Domestic Violence
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Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys in Poughkeepsie, NY

200 Years of Combined Experience

Domestic violence is a term that covers a number of crimes occurring in a domestic setting. These are crimes of force or the threat of force and, as such, are heavily pursued and prosecuted in local courts. When law enforcement arrive at a domestic scene where they believe some type of violence has occurred, they generally must make an arrest of the primary aggressor. This is the case even if the alleged victim refuses to press charges, recants his or her accusation, or in cases where both parties have participated in some type of incident. If you are thought to be the aggressor, you will automatically face criminal charges which could lead to a permanent criminal record.

Because probable cause of domestic abuse will lead to an automatic arrest, you will need the services of an experienced Poughkeepsie domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. At McCabe, Coleman, Ventosa & Patterson PLLC, you can bring your case to a firm backed by hundreds of years of collective experience in criminal defense. You will always have direct access to your attorney who will personally handle your case from start to finish. As a large and well-known law firm in the area, we offer outstanding legal ability and client service.

Domestic violence arrest? Reach out to a Poughkeepsie domestic violence lawyer at (845) 209-1355 to discuss your situation in a free, initial consultation. Hablamos español. 

Defining Domestic Violence in New York

In New York, domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behavior used by one person to gain power and control over another person in an intimate relationship. It can include physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, and economic abuse.

New York law defines domestic violence as any of the following acts committed by a family or household member against another family or household member:

  1. Physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;
  2. Attempting to cause physical harm, bodily injury, or assault;
  3. Recklessly or intentionally placing someone in fear of imminent serious physical harm;
  4. Making someone engage in sexual activity against their will through the use of force, threat, or coercion;
  5. Stalking, which includes intentionally and repeatedly harassing or threatening someone, causing them to fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family; or
  6. Endangering the welfare of a child, including exposing a child to physical or sexual abuse, or allowing a child to be in a dangerous situation.

It is important to note that domestic violence is a serious crime in New York, and victims have legal rights and protections. Victims can seek orders of protection, which are court orders that require the abuser to stay away from the victim and may also require them to refrain from contacting or harassing the victim. Victims can also contact local law enforcement or domestic violence hotlines for help and support.

"Family or Household Members"

Domestic violence offenses are based on specific relationships between the alleged victim and his or her aggressor. These relationships include:

  • Spouses and former spouses
  • People related by blood or marriage
  • Parents and children
  • Individuals with a child in common
  • Individuals who are currently or who have formerly been in an intimate relationship (even if they have never cohabited)

Acts Considered Domestic Violence in NY

The criminal offenses that fall under the umbrella of domestic violence include:

  • Harassment and aggravated harassment
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Sexual abuse and sexual misconduct
  • Forcible touching
  • Stalking
  • Menacing
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Criminal mischief
  • Assault and attempted assault
  • Strangulation

Penalties for Domestic Violence in NY

Domestic violence is a serious offense in New York State, and there are various penalties and consequences for those who are convicted. The penalties for domestic violence offenses vary broadly depending on the nature of the incident, whether weapons were used, one’s prior criminal history, and other factors specific to the crime.

Here are some possible penalties for domestic violence in NY:

  • Class A misdemeanor: This is the most common charge for domestic violence in NY. It is punishable by up to one year in jail, three years of probation, and a fine of up to $1,000. If the offender has a prior domestic violence conviction within the past five years, the charge can be elevated to a felony.
  • Felony: Domestic violence can be charged as a felony if the offense is more severe or if the offender has a prior conviction. Felony charges can result in a prison sentence of up to four years or more.
  • Protection order: In addition to criminal penalties, a person convicted of domestic violence may also be subject to a protection order. This order can prohibit the offender from contacting or coming near the victim and can include other restrictions, such as prohibiting possession of firearms.
  • Mandatory counseling: A judge may order a person convicted of domestic violence to attend counseling or therapy sessions as a condition of probation or as part of their sentence. This can include anger management classes or counseling for substance abuse.

It's important to note that these penalties are not exhaustive and may vary depending on the circumstances of the case. It's essential to seek legal advice from a qualified Poughkeepsie domestic violence attorney if you have been charged with domestic violence or are a victim of domestic violence.

Protective Order Defense in New York

Being subject to a protective order (restraining order) is a common occurrence in a domestic violence case. These orders can effectively kick you out of your home, affect your ability to see your children, prohibit you from any kind of contact with your accuser, and impose other restrictions.

Violations of a protective order can lead to a new arrest and misdemeanor or felony criminal contempt charges. These orders can be issued and reissued for as long as a domestic violence case ensues. When the case is finally resolved, a final protective order can be issued to endure for up to 10 years.

Collateral Damage to Your Future

Being convicted of a domestic violence crime means that you will have a permanent criminal record that can be found on a routine background check. Such a record can damage future opportunities in gaining employment, rental housing, professional licenses, and can lead to immigration problems for non-citizens. Your right to preserve your future from this disadvantage is as important as fighting to avoid criminal consequences such as jail time, heavy fines, and other court orders.

Let McCabe, Coleman, Ventosa & Patterson PLLC fight for you. Call our domestic violence lawyers in Poughkeepsie at (845) 209-1355 to get started today. 


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