Domestic violence is a term that is used when family members commit crimes of violence upon each other. It can also be used in instances where a couple is formally married, has a child in common, or has a child in common but does not live together. New York takes domestic violence charges very seriously, and committing a domestic violence crime in New York can lead to significant jail time.
Types of Domestic Violence
The primary types of domestic violence in New York State are:
- Physical or sexual assault
- Physical strangulation
- Various family offenses
In many instances, New York State law does not differentiate between domestic violence and any other form of assault, but the punishments for each crime still apply in domestic situations.
Family and Criminal Court
In New York State, domestic violence charges can apply in family and criminal courts. A person seeking relief from the court system for a domestic violence incident can file criminal charges and then file for protection in family court as well. This is commonly done when there are children involved and the party filing the petition wants legal protection for the children.
Penalties and Fines
The laws in New York State are very strict when it comes to assault and domestic violence. A felony charge of assault in a domestic violence setting could carry a prison sentence of as much as 25 years, along with fines as much as $5,000.00. The charge of strangulation could put a guilty party in jail for up to 15 years, while also being enhanced by a $5,000.00 fine.
When offenses are considerably less intense and fall into the second or third-degree categories, the penalties tend to drop considerably as well. Second and third-degree offenses are general class A misdemeanors and carry fines of up to $1,000.00 and prison time of up to one year. Repeat offenders can sometimes be hit with bigger fines and more jail time.
Handling a Domestic Violence Charge
Your first step after being accused of domestic violence is to get a good Staten Island lawyer and then do exactly what your lawyer says you should do. Your demeanor and actions after being accused can often play a big role in how the courts see you when you are being tried. Your attorney will make a lot of suggestions such as getting off of social media completely that are all in your best interests.
Domestic violence is an ugly situation that no one wants to get involved with. If you find yourself having to deal with domestic violence charges, you should contact a Staten Island lawyer immediately. You should never try to handle the situation on your own, and you should avoid contact with the other party at all costs.