Domestic Violence Definition & Penalties 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.