Domestic Violence in New York City
Domestic violence cases are a special brand of case in New York: if a 911 call is placed from a home with a complaint of domestic violence, when the police arrive someone is usually getting arrested, even if both parties have calmed down and ask that no arrest be made upon the officers’ arrival. Whether the case is in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester or Nassau/Suffolk counties, the response is the same: law enforcement, prosecutors and judges are very cautious when handling domestic violence cases and are quick to make arrests and quick to apply and grant orders of protection or restraining orders which will ensure that one party is kept away from the other, i.e. not permitted to live together, until at least the next court appearance if not longer.
Hire a Top New York Domestic Violence Attorney Immediately
It is important to hire an attorney immediately after an arrest for a domestic violence case for a number of reasons: these cases are usually very emotionally charged and a spouse charged with a domestic violence crime often makes the case worse by leaving angry messages on voicemail or going back into a home after being served with an order of protection – all things which could cause the defendant to be arrested again for another domestic violence charge, harassment or contempt of court. Also, having an attorney in place immediately can help you negotiate a better and more liberal restraining order with the prosecutor by providing pertinent information which the prosecutor would otherwise not know. Call an experienced domestic violence attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman and learn what you can do in this difficult time.
Domestic Violence Cases: Some Positives, Some Negatives
Because of the familiarity of the parties in a domestic violence scenario, there is ample opportunity to negotiate a very favorable disposition in your case. First, the parties oftentimes wish for the ugly incident to be put behind them and move on with their lives – and a prosecutor is not usually happy about going forward with a criminal case when their main witness is reluctant. As long as a prosecutor is convinced that there is no chance that the victim spouse is in any kind of danger in the future from the defendant, a plea to a low charge or even an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal can be had – which will leave nothing on your record, not even an arrest. Such a result may require some anger management therapy as requested by the prosecutor but to finish the case without a conviction of any kind is a positive result.
If the parties are not looking to repair their relationship, the criminally charged spouse may have to fight the case; the defense lawyer will have to treat the “victim” spouse like an eyewitness/victim in any other type of “he said/she said” case: namely, attempting to destroy the credibility of the witness. Because the defendant in a domestic violence case will usually know just about every last thing about the complaining witness, the chances for greater impeachment of the witness, a more effective cross examination, and a win at trial are all much greater. Even having your lawyer gather mounds of impeachment material on the complaining witness in a domestic violence case and presenting it to the prosecutor may garner you a very favorable result.
On the downside, a domestic violence case is usually treated much more seriously by prosecutors due to the typically very vulnerable status of the victims. Prosecutors tend to be much more protective of their victims in these cases and are generally loathe to offer a favorable disposition. You are hiring a top domestic violence lawyer for a reason, however: to force that favorable disposition from the prosecutor.
Domestic violence cases can also have an impact on your career or professional licenses. Make sure before taking any plea in such a case that you will not lose your job or ability to provide for your children.
New York Domestic Violence Charges:
- NY Penal Law § 120.10 – First Degree Assault
- NY Penal Law § 120.05 – Second Degree Assault
- NY Penal Law § 120.00 – Third Degree Assault
- NY Penal Law § 240.30 – Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree
- NY Penal Law §§ 215.50, 215.51 – Criminal Contempt
- NY Penal Law § 215.52 – Aggravated Criminal Contempt
- NY Penal Law § 120.55 – Stalking in the Second Degree
- NY Penal Law § 120.50 – Stalking in the Third Degree
- NY Penal Law § 120.45 – Stalking in the Fourth Degree
- NY Penal Law § 120.14 – Menacing in the Second Degree
- NY Penal Law § 120.15 – Menacing in the Third Degree
- NY Penal Law § 121.11 – Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation
- NY Penal Law § 121.12 – Strangulation in the Second Degree
- NY Penal Law § 260.10 – Endangering the Welfare of a Child
Contact the Manhattan domestic violence attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman today at (212) 581-1001 to discuss your case.