Domestic violence can entail many things. If you are charged with this crime in the state of New York, you will want to take it very seriously. The penalties are severe if convicted, and the consequences will remain with you for the rest of your life. You will want to make sure that your version of events is heard and that you receive a fair trial. For those things to happen, it is important to have Queens domestic violence lawyers working on your behalf. New York law is quite strict when it comes to issues of domestic violence, so the first step is to understand the provisions of the law. Continue reading to learn more.
Understanding Domestic Violence in New York
The legal guidelines governing a domestic violence charge in New Your are quite clear. To begin, you must exhibit some type of behavior that is perceived to be threatening or violent against another individual who you are in an intimate relationship with. This is the key. A domestic violence charge cannot be lodged against you if the suspected victim is unknown to you or is merely a casual acquaintance. This is an important distinction because the sentencing guidelines for domestic violence convictions are specifically in place because of a crime committed against someone you are in a relationship with.
Many people view domestic violence as an issue between a husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend. However, the classification of this crime goes much deeper than those relationships. A charge could be levied against a parent who perpetuates violence on the children, or against an individual who acts maliciously towards members of his or her extended family. The key distinction is that both parties much know each other very well. The actual action can be in the form of a criminal act of a sexual nature, disorderly conduct, stalking, harassment, and many other types of behavior that the victim will perceive as being threatening or dangerous behavior. Contrary to the way the term ‘domestic violence’ sounds, and actual act of physical violence does not necessarily have to have occurred.
Sentencing Guidelines for Domestic Violence Convictions in New York
Some level of prison time is almost always handed down in the state of New York for a domestic violence conviction. The amount of time to be served will depend on the nature of the specific crime that you are accused of. Domestic violence charges in New York can range from a Class B misdemeanor, carrying a maximum prison sentence of three months, to a Class B felony that carries the potential of twenty five years in prison. The nature of the charge and the recommended prison sentence will largely depend on the prosecutor. The arresting officer will look at your criminal history and the scope of the domestic violence that you are accused of before making this determination.
To be charged with a Class B felony domestic violence offense, you will need to be accused of rape in the first degree, sexual abuse, or first degree assault. These are aggravated offenses, and they draw much tougher sentencing guidelines. Because so much prison time is at stake here depending on the specific charge handed down, you will want a Queens domestic violence lawyer fighting for you every step of the way. Even if a conviction cannot be avoided, it important to have someone lobbying for a reduced prison sentence if at all possible.
Possible Defenses Against a Domestic Violence Charge
As with any crime that you are accused of in this country, you have the right to defend yourself against a domestic violence charge. There are quite a few possible defenses that can be considered here, depending on the nature of the accusation itself. You may have been acting in self-defense at the time the action took place. There is always the possibility that you did not do what you are accused of, in which case your lawyer will work to present evidence to that effect.
Why Do You Need a Queens Domestic Violence Lawyer?
You need a Queens domestic violence lawyer because these are serious charges. You need to have someone fighting to protect your legal rights. Contact our office today to begin that process.