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Aggressive Defense Against Domestic Violence Charges by a Former NYC Prosecutor
Domestic violence is a serious crime with severe punishments. If you have been arrested or charged with domestic violence in New York City, it is important to act quickly and protect your legal rights. The Law Offices of Mehdi Essmidi P.L.L.C., based in NYC, can help you fight for the best possible outcome. Mehdi Essmidi is a former New York City Prosecutor, and he uses his knowledge of prosecution tactics to provide an aggressive defense for his clients. Contact us today for a free consultation and allow us to provide the legal protection you need in this difficult situation.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is defined as any physical, emotional, sexual, or psychological abuse between two people in an intimate relationship. It can include assault, battery, stalking, harassment, and a number of other charges. Domestic violence charges can have serious consequences including jail time, fines, and restraining orders.
New York Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic violence charges can be prosecuted under many different laws depending on the type and severity of the incident. New York has very specific laws related to domestic violence and you should be aware of the legal consequences that may apply to your particular case. Below you find an outline of the most common charges associated with domestic violence cases in New York.
Assault is defined as causing physical injury, recklessly causing physical injury, or attempting to cause physical injury to another person. In New York, you can be charged with several types of assault in conjunction with a family violence case depending on the severity of the conduct and whether a weapon was used.
Assault charges in domestic violence cases may include:
- NY Penal Law 120.00 – Third Degree Assault – Class A Misdemeanor
- NY Penal Law 120.02 – Reckless Assault of a Child – Class D Felony
- NY Penal Law 120.05 – Second Degree Assault – Class D Felony
- NY Penal Law 120.10 – First Degree Assault – Class B Felony
Harassment is defined as any communication, physical conduct or gesture intended to annoy, alarm, or threaten another person. It can be charged in connection with a domestic violence matter when someone knowingly engages in behavior that causes fear of harm to the other party.
Harassment charges in domestic violence cases may include:
- NY Penal Law 240.26 – Harassment in the Second Degree – Violation
- NY Penal Law 240.25 – Harassment in the First Degree – Class B Misdemeanor
- NY Penal Law 240.30 – Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree – Class A Misdemeanor
- NY Penal Law 240.31 – Aggravated Harassment in the First Degree – Class E Felony
Criminal Contempt (Ignoring Orders of Protection)
Violating an order of protection can result in criminal contempt charges.
Criminal Contempt charges in domestic violence cases may include:
- NY Penal Law 215.50 – Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree – Class A Misdemeanor
- NY Penal Law 215.51 – Criminal Contempt in the First Degree – Class E Felony
- NY Penal Law 215.52 – Aggravated Criminal Contempt – Class D Felony
Intimidating a Victim or Witness
The law prohibits any conduct that is intended to cause fear, harm, or injury to another person for the purpose of influencing their testimony in court.
Intimidating a victim or witness charges in domestic violence cases may include:
- NY Penal Law 215.15 – Intimidating a Victim or Witness in the Third Degree – Class E Felony
- NY Penal Law 215.16 – Intimidating a Victim or Witness in the Second Degree – Class D Felony
- NY Penal Law 215.17 – Intimidating a Victim or Witness in the First Degree – Class B Felony
Menacing is defined as putting another individual in fear of physical injury or death. It can be charged when one threatens the other party with physical harm, either verbally or through their conduct.
Menacing charges in domestic violence cases may include:
- NY Penal Law 120.15 – Menacing in the Third Degree – Class B Misdemeanor
- NY Penal Law 120.14 – Menacing in the Second Degree – Class A Misdemeanor
- NY Penal Law 120.13 – Menacing in the First Degree – Class E Felony
Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct that puts another person in reasonable fear for their safety. Stalking can include a variety of activities such as making repeated phone calls, following the other party, or sending unwanted gifts.
Stalking charges in domestic violence cases may include:
- NY Penal Law 120.45 – Stalking in the Fourth Degree – Class B Misdemeanor
- NY Penal Law 120.50 – Stalking in the Third Degree – Class A Misdemeanor
- NY Penal Law 120.55 – Stalking in the Second Degree – Class E Felony
- NY Penal Law 120.60 – Stalking in the First Degree – Class D Felony
Strangulation is defined as intentionally impeding the breathing or blood circulation of another person. This type of crime can result in serious physical injury and even death and can carry significant jail time if convicted.
Strangulation charges in domestic violence cases may include:
- NY Penal Law 121.11 – Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation – Class A Misdemeanor
- NY Penal Law 121.12 – Strangulation in the Second Degree – Class D Felony
- NY Penal Law 121.13 – Strangulation in the First Degree – Class C Felony
Orders of Protection in Domestic Violence Cases
An order of protection is a court-issued document designed to keep the alleged abuser away from the victim. It can include orders prohibiting contact with the victim, as well as restricting access to their home and workplace. The defendant may also be required to attend counseling, submit to drug testing, or surrender firearms. These orders are commonly included as a part of domestic violence cases. An order of protection issued under NY State Criminal Procedure Law 530.12 alleging a domestic violence crime could also be obtained through the New York State Family Court pursuant to a Family Offense Petition. These two Courts hold concurrent jurisdiction over family offenses.
Common Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges
There are several defenses that may be used in a domestic violence case in New York City. These defenses can be used to challenge the evidence against the accused or to argue that the accused had a justifiable reason for their actions. Some common defenses against domestic violence charges in NYC include:
This defense may be used if the accused acted in self-defense or in defense of another person. In order to successfully use this defense, the accused must show that they had a reasonable belief that they or someone else was in imminent danger of bodily harm and that the use of force was necessary to prevent that harm.
Lack of Intent
This defense may be used if the accused did not intend to commit a violent act. In order to successfully use this defense, the accused must show that they did not have the specific intent to cause harm and that the act was accidental.
This defense may be used if the accused believes that they have been falsely accused of domestic violence. In order to successfully use this defense, the accused must provide evidence that they did not commit the act of violence.
It is important to note that these defenses may not be applicable in all cases, and the success of a defense will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. An attorney can provide guidance on the most appropriate defense to use in a domestic violence case in New York City.
Get Help From an Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you or someone you know has been arrested and or charged with a domestic violence offense, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help protect your rights and fight to get the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you with your case.