When the police arrest you on domestic violence charges, they don’t listen to your side of the story. Your partner calls the cops, and the next thing you know you are being taken into custody. This system is often unfair, especially when your partner – whether out of revenge or in retaliation – reports domestic abuse that did not actually happen.
Should the court in New York find you guilty of a domestic violence related crime, like assault or stalking, you could lose your job, your ability to see your children, or your access to housing, federal student loans, or firearms. Don’t let a domestic argument spiral out of control and land you in the criminal justice system. Instead, hire Mike Schillinger, an Astoria domestic violence lawyer who will fight for your rights.
Domestic Violence in New York
Hundreds of thousands of domestic violence cases, including sexual violence, are filed in New York every year. Although 80 percent of domestic violence cases are prosecuted as misdemeanors, fines and jail time are still possible. The Criminal Court can also issue a temporary order of protection in favor of your partner while the case is pending, which can effectively shut you out of your home.
New York courts call domestic violence “family offenses” because most people commit them against a blood relative or someone else living in their household. Typically, those who can initiate a domestic violence charge include:
- Anyone related by blood
- Legally married spouses
- Former legal spouses, regardless of whether they live together currently
- Intimate partners
- Couples who have a child together, regardless of whether they’re married or are domestic partners
Oftentimes after tempers have cooled, the person who lodged the complaint has second thoughts and wants to drop the charges. What most people don’t realize is that it’s ultimately up to the prosecutor as to whether or not the charges can be dropped. Should the prosecutor decide to proceed without the complainant’s participation, they can attempt to move the case forward “victimless.” They do this by using a prior statement that the complainant may have signed, 9-1-1 calls that the complainant may have made, observations of the arresting officer, photographs, and other evidence. Mike Schillinger is a skilled Astoria domestic violence attorney who knows how to negotiate with prosecutors to get the best outcome following a domestic violence charge.
Domestic Violence Can Be More Than Hitting or Slapping
Most people think of domestic violence as one partner beating up the other. While that can qualify, so do other actions, including threats of physical violence, kidnapping, stalking, harassment, causing fear in the other person, sexual assault, excessive touching, and even disseminating an intimate image of the other person by text or on social media.
Assault is often the underlying charge for domestic violence. Under New York Penal Law § 120.00, a third-degree assault occurs when one person intentionally causes physical injury to another person, recklessly causes physical injury to another person, or uses a deadly weapon to cause physical injury while being criminally negligent. As a seasoned lawyer in Astoria, Mike can evaluate a case to determine if an incident even justifies a domestic violence related charge.
Sentences for Domestic Violence Crimes
While New York State has mandatory sentencing guidelines for many criminal offenses, Judges will oftentimes also consider the facts surrounding a case. For instance, the severity of the injuries, the accused’s prior criminal history, and the statement of the potential victim can have a large impact on the time a Judge may sentence someone to following a conviction.
Additionally, the specific crime governs the potential sentencing exposure a person faces. For example, Assault in the Third Degree (PL § 120.00) is a Class “A” misdemeanor and is punishable by jail time of up to one year, probation, and up to a $1,000 fine. This is one of the lowest level assault charges a person can face in New York State.
On the other hand, Assault in the First Degree (PL § 120.10) is the most severe assault charge a person can face, it’s a class “B” violent felony, and depending upon your criminal history can carry a potential sentence of five (5) to twenty-five (25) years in state prison, post release supervision time, and a fine of up to $5,000. Another violent felony, strangulation in the first degree (PL § 121.13) is a class “C” violent felony, and depending upon your criminal history can carry a prison term of 3 1/2 to 15 years, with post release supervision time and a potential fine of up to $5,000.
Mike Schillinger is an experienced lawyer in Astoria and understands that there can be extenuating circumstances behind accusations of domestic violence. He can help you by fighting both at the negotiation table and in the courtroom. He can speak with the prosecutor, negotiate, and fight for a reduction in the charges, or even a potential dismissal. He can also help you build a credible defense to prove to a jury what actually happened. Mike fights for his clients’ futures.
A Domestic Violence Attorney in Astoria Fights for You
A family quarrel can quickly escalate to domestic violence. When a moment of unclear thinking lands you in jail, you deserve a chance to set the record straight. We believe in second chances.
Do not let a heated argument ruin your life. The strategies Mike will discuss with you can provide the best outcome possible in your circumstances, whether you reacted passionately or did nothing at all. When you are arrested, Astoria Domestic Violence Lawyer Mike Schillinger will fight for you. Call today.