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.
If you’re facing domestic violence-related charges or if you were a victim of domestic violence, you may be wondering if it’s possible to get the charges dropped. It’s not uncommon for both parties in these cases to regret getting law enforcement involved, and accusers often desire not to have the offender prosecuted.
Once the suspect has been charged, however, the alleged victim doesn’t get to choose whether or not the case is prosecuted. After all, it’s not actually the victim who files the charges against the defendant but rather the state.
While domestic violence victims can certainly withdraw their allegations or send the prosecutor a letter stating the innocence of the accused, this may not have an impact on the proceedings. Refusing to cooperate might not influence the outcome of the case, either. Depending on the circumstances, the prosecutor may not even need the victim’s testimony to build a strong case against the defendant.
Fortunately, there may be other ways to get the court to drop domestic violence-related charges. Let’s explore some of those scenarios:
1. Lack of Sufficient Evidence
When there’s not enough evidence to convict the defendant, the court has no choice but to drop the charges. Since many domestic violence cases come down to “he said/she said,” prosecutors often find it challenging to prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In other words, if the incident wasn’t captured on film and didn’t cause injury or other damage, there’s a good chance the charges will be dropped.
2. Lack of Credibility
Making false accusations of any kind is a serious offense, but that doesn’t necessarily stop people from doing do. If the court finds the victim’s credibility questionable, they will likely dismiss the case entirely. This may be more likely to happen if the alleged victim suffers from a mental illness or has a history of making false accusations.
Courts are also inclined to question credibility when the alleged victim will benefit in some way if the defendant ends up with a conviction on his or her record. For example, if the couple is embroiled in a contentious custody battle, the prosecutor might demand irrefutable evidence of wrongdoing before filing any charges.
3. Lack of Serious Bodily Injury
If the alleged victim didn’t sustain injuries that necessitated medical care—or exaggerated the injuries he or she suffered—the prosecutor may not have enough evidence to charge the defendant with domestic battery. Depending on the circumstances, though, the offender could still face charges for a less serious offense.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Domestic Violence Attorney
If you’re facing domestic violence-related charges in New York, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to discuss your case. Our legal team has defended thousands of clients against criminal charges, and we will do everything in our power to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. 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 or someone you love was neglected or abused in a nursing home, your family may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages. Unfortunately, you can expect the long-term care facility and their insurance company to look for any possible reason to dispute your claim. As such, it’s important that you’re proactive about protecting your legal rights.
Below are just a few steps you should take if you or a member of your family was abused or neglected in a nursing home:
1. Make Other Arrangements
Upon learning a loved one has been receiving substandard care, your first priority should be his or her health. Depending on the circumstances, it might be best to relocate him or her to a nearby hospital or to another long-term care facility.
Regardless of the option you choose, it’s important that you don’t tell the nursing home staff that you’re making the new arrangements as a result of suspected abuse. Otherwise, they may attempt to resolve the situation internally (and unfairly) or perhaps even destroy or alter evidence.
2. Seek Legal Counsel
While it’s possible to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim without an attorney, there are many advantages to enlisting the help of a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer. Your attorney can handle all the logistics of the case such as:
- Interviewing eyewitnesses;
- Gathering evidence of liability;
- Tracking damages;
- Handling all correspondence with both the facility and their insurer;
- Calculating a fair settlement;
- Handling settlement negotiations; and
- Preparing the case for court if necessary.
3. Document Everything
What prompted you to suspect abuse in the first place? Unexplained injuries? Dehydration and malnourishment? A conversation you had with your relative’s roommate? Be sure to document any signs of abuse or neglect that you’ve noticed.
You should also compile any evidence you have of mistreatment such as:
- Photographs of bruises, lacerations, bedsores, or other wounds;
- Medical records;
- Statements from other residents; and
- Statements from your loved one.
There are many other kinds of evidence that might be difficult to access or even withheld by the nursing home. Examples include surveillance footage, documents that outline the facility’s operational and training procedures, keycard data, and caregiver schedules. If the nursing home refuses to relinquish this evidence voluntarily, your lawyer can apply legal pressure to obtain it.
Your attorney can also arrange expert witness testimony to strengthen your claim. This may be necessary if there’s a dispute related to the cause of your loved one’s injury or death, the severity of the resulting injuries, or the value of damages.
Call 716-855-3761 for a Free Consultation with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you or a member of your family has suffered nursing home abuse, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York.
When you move an aging loved one into a
long-term care facility, it’s with the assumption that he or she will be
treated with dignity and respect. Sadly, abuse and neglect are alarmingly
common in nursing homes, and the problem is only getting worse.
In one survey conducted by the World
Health Organization, 2 out of 3 nursing home staff members reported having
committed abuse within the past year. Even those who live at high-priced,
state-of-the-art facilities are vulnerable to physical, sexual, emotional, and
financial abuse. Residents might also be subjected to neglect, which can be
just as damaging as outright abuse.
If you’re thinking about moving an
elderly loved one into a nursing home, you may be wondering if he or she is
likely to be abused. Since a significant number of incidents go unreported,
it’s impossible to determine exactly how prevalent the problem is; however, abuse
in long-term care facilities is certainly more common than it should be.
In one survey, 95 percent of the residents who were interviewed reported that they had been neglected by staff or had witnessed others being neglected. In another study, researchers found outright abuse had occurred in 30 percent of all nursing homes throughout the United States.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
If your loved one currently resides in a long-term care facility—or will soon—it’s wise to review the warning signs of nursing home abuse so you’ll be able to notice the symptoms of mistreatment and take immediate action. Here are some of the most common signs of abuse:
- Physical Abuse: Unexplained hospitalizations are a telltale sign of
physical abuse, as are unexplained injuries. Examples include bruises,
lacerations, fractures, sprains, and strains.
- Sexual Abuse: Bruises on the wrists, thighs, and chest are
indicative of sexual abuse. Torn clothing, difficulty walking or sitting,
and unexplained infections could also be signs of sexual abuse.
- Emotional Abuse: When seniors suffer emotional abuse, they are likely
to exhibit changes in their personality. For example, they may experience
dramatic mood swings, withdraw from social situations, or isolate
themselves from friends and family members.
- Financial Abuse: If your loved one is suddenly unable to meet financial obligations, nursing home staff could be taking advantage of him or her. Giving extravagant gifts to those who are not actually family members or modifying estate plans for no justifiable reason are also signs that a caregiver could be manipulating your relative.
- Neglect: Nursing home residents who are neglected by staff are
likely to suffer from malnutrition, dehydration, and bedsores. They may
also have poor personal hygiene.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York
Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you think an elderly loved one is being abused or neglected by nursing home staff, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. We will conduct a thorough investigation and gather the evidence needed to build a claim against all liable parties. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York.
Nursing homes are supposed to be a safe environment for our aging loved ones. The very reason why most people move into nursing homes is because their families are unable to provide the care they need. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect happen far more often than they should in long-term care facilities, and they can have devastating consequences.
Bedsores are common in nursing homes and typically affect people who have limited mobility. These skin lesions develop as a result of prolonged pressure on the skin, which is why they’re often referred to as “pressure ulcers.” They’re especially common near bony protrusions like the shoulder blades, ankles, heels, and hips.
Not long ago, bedsores were considered a normal part of patient care. But today, hospitals and nursing homes are expected to take reasonable steps to prevent these lesions from forming. Such measures include moving patients regularly to prevent prolonged pressure on the skin and ensuring residents who are confined to wheelchairs have sufficient padding to prevent irritation.
Because bedsores can result from negligence, victims may have grounds for a claim against the facility where they reside. If you lost a member of your family due to bedsore-related complications such as infection, you might have grounds for a wrongful death claim and a survival action.
For your claim to be successful, you’ll need strong evidence of liability and damages.
Evidence of Liability
If a nursing home resident has a condition that limits his or her mobility and this is known to the nursing home staff yet they fail to take reasonable steps to prevent bedsores—and bedsores develop as a result—the facility may be liable for any damages incurred. Evidence of liability might include:
- Records that demonstrate understaffing at the nursing home;
- Statements from residents who live in the same facility;
- Records of other residents developing bedsores; and
- Security footage and/or keycard data tracking staff members’ moves.
Damages in Nursing Home Neglect Claims
When pressure ulcers go unaddressed, they can progress rapidly and lead to serious complications including cellulitis, cancer, and sepsis. If a resident develops bedsores as a result of nursing home negligence, he or she can bring a claim against the facility for all damages incurred, which may include:
- Surgeries, medication, and other past and future healthcare expenses;
- Other objectively verifiable costs related to the injury; and
- Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and physical impairment.
Evidence of damages in a nursing home neglect case may include:
- Medical records;
- Statements from specialists;
- Personal injury journal entries; and
- Photographs of the bedsores in question.
Call 716-855-3761 to Speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in New York
If you want to sue a New York nursing home for providing substandard care, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. We can perform a thorough investigation, interview nursing home residents and staff, and help you pursue the highest settlement possible. Call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse attorney in New York.