Getting arrested for domestic violence is stressful enough without having to decode complicated legal jargon. Although a criminal defense attorney can handle the logistics of your case, it may be possible to alleviate some of the stress you are experiencing by learning the terms you will likely encounter throughout the proceedings.
Below we’ve defined some of the most important terms to know if you’re facing domestic violence-related charges:
1. Intimate Partner
The state of New York differentiates between domestic violence and intimate partner violence. While domestic violence encompasses violence against any member of the household, intimate partner violence refers to violence against a former or current romantic partner.
The arraignment is the first time the defendant appears in court. It’s usually held within 48 hours of arrest. During this proceeding, bail is set if applicable, and the accused will get the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
Perjury refers to lying under oath. If the alleged victim fabricated his or her story—as is sometimes the case when it comes to domestic violence—he or she could face felony charges.
4. Assault and Battery
Battery is the physical act of hurting someone while assault—which is often used interchangeably with “battery”—is simply the imminent threat of harm. In other words, you can be accused of assault even if you didn’t actually lay a hand on the alleged victim.
5. Affirmative Defense
An affirmative defense is one that not only refutes the allegations against you but also presents new allegations. Such defenses are especially common in cases involving domestic violence. For example, if the alleged victim attacked you first and you were merely acting out of self-defense, presenting evidence that proves as much would be considered an affirmative defense.
A deposition is sworn testimony that occurs out of court. In criminal cases, depositions are not typically used as a discovery device but, rather, as a way to preserve witness testimony.
7. Aggravated Family Offense
If you already have a history of domestic violence, you could face charges for aggravated family offense following an arrest for a subsequent incident. Such charges can apply to defendants who were convicted of a domestic violence-related misdemeanor within the past five years.
An alibi is a defense that claims the accused was physically in a different location when the alleged incident occurred. When it comes to domestic violence allegations, defendants may be able to prove their alibis using social media check-ins, retail receipts, GPS tracking from their smartphones, security camera footage, or eyewitness testimony.
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. Our seasoned attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field. Call (716) 855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a domestic violence lawyer in New York.
Nursing home abuse can have devastating consequences with lasting repercussions for both the victim and his or her loved ones. When residents receive substandard care—or suffer downright abuse—it takes a physical, emotional, and financial toll.
In addition to the victim’s physical pain and emotional distress, those closest to him or her will undoubtedly experience their own grief upon learning of the abuse. And when the hospital bills start coming in, it will only add more stress to an already tense situation.
If you or someone you love suffered abuse at the hands of nursing home staff, filing a claim against the facility will not undo the trauma your family has endured; however, if your case is successful, the resulting payout may provide the means to secure the best care possible moving forward.
In New York, victims of nursing home abuse may seek compensation for both the economic and non-economic damages that they incur. And in certain scenarios, they’re also entitled to a punitive award.
Naturally, the specific damages you will be able to pursue and their potential value will depend on the circumstances. There are, however, some general factors that will typically influence the settlement calculations. Such factors include:
1. The Victim’s Life Expectancy
If the abuse caused permanent harm, such as scarring, disfigurement, or disability, the victim’s life expectancy will impact estimates for damages like anticipated medical care, ongoing rehabilitation, and continued pain and suffering.
2. The Severity of the Injuries
More serious injuries typically warrant more compensation for economic damages like hospital bills and non-economic damages like loss of enjoyment in life. Since the extent of the victim’s injuries can have such a significant impact on the settlement calculations, it is often necessary to wait until he or she has reached maximum medical improvement to commence the negotiations.
3. Whether a Punitive Award Is Warranted
New York Public Health Law (PHL) § 2801-d permits victims of nursing home abuse to recover punitive damages and attorney’s fees when applicable. To successfully bring a claim under this law, it must be shown that the victim was deprived of a particular right or benefit. You must also prove how the disadvantage in question contributed either directly or proximately to the victim’s injuries or declining health.
Under NYPHL, punitive damages that are awarded in nursing home abuse cases are typically applied to the long-term care facility, as opposed to the staff member who committed the transgression. There are scenarios, however, in which punitive damages can be awarded against the actual caregiver who abused the resident.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we have a passionate commitment to helping our clients fight for the highest possible compensation against those who have wronged them. We will use all the resources at our disposal to prepare your case for court even if a settlement is the expected outcome. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York.
If you’re facing domestic violence-related charges, you’re probably under a lot of stress. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s natural to feel utterly powerless—and unbearably alone—in such a scenario.It’s important to remember that you’re not actually powerless, though, nor are you alone. By hiring a strategic criminal defense attorney, you will have a legal advocate to help you navigate the proceedings and fight for the best possible outcome.
To help your lawyer get off to a running start, you can prepare for the initial consultation in the following ways:
1. Write Down Everything You Remember
What kind of altercation led to the arrest and subsequent charges? Write down everything you remember about the incident in question. Keep in mind that no detail is too small to record.
Additionally, the only way your attorney will be able to help is if you’re 100 percent honest from the start. That means if you did commit any kind of violent act—even in self-defense—your lawyer needs to know.
The questions below can serve as your guide when writing your account of events:
- Where and when did the incident occur?
- Did anyone else witness the altercation?
- Were either of you under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time?
- Who alerted police?
- How did responding officers approach the situation?
- What did police tell you before, during, and after your arrest?
2. Gather All Relevant Correspondence
If you and the alleged victim have had any recorded contact since the incident, bring it to the consultation. This includes voicemails, emails, text messages, and social media posts. From this point forward, DO NOT contact the alleged victim for any reason. Your attorney can mediate any future correspondence so you don’t say or do anything that has the potential to hurt your defense.
3. Prepare a List of Questions
Record any questions you have for the attorney before going into the meeting. Since you will be inundated with information during the consultation, you might forget to ask important questions if they’re not written down.
Questions worth asking include:
- Have you handled cases that are similar to mine?
- What do you think is the most likely outcome of my case?
- What is your fee structure?
- What can I do to strengthen my defense?
- Are my parental rights at stake?
- Do you anticipate any major hurdles or complications?
- How can I contact you if an issue arises?
- What are the various stages of the criminal proceedings?
- Where do we go from here?
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence-related crime, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine the best way to proceed. After conducting a thorough investigation and reviewing the evidence against you, we will devise a strategic defense tailored to the unique facts of your case. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a consultation with a domestic violence attorney in New York.
Moving an elderly loved one into a nursing home is difficult for all parties involved. Many family members find the only way to cope with the transition is by reminding themselves that their relative will receive far better care at the facility than at home. This, however, isn’t always the case; nursing home abuse and neglect are growing problems in New York and throughout the United States, often leading to serious physical and psychological trauma for the victim, and sometimes even death.
As soon as you realize your relative has been receiving substandard care, it’s only natural to want justice. In many cases, the best way to hold the facility accountable is by filing a nursing home abuse claim to pursue monetary damages.
To win a settlement or verdict, you will need to prove both liability and damages. Depending on the circumstances, this may require deposition and testimony from fact witnesses and expert witnesses.
What Is a Fact Witness?
Also called “eyewitnesses,” fact witnesses are individuals who personally observed the abuse or the damages left in its wake. In other words, they can provide deposition regarding the facts of the case.
Fact witnesses can only provide testimony about what they witnessed firsthand; they cannot share any opinions or assumptions. Depending on the circumstances, potential fact witnesses include:
- Nursing home staff;
- Other residents at the facility;
- People who visited the facility; and
- Medical providers who cared for your relative after the abuse occurred.
What Is an Expert Witness?
Expert witnesses are specialists who provide deposition and testimony to resolve disputes or to clarify the significance and implications of certain evidence. Expert witnesses must meet certain criteria in order for their deposition to be considered credible. The specific criteria will depend on the circumstances, but generally speaking, the expert must have sufficient credentials and experience to be considered an established authority in his or her field.
Below are a few examples of expert witnesses who often play a role in nursing home abuse and neglect cases:
- Doctors: May provide testimony regarding the types of injuries suffered and their severity, or regarding a nursing home caregiver’s failure to use accepted standards of care.
- Pharmacists: If a medication error was the proximate cause of the tortious injury or illness, your attorney may bring in a pharmacist to provide testimony.
- Psychologists: May provide testimony regarding the psychological consequences of the mistreatment suffered by the victim.
- Economists: May provide testimony regarding the value of damages incurred.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial impact that nursing home abuse can have on the whole family. We fight tirelessly on behalf of our clients and devote the time and resources needed to pursue the best possible outcome in every case we handle. To schedule a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York, call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form.
It probably comes as no surprise that domestic violence-related crimes carry severe penalties. In the state of New York, for example, those convicted could face steep fines and incarceration. They may also have limited options when it comes to finding a job or a place to live.
If you happen to be an undocumented immigrant, you could also face deportation, which may end up being the worst consequence of all. Under federal law, aliens can be removed following the conviction of certain criminal offenses, including those involving domestic violence, stalking, protection order violations, and child abuse.
Even if you were lawfully admitted to the United States, being convicted of a domestic violence offense may still lead to deportation depending on the circumstances. With so much at stake—from your future to your family’s wellbeing—it is critical that you take the following steps to fight the charges:
1. Call a Domestic Violence Lawyer
It is wise to call a criminal defense attorney as soon as you are arrested. Seeking legal counsel right away could prevent you from providing statements to the police or making other mistakes that end up limiting your defense options.
Your lawyer can also protect your rights. If law enforcement personnel make a procedural error or violate your rights, your attorney may be able to use that fact to your advantage. Your attorney can also interview eyewitnesses, gather evidence, and possibly negotiate with the prosecutor for lesser charges that come with reduced penalties.
2. Do Not Contact the Alleged Victim
Even if there is no protection order in place, it is wise to avoid contacting the alleged victim. If you must interact with him or her—perhaps you share children, for example, and need to arrange visitation—do so through your lawyer.
3. Stay off Social Media
You may be tempted to turn to social media to clear your name. While seeking support from friends and followers might seem justified, it is best to stay off social networking sites until your case has been resolved.
Social media content is usually admissible as evidence in court. This includes insults and threats against the alleged victim, details regarding the incident, and photographs of any injuries sustained during the alleged altercation.
Even if you think a particular post would only serve to strengthen your defense, there is no way to predict how the prosecutor might interpret it. To avoid jeopardizing your case inadvertently, you should temporarily disable your social media accounts until the conclusion of your case.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Domestic Violence Attorney
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we understand how much is at stake for people who have been charged with a domestic violence offense—especially those who are facing potential deportation. That’s why we fight tirelessly on behalf of each and every one of our clients. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a domestic violence lawyer in New York.
Because strength, flexibility, and mobility decline with age, falls are relatively common in nursing homes. But some of the most serious fall injuries can be avoided if nursing home staff provide adequate care.
According to Reuters, nearly 10 percent of hip fractures in the United States occur among nursing home residents, the vast majority of which are caused by falls. Of those residents who fracture a hip, more than one-third die within six months while many others suffer some level of permanent disability.
If you or a member of your family is recovering from a hip and/or femur fracture caused by a fall at a nursing home, the facility may be liable for all resulting medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. Read on to learn the answers to a few FAQs about these claims:
1. When Might a Nursing Home Be Liable for a Hip or Femur Fracture?
Nursing homes owe a duty of care to every resident. As part of this duty, they must evaluate each patient’s fall risk and take reasonable steps to prevent injury. A breach of this duty of care would constitute negligence. In the state of New York, nursing homes can be held liable for any damages caused by their negligence or the negligence of their employees.
For example, many nursing home residents need safety rails on their bed or access to a walker. If the staff failed to provide such essential mobility aids, the nursing home may be held liable for any injuries or death that results.
2. What Damages Can My Family Pursue by Filing a Nursing Home Negligence Claim?
Depending on the circumstances, a successful nursing home negligence claim may yield compensation for the following damages:
- Past and future medical bills;
- Other objectively verifiable expenses that arise as a result of the fracture;
- Mental anguish;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment in life; and
- Physical impairment and disfigurement.
If the liable party’s actions were especially egregious, punitive damages may also be recoverable. And if the victim’s spouse suffered a loss of love, companionship, or affection as a result of the injuries, he or she may have grounds for a loss of consortium claim.
3. What Should I Do If My Elderly Loved One Fell at a Nursing Home?
What you do immediately following the accident could have a major impact on the outcome of the claim. Below are a few essential steps to take if you suspect that your loved one was injured due to nursing home negligence or abuse:
- Ensure your loved one receives adequate medical care for the fracture;
- Photograph any visible wounds;
- Gather all relevant medical records; and
- Seek legal counsel right away.
Speak with a New York Nursing Home Negligence Attorney Today
If you think your family has grounds for a personal injury claim against a long-term care facility, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our attorneys have more than 200 years of experience in legal practice. Call 716-855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a nursing home negligence lawyer in New York.
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.