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New York Domestic Violence Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is a broad term for violence that occurs between people who are related or who have a social relationship such as being married, living together, or dating. Domestic violence can involve a number of different crimes such as disorderly conduct, harassment, rape, assault, stalking, strangulation, and murder.

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Is Domestic Violence a Felony in New York?

In New York there is not a specific offense called “domestic violence.” An act that amounts to domestic violence can be a number of different criminal acts such as stalking, assault, rape, kidnapping, or murder. Depending on the criminal act, a domestic violence related crime could be a misdemeanor or a felony. Domestic violence that may lead to a felony charge includes:

  • Assault resulting in a serious physical injury to the victim
  • Assault using a deadly weapon
  • Violence or abuse inflicted on a minor
  • Sexual assault
  • Stalking that involves the display of a weapon or that results in the victim suffering an injury

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What Is Misdemeanor Domestic Violence?

In New York if the domestic violence involves a criminal act that is considered less severe than a felony act, the charge will be a misdemeanor. For example, if domestic violence act is a simple assault that does not result in a serious injury to the victim, the defendant would face a misdemeanor assault charge. Similarly, if the act is stalking and no weapon is involved and the victim is not injured, the defendant is likely to face a misdemeanor charge. However, an act that would otherwise result in a misdemeanor charge can be raised to a felony crime if it is a second or third conviction.

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If I Am Convicted of Domestic Violence in New York, Will I Go to Prison?

If a defendant is convicted of a crime based on a domestic dispute, there are a number of factors that will go into sentencing. First, if the crime is a felony, especially a violent felony, it is more likely that the defendant will spend some time in prison. If the defendant has a prior criminal record, there is a greater chance that the sentence will include prison. Another aggravating factor would be if the defendant caused the victim to suffer a serious injury. Sentencing may also include probation, fines, and community service.

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Do You Have to Be Married or Dating to Face a Domestic Violence Charge?

No. While domestic violence is associated with married or dating couples and couples who were once romantically involved, it also occurs between people who never had a romantic relationship. It can occur between family members and roommates. The term is used to describe any dispute or violence that involves people who have a close relationship.

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What Crimes Are Usually Associated With Domestic Violence?

Crimes that are usually associated with domestic violence include assault, harassment, stalking, rape, kidnapping, and murder. Victims of domestic violence often seek orders of protection to protect themselves, their children, and other family members. Orders of protection require the defendant to stay away from the victim and the victim’s family.

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Still have questions? Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates for Help

An accusation of domestic violence can lead to incarceration, job loss, and estrangement from family and friends. Domestic violence cases are complicated. It is important that you have experienced representation. The domestic violence attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have extensive experience defending clients in New York criminal court, family court, and supreme court. We can help. Contact us at 800.NY.NY.LAW (800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: Suffolk County, Westchester County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, and Staten Island.

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Client Reviews
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