As a New York domestic violence attorney, Sean McNicholas understands how deeply this issue effects our community. At a national level, nearly 20 people per minute experience abuse from a spouse or domestic partner. This means that more than 10 million men and women are harmed by an intimate partner each year. That’s why reaching out to a domestic violence lawyer may be the lifeline you need.
Holding Perpetrators Responsible
As a victim of domestic violence, the most important course of action you can take is one that provides personal safety. Always report an incident of abuse to the police and cooperate with any prosecution. It’s also important to enlist a domestic violence lawyer that can pursue civil sanctions against the aggressor. The most widely used legal mechanism victims have to protect themselves is a restraining order.
Restraining orders make it illegal for a perpetrator to contact, stalk, harass or intimidate you with their presence. These court orders can require the abuser to move out of the home and pay appropriate child and spousal support. A judge may even require that the person complete a domestic violence awareness therapy course, undergo alcohol and substance abuse counseling and any items that a judge deems important to resolving the underlying causes of domestic abuse. The courts are not just there to punish, they can be an instrumental part of resolving domestic problems.
Resolving Charges of Domestic Abuse
Being accused of domestic violence is a very serious allegation that can have profound consequences. If you are charged, the first step is to fully comply with any and all court ordered provisions. It’s standard procedure for a judge to put a no-contact order in place. There is no gray area, no contact means just that, no contact. Any violation of that rule could land you in jail and result in additional criminal charges.
A criminal charge can be handled in two ways. You can take the case to trial and let a judge or jury decide your guilt or innocence. It’s an unfortunate fact, but sometimes emotional stress gets the better of good people and charges get filed that shouldn’t. Hundreds of thousands of people face false charges and it’s not uncommon for partners to recant their stories once they are in a calmer frame of mind.
However, if you’ve raised a hand in anger, resolving the case with a plea bargain can usually lower the penalties and courts are proactive about having people get help for their personal issues. At the end of the day, people in the judicial system want to see a healthier community.
As a New York domestic violence attorney, Sean McNicholas has nearly 20 years of experience resolving cases and helping people. If you have been involved in a domestic violence matter, call today for a free consultation.