NYC Domestic Violence and Stalking Lawyers
New York state law does not define any one particular crime as “domestic violence.” Instead, “domestic violence” is used to refer to a wide variety of different crimes. This means that you can’t be charged with domestic violence. That said, domestic violence might play a role in the severity of the charge you face for whatever crime was committed.
Domestic violence is an overarching term for any kind of violence occurring between people who are either related to each other or have a close social relationship such as dating, living together, or being married. Crimes do not have to involve romantic relationships to be considered of a domestic violence nature, as the term also refers to violence between anyone who shares the same household.
Anyone can be a victim or perpetrator of domestic violence. That said, in most cases that involve serious injury, the perpetrator is usually male and the victim is usually male.
A number of different crimes fall under the domestic violence umbrella; stalking is one of them.
Following people is considered stalking, as is communicating with them in a way which makes them fear for their personal safety. There are four different stalking offenses: stalking in the first degree, second degree, third degree, and fourth degree. Stalking in the fourth degree is the least serious offense, while stalking in the first degree is the most serious.
Stalking in the first degree involves causing physical injury to the victim or committing a sex crime against the victim. In these cases, you will also be subject to other criminal charges on top of the stalking charge.
Stalking in the third degree and the fourth degree are both misdemeanor crimes. The largest penalties for these are one year in jail, but sometimes lower sentences can be negotiated. Second degree stalking is considered a Class E felony. The sentence for a conviction is up to four years imprisoned. First degree stalking is a Class D felony, and the sentence might involve up to seven years imprisoned.
If you’re charged with a crime wherein the victim has any kind of domestic relationship with you, the preliminary actions taken by the court will include an order of protection issued. This will be issued to keep the victims of the crime safe from any potential further harm.
The judge has the ability to grant multiple different types of restrictions and protections. You might be required to cease communication with the victim electronically, through the mail, or over the telephone. You might also be required to pay child support, pay for hospitalizations that resulted from physical abuse, move out of your current residence, and surrender your guns.
Conviction of a domestic violence crime might yield any punishments from probation to life in prison. The type and severity of the charge matter most when determining the severity of the sentence.
A Class D felony like first degree stalking carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison along with a fine of up to five thousand dollars. A class E felony like second degree stalking carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a fine of up to five thousand dollars.
It’s common for additional criminal charges to be levied against people who are charged with stalking in a domestic violence situation. These charges might carry penalties on top of the penalties for stalking if you are found guilty.
If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence crime, it is essential that you get a lawyer who understands domestic violence law in New York. Spodek Law Group is a group of lawyers who can help you understand your options and defend you.