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Domestic Violence

Queens NY Domestic Violence Lawyer

Experienced Defense Against Domestic Violence Charges in New York

Domestic violence is an issue impacting many households in New York, and it’s a matter that our legal system takes very seriously. By definition, domestic violence encompasses a range of abusive behaviors — physical, emotional, financial, or sexual — perpetrated by one individual against another within a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation.

Unfortunately, in some situations, charges can arise from exaggerations or even false accusations, leading to complex “he said/she said” cases. These can follow when arguments escalate and are influenced by emotional stress, past bad experiences, or when one party wishes to gain leverage over the other. 

These accusations often arise after a relationship has broken down or when facing legal matters, such as divorce or child custody. In such cases, falsehoods, lack of concrete evidence, bias, prejudice, and distortions can result in life-changing criminal charges for one of the participants.

If you are facing any domestic violence charge, it is essential to turn to a seasoned criminal defense attorney for help. As a Queens domestic violence defense attorney at Sean A. McNichols, P.C., I have an extensive background in criminal law that includes experience as a Queens prosecutor.  I am deeply familiar with how New York law, procedure, and prosecution work in these cases and can use that knowledge to help you fight for your future and freedom.

Call our domestic violence attorney in Queens at (475) 471-1971 or contact me online for a free initial consultation about your case today. 

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence involves people who are generally connected in a family or intimate relationship. It includes spouses, ex-spouses, those with a child in common, former and current dating partners, household members, and those who live together. 

Types of Domestic Violence and Their Penalties

Domestic violence covers various offenses, such as:

  • Domestic assault: This refers to physically harming or threatening to harm a domestic partner. The severity of charges and penalties depends on the extent of harm and the existence of any previous convictions. For instance, a third-degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.
  • Aggravated harassment in the second degree: This involves threatening or communicating with a domestic partner in a way that causes them fear or distress. This is a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties including up to a year in jail.
  • Criminal contempt: This includes violating a court order, such as an order of protection. Penalties can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E felony based on the degree of contempt.
  • Strangulation: This refers to restricting a domestic partner’s breathing or blood circulation without their consent. Depending on the severity, charges can range from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony, with penalties ranging up to seven years in prison for the most severe offenses.
  • Stalking: This involves repeated unwanted surveillance or attention towards a domestic partner that results in fear or significant distress. The severity of the charges can range from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class D felony, depending on the circumstances and repetition of the alleged behavior.
  • Menacing: This involves intentionally placing or attempting to place a domestic partner in fear of death, physical injury, or some other harm. Depending on the nature and severity of the menace, charges can range from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class E felony.

Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges in New York

Common defenses against domestic violence charges include:

  • Presumption of Innocence: One of the foundational principles of the legal system is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. In domestic violence cases, this means that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution to demonstrate the accused's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • False Accusations and Mistaken Identity: Domestic violence cases often involve highly charged emotions, leading to false accusations or mistaken identity. We can meticulously investigate the circumstances surrounding the charges, gathering evidence to challenge the accuser's credibility. We understand the importance of uncovering the truth and will work tirelessly to present a compelling defense that refutes unfounded allegations.
  • Self-Defense: In some situations, individuals may act in self-defense to protect themselves from harm. We can explore the possibility of self-defense as a valid justification for your actions. We scrutinize the events leading up to the alleged domestic violence incident, looking for evidence that supports your claim of acting in self-defense. Crafting a strong self-defense argument is crucial in establishing a viable defense strategy.
  • Lack of Evidence: Prosecutors must rely on concrete evidence to secure a conviction in a domestic violence case. If there is a lack of substantial evidence connecting you to the alleged offense, we can skillfully exploit these gaps in the case. This approach is particularly effective in cases where the prosecution's evidence is circumstantial or insufficient to meet the high burden of proof needed in criminal proceedings.
  • Inadmissible Evidence: If evidence was obtained unlawfully or there are issues with the chain of custody, we can diligently pursue avenues to exclude such evidence from the case. By strategically addressing the admissibility of evidence, we seek to weaken the prosecution's case and enhance your chances of a favorable outcome.

How Does a Restraining Order Work?

In cases of domestic violence, the court often issues a protective order, also known as a restraining order, meant to protect the victim from further abuse. However, these orders can significantly impact the lives of the accused.

If you are subject to such an order, your freedom is limited, and you may have severe restrictions on your daily activities. Protective orders can order you to stay away from the other party and your children, limit your child custody rights, order you to pay child support, attend a batterer’s program, and pay the other party’s attorney fees. Violation of such orders can lead to additional charges and penalties, including jail time.

Contact Our Queens, NY Domestic Violence Attorney Today

If you are facing domestic violence allegations in Queens or Kew Gardens, New York it is vital to act by contacting me as soon as possible. I can construct a defense plan tailored to your case. I will work tenaciously to protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome, whether challenging the credibility of the allegations, arguing self-defense, or negotiating for lesser charges.

Call (475) 471-1971 or contact my firm online to book an appointment to speak with our Queens domestic violence lawyer about your case. 

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    - Thomas
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