Domestic Violence Attorney Buffalo, NY
Defending You Against Serious Allegations
Domestic violence is defined by the state as a crime that occurs between two or more members of the same family or who share a household. Buffalo courts take domestic violence accusations very seriously. Even if you are innocent and falsely accused, you could spend time in jail or even prison. It’s extremely important that if you’ve been accused of domestic violence, you contact a dedicated Buffalo domestic violence attorney immediately. Your future depends on it.
Domestic Violence Laws
There are four separate actions that fall under domestic violence in New York. The first charge listed is an assault charge. While there are degrees of assault, this charge appears in domestic violence cases when someone is accused of hitting, punching, kicking, or otherwise causing physical harm that results in bruising or redness. Assault can be classified as assault in the first degree, the second degree, or the third degree. Vehicular assault is a charge if you’ve been accused of using your vehicle to run over, hit, or maim someone who would be covered under New York’s definition of familial relationships. With assault in the first degree, you’re being accused of a violent crime under N.Y. Penal Law 120.10. You’re also being accused of causing the injury with a weapon.
Second degree assault is a class D felony. This domestic violence charge means that you intentionally hurt someone and it caused a serious physical injury. For instance, a black eye or a bloody nose could be classified as second degree assault. This charge can also be used if you are accused of using a dangerous or deadly weapon during the assault.
Third degree assault covers two forms of assault: intentional assault and reckless assault. Intentional assault is exactly what it sounds like: it is alleged that you intentionally tried to hurt someone. Reckless assault means that you acted in a negligent way and your actions caused an injury to another person. Third degree assault is the most common assault charge in New York.
The second type of domestic violence charge is a menacing offense. Menacing is often charged in the second or third degree under N.Y. Penal Law 120.14, 15. Menacing offenses are an allegation that you threatened to hurt another person. The difference in the two menacing offenses is whether is it alleged that you threatened to use a weapon. Menacing may be classified as either a felony or misdemeanor offense.
In New York domestic violence cases, allegations of stalking are taken very seriously. Like the other charges mentioned so far, stalking can be charged according to the degree. If a weapon is involved, you could face harsher punishment.
Strangulation and related offenses as a domestic violence charge occur when someone alleges that you choked them or otherwise limited their air or blood flow in some way. Even if you barely squeezed the other person, you can still face this charge. Like the other charges mentioned, you could be charged with strangulation in the first or second degree, depending on the facts surrounding the event.
Domestic Violence Penalties
If you’re charged with domestic violence, your penalties will depend on whether you are found guilty or in how your case is pled. Either way, you need to retain an experienced domestic violence attorney to ensure your rights are being protected. For a first degree assault charge, you could spend between 5 and 25 years in prison even if it is a first offense. A first degree assault charge is a felony.
Second degree assault is a serious felony crime. Even if it is your first offense, you could receive a sentence of seven years in state prison. Third degree assault is less serious, but still a serious offense. You could face a fine of up to $1,000 and you may be required to spend up to a year in prison.
Stalking in the fourth is classified as a class B misdemeanor. Stalking in the third is classified as a class A misdemeanor. Stalking in the second is a class A misdemeanor. Stalking in the first is a class D felony. How you may ultimately be punished is dependent on both the classification and whether you’ve been previously convicted of stalking at any point in the past.
Penalties for strangulation depend on the degree and the facts surrounding the domestic violence allegation. First degree strangulation is a violent felony in New York. You could be fined up to $5,000 and spend between 3 ½ and 15 years in prison. Strangulation in the second degree is a class C felony.
Domestic Violence Attorney Defenses
If you are charged with domestic violence, there are defenses available to you. However, it is also important to remember that New York is a state that has a mandatory arrest law. If you are charged with domestic violence, the police will arrest you. If this happens, you need to contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer immediately. Legal defenses available to domestic violence charges in New York include:
- Justification (for assault issues)
- Medical or dental purposes (for strangulation and related charges)
- Mental disease or defect
Defending You Against Serious Accusations
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you must understand that this is an extremely serious allegation. You should seek out the services of an experienced Buffalo domestic violence attorney that has experience and a track record of success in handling domestic violence cases. Attorney Drew Fritsch will fight to defend your freedom and your right to see your loved ones.