Orange County Domestic Violence Attorney Safeguards Clients’ Rights
Chester, New York family lawyer advocates for clients in hearings
Domestic violence is a serious and pervasive problem in our society. In my family law practice at Meth Law Offices, PC, I often assist clients who have been victims of domestic violence or who are facing accusations of spousal abuse or child endangerment. If you feel threatened by a family member or intimate partner, there is no reason to live in fear. As an experienced Orange County domestic violence attorney, I can help you get the legal protection you deserve. Likewise, if you have been wrongly accused, we can help you safeguard your rights and your reputation.
New York domestic violence laws
New York law considers various unlawful acts to be domestic violence if they occur between people whose relationship fits any of the following descriptions:
- Related by blood or law
- Presently or formerly married
- Parents who have a child in common
- Parties who are, or have been, in an intimate relationship
Victims of domestic violence can seek civil protection in family court by petitioning for a restraining order and can also report abuse to the police, which might lead to criminal charges.
What is considered an act of domestic violence in New York?
The following acts between persons in a qualifying relationship would be considered domestic violence:
- Assault — Causing physical harm to another with intent, recklessness or criminal negligence.
- Menacing — Placing another person in fear of imminent physical injury
- Stalking — Engaging in a course of conduct designed to place another person in reasonable fear of imminent harm
- Strangulation — Criminal obstruction of breath or blood flow
Other acts, such as sexual assault, can be charged under other sections of New York Penal Law even when the defendant and victim have an existing relationship.
What are the penalties for a domestic violence charge?
New York law treats domestic violence offenses as serious misdemeanor and felony crimes, which could carry penalties including significant fines and lengthy incarceration. These offenses include:
- First-degree assault, with a possible sentence of five to 25 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000
- First-degree strangulation, which can result in imprisonment of 3.5 to 15 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000
- First-degree menacing, a Class E felony which can result in 1.5 to 4 years New York State prison
- Third-degree assault and second-degree menacing, each Class A misdemeanors that are punishable by imprisonment of less than one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000
If you believe you’ve been accused unfairly of domestic abuse, defenses are available, and you are entitled to representation. I understand how devastating a domestic violence claim can be to someone’s reputation and work diligently to reach a fair resolution.
What are the legal protections against domestic violence in NY?
A person who has a reasonable fear of domestic violence can petition the court for an order of protection, popularly known as a restraining order. Courts issue orders on an emergency basis for immediate relief, as well as orders that can last several years. An adult who has child custody can request a protective order on behalf of a child.
Contact a Chester, New York family lawyer for a free domestic violence consultation
Meth Law Offices, PC represents clients in domestic violence matters in the Orange County area. Please call 845-610-6595 or contact me online for a free initial consultation. My Chester office is conveniently located at 10 Moffatt Lane, just off Routes 6 and 94.