offers free and confidential consultations, so don’t wait another moment to contact our firm to begin your defense.

If you are facing charges for domestic abuse, call us today for a free case evaluation with our NYC domestic violence attorneys - (888) 502-8461.

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.

Prerequisites for a “Domestic Violence” Crime

In order for a crime to be considered a “domestic violence” crime in New York, both the victim and the perpetrator must be from the same household. Most commonly, this includes those who are legally married, formerly married, have a child in common, have been in an intimate relationship, are siblings, or a number of other relations, including roommates if two individuals live in the same house. If there is no relationship between two individuals, the crime is not considered domestic violence, and therefore cannot be brought before a family law court.

Types of Domestic Violence Crimes

As stated previously, domestic violence laws encompass several different actions, including some which don’t inflict physical harm on another individual. These actions include

  • Assault: physically harming another individual, including striking them with a fist or other object
  • Menacing: threatening physical harm to another individual, possibly with the use of a weapon or object, for the purpose of intimidation or coercion
  • Stalking: Acting in a way that causes someone to fear mental or physical harm, threaten their safety, or jeopardize their career through initiating contact, telephoning, or visiting them at their place of business, including after they have been asked to stop this conduct
  • Strangulation: restricting someone’s blood flow or airway using either their bare hands or another device to apply pressure to the throat or neck of another, or blocking their nose or mouth

New York law is interesting in that it does not differentiate between domestic violence crimes and regular criminal offenses, so a domestic violence charge would be treated as though it were a regular crime of the same nature.

Penalties for Domestic Violence in New York

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
  • Fines
  • Loss of the right to own a firearm
  • Court ordered treatment programs
  • Immigration consequences (if applicable)
  • Loss of reputation

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. If the defendant is in the midst of a divorce or custody battle, he or she may also lose custody of his/her children.

Defenses to Domestic Violence in New York

Domestic violence cases are complex in that sometimes accusations can be dropped because the action can be justified. For example, parents have on occasion been accused of domestic violence by angry children because they have been disciplined. While family services discourage discipline through force, it is still legal, and non-deadly force meant for discipline isn’t necessarily against the law.

Self-defense is also a common justification that would have a domestic violence crime dismissed. For example, if one member of a household threatens another with a knife, and the threatened member successfully fends off their attacker, causing the attacker to be wounded by the knife in the process, odds are the person who was not injured would not be subject to criminal charges.

The Challenges of Dealing with Domestic Violence Accusations

Not 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.

Call Now for a Free Case Review

Make sure you work with a competent New York City domestic violence attorney who is not afraid to fight for your rights in the face of domestic violence charges. Contact Musa-Obregon Law PC today to take the first step towards protecting your rights and securing your future. Backed by more than 100 years of combined experience, our team is respected throughout New York City for providing top-tier legal service.

Facing domestic violence charges? Call now at (888) 502-8461 to learn more about how you can benefit from the legal guidance of our domestic violence lawyer NYC.

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