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What is considered domestic violence in the state of New York?

Although it is common for all families to fight, it is not all right for family member to physically, mentally or emotionally hurt loved ones. In such matters, this could be considered domestic violence. When an individual believes that he or she is a victim of domestic violence, he or she is accusing a loved one of a crime. Facing such a criminal charge does not only mean criminal penalties but could also mean a difficult future with that loved one. It could also mean that that relationship is severed and the accused party will be prevented from contacting that loved one.

What is considered domestic violence in the state of New York? In the state of New York criminal laws do not differentiate between domestic violence related crimes from other offenses; however, it does criminalize various violent acts that may occur between members of the same family or household.

New York Penal Code Sections 120.00 describes assault offenses. This occurs in the third degree when a person has the intent to cause physical injury to another person and in fact causes such injury to occur. This could also occur if a person recklessly causes injury to another person or, with criminal negligence, causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument.

Domestic violence applies to crimes committed between members of the same family or household. This includes those that are related, are legally married, are formerly married, have a child in common and have been in an intimate relationship even if they are not living together. These offenses range in penalties and could result in misdemeanor or felony convictions. Even more so, defendants could face a sentence of 5 to 25 years in prison or a fine up to $5,000.

Defenses for these charges can range greatly, often including criminal defenses such as, justification, self-defense, medical or dental purpose or mental disease or defect. Making a defense against domestic violence charges can be difficult but it is important. Taking such a step increases a defendant's chance in reducing or dismissing the charges against them. Additionally, it also helps protect their rights and interests in the matter.

Source: Statelaws.findlaw.com, "New York Domestic Violence Laws," accessed Dec. 16, 2016

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