Aspects of New York City Domestic Violence Penalties

Domestic violence penalties are determined by the actual crime itself since domestic violence as a phrase is not a crime in New York City. There are no sub-sections of penal law specifically for domestic violence.

The actual penalties that are associated will correspond to whatever the defendant is actually convicted of, whether through a plea or trial. If it is a plea, then there will be some agreed-upon sentence submitted to the judge for approval, and if there is a trial, depending on what the defendant is convicted of, a judge will give a sentence accordingly. Individuals who want to know more about the various aspects of New York City domestic violence penalties should work with a domestic violence lawyer that can answer their questions.

Do Penalty Enhancements Apply in These Cases?

There is no enhancement for a case being a domestic violence case. There may be a situation where a judge believes that domestic violence is a scourge on the city and preys upon the weak and vulnerable, and therefore the penalties for an assault case in a domestic violence situation will be treated more harshly than a stranger assault situation, but that is up to the judge’s discretion.

How Civil Protection Orders Can Affect the Penalties Associated With a Domestic Violence Offense

A civil order of protection would not affect the penalties for domestic violence at all. It may affect the actual crime charged if there is an order of civil protection in place and the person commits domestic violence and, in doing so, violates that order of protection, then an additional criminal contempt charge could be levied against the defendant. But in terms of the penalties, the only way that it could really affect it is if the judge took it upon themselves to take that into consideration when determining what an appropriate sentence would be.

Aggravating Factors to Penalty Enhancements

One of the aspects of New York City domestic violence penalties that many people do not know about is that there are not any real kind of statutory penalty enhancements that deal directly with domestic violence. However, there are potential aggravating factors in domestic violence penalties. If a person has been convicted of a crime before, a judge might take that into account in sentencing and enhance the person’s sentence.

Therapy and Rehabilitation as Penalties

Due to the nature of domestic violence offenses, one of the less-known aspects of New York City domestic violence penalties is the rehabilitation aspect, which can sometimes include mandated anger management or individualized therapy. Sometimes, there is some community service involved depending on what the charges are. There might be restitution if things are broken during a fight. But in general, there is a big push to curb recidivism and both defense attorneys and prosecutors believe that having the defendant take some classes and get some help in controlling anger and emotion is really the best way to prevent things from recurring.

A lot of the penalties associated constitute some sort of therapy or help to try and alleviate a person from getting re-arrested. Still, jail is always a possibility. But defense attorneys will argue that jail will exacerbate the problem rather than help it because if anger is really an issue, then putting somebody in jail is not going to do anything to help them learn to control it.

Long-Term Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

One of the aspects of New York City domestic violence penalties to consider is that if the conviction results in a criminal record, there can be a lot of long-lasting repercussions. Finding a job, a good, professional job is much more difficult if a person has a criminal record. Some banks will not even let a person open a bank account depending on what the record is for.

Getting a mortgage, getting car financing, applying to school for any sort of degree, will be an issue. Admissions become very difficult with a criminal record if the domestic violence relationship also concerns having a child or multiple children or if there are other things at play.

A judge hearing a custody or divorce issue, it is entitled to consider that there is a domestic violence conviction in terms of thinking about how to settle those other claims. There are a lot of different collateral consequences that can come with a domestic violence conviction in addition to jail or fines which can have significant and lasting effects on a person’s life. That is why those facing domestic violence charges should consider working with a skilled domestic violence lawyer that can build their defense.

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