If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence-related crime, you’re probably wondering how to clear your name. After all, your freedom is not the only thing at stake; your reputation is, as well.
Having a domestic violence conviction on your record can affect virtually every aspect of your life, from where you can live to your ability to find a job. Fortunately, there are several defenses that may apply to your case. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to get the charges or penalties reduced or to get your case dismissed entirely.
Read on to learn about a few common defenses against domestic violence charges:
Claiming self-defense is one of the most common ways to fight domestic violence charges. If you actually did hurt the victim but you were facing imminent danger at the time, building your case around self-defense may be effective. This defense is often strongest when children were in the vicinity of the incident.
2. False Accusations
It’s not uncommon for one partner to falsely accuse another of domestic violence. If you’re facing a contentious divorce, for example, and your ex wants to secure custody, he or she might accuse you of violence in order to bolster his or her own case. Evidence that might contribute to such a defense includes eyewitness testimony, receipts and surveillance footage that show your location at the time of the alleged incident, and correspondence from the alleged victim threatening to falsely accuse you.
3. Procedural Errors
Procedural errors made by law enforcement may be used to fight the charges against you. In scenarios involving domestic violence, common mistakes on the part of police and prosecutors include:
- Failing to record the interrogation properly;
- Failing to read the suspect his or her Miranda Rights at the appropriate time;
- Denying the suspect’s request for legal counsel;
- Questioning the suspect after he or she exercised the right to remain silent;
- Lacking probable cause to conduct a search or make an arrest;
- Failing to obtain the suspect’s side of the story, thereby operating with a bias against the accused from the start;
- Failing to question eyewitnesses at the scene; and
- Failing to draft a detailed police report that describes the incident adequately.
Building a defense around a procedural error requires an in-depth knowledge of criminal law. A seasoned domestic violence attorney can investigate your arrest and your subsequent interactions with law enforcement to find out if any mistakes were made that could work in your favor. Sometimes a procedural error can render certain evidence inadmissible in court, which could make it more difficult for the prosecutor to secure a conviction.
Discuss Your Case with a Domestic Violence Attorney in New York
If you’re facing domestic violence charges, turn to LoTempio P.C. Law Group for representation. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field and have defended thousands of clients against criminal charges. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a New York domestic violence lawyer.
If you’ve recently found out that a loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home, it’s only natural to want justice. Depending on the circumstances, abusive caregivers may face criminal charges for their misconduct, but even if no such charges have been filed, you may still have grounds for a claim against the at-fault individual and/or facility.
There are all sorts of tasks to complete upon learning about the abuse or neglect. Besides getting your loved one the medical care that he or she needs, you may also have to relocate him or her to another nursing home. This can involve online research, on-site visits, and interviews with caregivers and facility management. With so much on your plate, you might think it wise to put off contacting a nursing home abuse attorney until your schedule opens up, but this could prove to be a costly mistake.
The best time to consult a lawyer is immediately upon discovering the abuse or neglect. Read on to learn why it’s so important to get an attorney involved right away:
1. Essential Evidence Might Be Altered or Destroyed
It’s likely that the nursing home will be in possession of evidence that would strengthen your case such as surveillance footage, keycard data, and caregiver schedules. It’s also likely that the nursing home will be reluctant to relinquish such evidence voluntarily. Staff or management may even try to alter or destroy evidence to weaken your case. A skilled attorney not only can compile time-sensitive evidence but also can file subpoenas to obtain evidence that’s being withheld.
2. One Mistake Early in the Proceedings Could Derail Your Entire Case
There are all sorts of mistakes that can reduce the financial recovery in a nursing home abuse case or prevent the claimant from recovering any compensation at all. For example, if you or your loved one provides a recorded statement to the nursing home’s insurance company, such statements might be misrepresented to dispute liability or damages. Other common errors include failing to get the abuse victim an official medical diagnosis, posting about the case on social media, or accepting an early settlement that doesn’t account for all damages incurred. If you hire an attorney from day one, you will have a knowledgeable advocate by your side to help you avoid costly errors throughout the proceedings.
3. You Will Be Able to Focus on More Important Matters
Chances are you already had a busy schedule before discovering that your loved one was abused or neglected at a nursing home. Investigating these cases takes time and may involve interviews with caregivers and residents, filing subpoenas to obtain evidence, researching prior complaints about the nursing home, and bringing in a medical expert to provide deposition. Your attorney can handle these tasks so you can focus on caring for your family member.
Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in New York
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we are passionate about helping nursing home abuse victims and their families fight for the justice and compensation they deserve. We offer free consultations and accept cases on a contingency fee basis. Call 716-855-3761 or send us a message online to speak with a member of our team.
It goes without saying that facing charges for a domestic violence-related crime is a stressful experience. With so much at stake, you may be tempted to post about your case on social media, perhaps to draw support or advice from close friends and family. Unfortunately, social media content is usually admissible as evidence in court, and the last thing you want to do is post something that the prosecutor can use against you.
In fact, online profiles have become a primary source of evidence for investigating officers and prosecutors. Even if you’re certain that a post would only prove your innocence, it’s best to stay off social media while your case is pending. At the very least, you should avoid these three critical mistakes:
1. Posting About the Incident
If you’re innocent, you might be tempted to share your version of events online, but doing so could ultimately harm your defense. You may inadvertently admit to behavior that you didn’t know was illegal, or write something that contradicts prior statements, thus reducing your credibility.
2. Seeking Legal Advice
If you have friends or family who have faced similar charges, you might think it wise to write a post asking for advice about your case. But at the end of the day, you never know how the prosecutor will interpret your posts. If you’re in need of legal advice, it’s best to reach out to a domestic violence defense attorney.
3. Posting About Your Accuser
Criticizing your accuser is never a good idea. It’s important that you let your attorney handle all correspondence with the opposing party so you don’t say something that could harm your defense. Any insulting or threatening remarks you post about your accuser could impact the outcome of your case.
Should I Delete My Social Medial Accounts While My Case Is Pending?
Generally speaking, the most effective way to prevent the prosecutor or investigating officer from using your social media content against you is to disable or delete your accounts altogether. However, you should talk to a lawyer before doing so. Depending on the circumstances, deleting your social media accounts could be considered tampering with evidence.
In most cases, domestic violence defense lawyers advise their clients to disable their accounts temporarily. If this isn’t an option, delete any connections you don’t know personally, decline new connection requests, and update your privacy settings.
Discuss Your Case with a Criminal Defense Attorney in New York
If you’re facing domestic violence-related charges, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field and have defended thousands of clients.
Despite having the resources of a large practice, we are committed to providing the personalized counsel of a small, local law firm. We will give your case the attention it deserves from day one. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in New York.
If you or your loved one has been mistreated in a nursing home, a variety of factors will determine whether you can sue the facility. If your family signed an arbitration agreement upon admission, for example, you may be obligated to settle certain disputes out of court.
Chances are the contract your family signed included an arbitration clause. Even if you don’t remember signing an arbitration agreement, you may have consented to pursuing alternative dispute resolution under certain circumstances. Although such an agreement may limit your options when it comes to pursuing damages from the nursing home, there are scenarios when a lawsuit can be filed regardless of an existing arbitration agreement. Read on to learn about a few of those scenarios.
If You Signed as the Resident’s Healthcare Proxy
If your loved one did not actually sign the admission papers, bypassing arbitration may be relatively straightforward. Because it’s so common for individuals to admit relatives to a nursing home by serving as a healthcare proxy, a precedent has actually been established regarding any subsequent arbitration.
Various judges have decided that while admitting someone to a nursing home is a healthcare decision, binding him or her to any corresponding arbitration agreement is not. In other words, a healthcare proxy cannot enter into an arbitration agreement on behalf of an incapacitated individual.
If You Have Sufficient Proof of Negligence
Arbitration agreements only cover certain kinds of disputes such as those involving a breach of contract. If you signed a contract containing an arbitration clause, review the terms closely or ask an attorney to evaluate the agreement. Chances are the contract doesn’t specifically mention instances of neglect or abuse because as far as administrators are concerned, neither is an issue at the facility.
Even if the contract uses vague phrasing that seems to encompass every cause of action, it may still be possible to sue the facility if neglect or abuse has occurred. The court only enforces arbitration agreements when they provide for a reasonable way to achieve a fair resolution for all parties involved.
Since you can’t expect the facility to propose a fair resolution after conducting an internal investigation of their own employees, a judge will likely allow the case to proceed—as long as you can provide sufficient evidence of both liability and damages, thereby demonstrating the lawsuit is not frivolous.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you or a member of your family has suffered harm at the hands of an inattentive or abusive caregiver at a nursing home, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to discuss your case. Our team has more than 200 years of combined experience in legal practice, and we’re available 24/7 to take your call. Dial 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York.
If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence-related crime, your reputation is not the only thing that’s on the line. Depending on the charges in question and the potential penalties they carry, your very freedom, relationships, career, and financial future may all be at stake.
Fortunately, just because you’ve been charged with a crime doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be convicted. With the right defense strategy, it may be possible to negotiate for lesser charges, reduced penalties, or the outright dismissal of your case. The best approach to fighting the charges will depend on a variety of factors, but generally speaking, there are a few steps you should take and mistakes you should avoid to give your defense the highest chance of success.
Let’s explore some of the do’s and don’ts of facing domestic violence-related charges:
1. Don’t Confront the Alleged Victim
Even if there’s no court order barring you from interacting with each other, it’s still wise to avoid contact with the accuser at least until the case has been resolved. Any confrontation might end up hurting your defense, so it’s best to let your attorney handle all correspondence with the opposing party.
2. Do Write down Everything You Remember
There are many potential defenses against domestic violence-related charges. Your attorney will discern the most tactful approach by reviewing the facts of your case and the available evidence. To ensure his or her investigation gets off to a strong start, it’s a good idea to write down everything you remember about the incident in question. No detail is too small to include.
3. Don’t Plead Guilty Without Seeking Counsel
Without a seasoned criminal attorney by your side, you might not know if accepting a plea deal would be a smart decision. A domestic violence lawyer can try to negotiate for a fair plea deal if that’s the best option given the circumstances.
It’s wise to contact an attorney immediately—before you’ve even answered questions from the arresting officer. Your lawyer can help you avoid making misguided statements that would harm your case and limit your defense options.
4. Do Abide by All Court Orders
If a judge has issued a “no contact” order, it’s essential that you adhere to it. Ignoring court orders at any point during the proceedings could harm your defense. While it may be tempting to reach out to the accuser in an effort to clear the air, the judge will perceive such action as a disregard for legal authority, which certainly won’t work in your favor.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Domestic Violence Attorney
If you’re facing domestic violence-related charges, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our team is available 24/7 to answer your call.
We’ve defended thousands of clients against criminal charges, and we will do everything in our power to help you fight for the best possible outcome. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a domestic violence lawyer in New York.
When nursing home administrators fail to schedule enough doctors and nurses for every shift, the overall quality of care can diminish greatly. Treatments might be delayed, symptoms of illness might go unnoticed, and residents may suffer poor hygiene and other forms of neglect.
While staff shortages may be unavoidable—for example, if the flu is circulating the facility—some can be attributed to nursing homes trying to cut costs. Although New York law does not impose minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes, any residents who suffer an injury or illness due to short staffing may have grounds for a personal injury claim. If a resident dies due to neglect, his or her family members can bring a wrongful death claim.
If you intend to bring a claim on the basis of short staffing, you’ll need strong evidence to support your case. Such evidence may include:
1. Shift Schedules
Shift schedules, timecards, and payroll records can all be used to determine the number of staff members on the clock at various times of day. If the facility refuses to hand over these records voluntarily, your attorney can file a subpoena to obtain them.
2. Hiring Procedures
Even if there’s enough caregivers at the nursing home, the facility might still be considered understaffed if those caregivers aren’t qualified for their position. This may happen, for example, if the nursing home hires too many CNAs rather than RNs to save money. Your attorney can review the facility’s hiring procedures and staff qualifications when investigating negligence.
3. Nursing Home Charts
Every nursing home resident should have a chart that details the daily care he or she receives. This document should include information regarding meals, medication, bathing, and ongoing care like physical therapy. The content of this chart might be used by your lawyer to prove understaffing and other forms of negligence.
4. Eyewitness Testimony
It’s possible that other residents have also suffered as a result of understaffing. Their family members may have even complained to nursing home staff. Although their testimony won’t be irrefutable, your attorney may use it to corroborate other evidence.
A caregiver at the facility may even be able to provide testimony. It’s not uncommon for diligent caregivers to report understaffing to nursing home administrators, only to have the problem go overlooked. Our lawyers can investigate to find out if such a complaint has been made.
Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer in New York
If you want to file a nursing home abuse or neglect claim in New York, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to discuss your case. Our personal injury lawyers have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field.
We have the resources to go up against even the largest nursing homes and their insurance companies. To set up a free consultation with a nursing home neglect attorney in New York, call us today at 716-855-3761. We accept cases on a contingency fee basis.
If your partner accused you of domestic violence and you ended up spending the night in jail, you may feel as though you’ve got nowhere to turn. You may even feel betrayed as the one person who was supposed to support you was ultimately the one who put you behind bars.
While this is certainly a difficult chapter in your life, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. A strategic criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights and help you fight the charges.
The sooner you contact an attorney, the better. Read on to learn a few reasons to call a lawyer right away if you’ve been charged with a domestic violence-related offense:
1. Police Will Want to Question You Immediately
Chances are a responding officer asked you a series of questions at the scene to discern what happened. If you were arrested, you were probably questioned while in custody, as well.
These interactions are immensely stressful, and it’s not uncommon for suspects to implicate themselves inadvertently. Going forward, it’s important that you exercise your right to remain silent and let an attorney handle all dialogue with law enforcement. Your lawyer can also take over negotiations with the prosecutor.
2. The Proceedings Will Be Emotional
Even the most stoic individuals can find themselves acting rashly when facing domestic violence charges. For example, you might feel inclined to call, text, or email your partner to explain your side of the story.
Something as seemingly innocuous as “talking things out” can have serious consequences, so it’s best to approach the proceedings unemotionally—which is exactly what your attorney will do. At the end of the day, your lawyer will serve as an objective source of guidance when you need one most.
3. Your Rights Could Be Violated at Any Point
Law enforcement personnel may have violated your rights during your very first interaction with them. Under some circumstances, a violation of a suspect’s rights can work in his or her favor by rendering certain evidence inadmissible in court. From the moment you hire an attorney, your rights will be protected.
4. Important Evidence May Be Time Sensitive
If you were falsely accused or acting in self-defense, evidence may be available to prove as much. For example, if there were surveillance cameras at the scene of the alleged crime, their footage might provide insight into what happened just before the incident. It’s also possible that witnesses saw what happened. Unfortunately, surveillance footage can be overwritten, and eyewitnesses may forget important details about what happened. There are many other kinds of evidence that might be time sensitive, so it’s important that your lawyer is able to investigate your case right away.
Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Domestic Violence Lawyer in New York
If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence related-crime, don’t wait to seek legal counsel. Contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group right away to determine the most strategic way to proceed.
We’ve helped thousands of clients fight criminal charges. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a domestic violence attorney in New York.
If your elderly loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home and you intend to bring a claim against the at-fault facility, your word alone won’t be enough to win a settlement or verdict. You’ll need strong evidence to prove the mistreatment did in fact occur and that your family member suffered damages as a result.
Although every nursing home abuse claim is unique, the following evidence is often used in these cases:
- The Facility’s Standard Operating Procedures: Does the facility have sufficient measures in place to prevent neglect and abuse? Are there inadequacies in the operating procedures that allow for the violation of residents’ rights? If the facility’s operating procedures put residents at an unreasonable risk of harm, they might contribute to your case.
- Care Logs: Assuming they haven’t been altered or destroyed, the care logs should include the names of all staff members who cared for your relative, the time and duration of each visit, and the medications that were administered. Care logs may provide key insights into who caused the abuse or neglect, how the incident happened, whether it was likely a single incident or repeated offense, and whether the facility’s negligence played a role.
- Medical Records: Your loved one’s medical records should document his or her declining health. They may reveal injuries or illnesses that arose as a result of neglect or abuse.
- Witness Testimony: If the abuse was witnessed by staff, visitors, or other residents, their statements might contribute to the strength of your claim.
- Surveillance Footage: If the abuse was captured by surveillance cameras, that footage could be integral to your case; however, obtaining it may pose a challenge if it implicates the facility. Your personal injury attorney can apply legal pressure as needed to acquire such evidence.
- Photographs: Photographs of visible wounds can bolster your claim. Be sure to provide your lawyer with any pictures of bedsores, bruises, restraint marks on the wrists and ankles, and other injuries.
- Journal Entries: If you suspect your relative is being neglected or abused, start documenting all the signs and symptoms you notice in a personal injury journal. If possible, ask your loved one to keep a journal, as well. These entries can corroborate other kinds of evidence and help the judge or jury understand the timeline of events and the nature of the mistreatment.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your loved one was neglected or abused by nursing home staff, your family may be entitled to compensation for all resulting damages. To determine if you have grounds for a claim, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group.
Our compassionate team has over 200 years of combined experience in the legal profession, and we’re dedicated to getting our clients the results they deserve. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse attorney in New York.
In the state of New York, domestic violence encompasses a broad range of offenses involving at least two members of the same family or household. Such offenses include assault, sexual misconduct or abuse, stalking, menacing, and strangulation.
Domestic violence may involve people who:
- Are related by blood or marriage;
- Are legally married;
- Were once married;
- Share a child; or
- Have had intimate relations.
Because domestic violence occurs between relatives or members of the same household, victims may bring a civil action in family court, or they may bring criminal charges in criminal court. They may also file simultaneous actions in both courts. Additionally, both courts have the authority to establish orders of protection.
If you’re facing a civil action or criminal charges related to alleged domestic violence, your future could be on the line. If you have children, for example, the civil action could end with you losing custody. And a criminal conviction could lead to incarceration, fines, and the loss of certain freedoms.
Let’s take a closer look at the penalties that can result from a domestic violence-related conviction:
Domestic violence may be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. In other words, offenders can be incarcerated for a time period extending from a few days to a few decades. For example, stalking in the fourth degree is a class B misdemeanor that carries up to 90 days in jail. Assault in the first degree, on the other hand, is a violent felony that could result in up to 25 years in prison.
2. Fines, Fees, and Other Costs
A conviction for a domestic violence-related crime could result in hefty fines and fees. While more severe offenses carry higher fines, even misdemeanor convictions come with both direct and indirect costs. For example, if the case started with an arrest, you may have to pay a bail bondsman for their services. Even if you show up for all scheduled hearings, you won’t be reimbursed for the fee portion of your bond agreement.
You may also have to pay restitution to the victim. Finally, having a tarnished criminal record could limit your employment prospects.
3. Additional Consequences
In the state of New York, people who are convicted of a domestic violence-related offense may have to complete:
- A batterer’s treatment program; and/or
- Community service.
Depending on the situation, you could also lose certain rights and privileges. For example, a conviction can affect citizenship if you originally immigrated to the United States. It can also result in a gun ban, even if you’re only convicted of a misdemeanor.
Discuss Your Case with a Domestic Violence Attorney in New York
If you’ve been accused of a domestic violence-related crime, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. We’ve defended thousands of clients against criminal charges.
Our team will prepare your case for trial, even if a plea bargain is the expected outcome. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a domestic violence lawyer in New York.
If your elderly relative has been neglected or abused by nursing home staff, you may be wondering how to hold those caregivers and the facility accountable. Although taking legal action won’t undo the trauma your loved one has experienced, it may yield the compensation needed to arrange for much better long-term care, and it might inspire changes that save other nursing home residents from the same mistreatment.
Before commencing the proceedings, it’s wise to hire a nursing home abuse attorney. A well-credentialed lawyer can help you avoid mistakes, gather evidence, calculate a fair settlement amount, and negotiate with the opposing party.
Let’s explore a few reasons to hire a nursing home neglect lawyer to assist with your claim:
1. The Nursing Home Administrators Are Not on Your Side
As soon as the administrators learn about the abuse or neglect, they’ll likely reach out to you and offer to handle the matter internally. Regardless of how compassionate and helpful they seem, it’s important to remember that the interests of nursing home administrators are in direct conflict with your own. At the end of the day, it’s in their best interests to pay as little as possible for the damages your loved one has incurred, and to avoid bad press. But if you accept an unfair settlement and sign a release, you won’t be able to pursue further compensation.
2. Gathering Evidence Could Pose a Challenge
To prevail in a nursing home abuse case, you’ll need strong evidence of the mistreatment your family member has suffered and the resulting damages. Overlooking just one piece of critical evidence could make it difficult to win a fair settlement. An attorney with the right experience will know the kinds of evidence to gather and how to obtain evidence that’s being withheld by the nursing home.
3. It’s Easy to Jeopardize a Nursing Home Abuse Claim Inadvertently
By letting a seasoned nursing home abuse lawyer handle the logistics of your case, you’ll be far less likely to make a costly mistake. Below are just a few errors that could hurt your chances of recovering a fair payout:
- Letting critical deadlines pass;
- Posting about the case on social media;
- Failing to track or account for certain damages; and
- Commencing negotiations before your loved one has reached maximum medical improvement.
4. No Two Claims Are Exactly Alike
You may have found online resources that offer insights into the laws and procedures that pertain to nursing home abuse claims, but at the end of the day, each case is different. For example, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating a fair settlement, and the types of evidence needed to strengthen one claim could be very different from the next. A seasoned attorney will know the best approach to take given the specific facts of your case.
Call 716-855-3761 for a Free Consultation with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your loved one has suffered neglect or abuse in a long-term care facility, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. With more than 200 years of combined experience, our lawyers know what it takes to achieve successful outcomes in these cases. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse attorney in New York.