Domestic Violence Charges in Buffalo, NY
Domestic violence occurs when one individual physically, psychologically, or sexually abuses someone with whom they have “an intimate relationship.” The relationship itself need not be a current sexual relationship or a sexual relationship at all. While people who are married are usually responsible for domestic violence, girlfriends, ex-boyfriends, or even your in-laws can be considered “intimate” relationships. You need not even live with the individual who is filing the complaint. Because of the broad interpretation of intimate relationships under the law, just about anyone can be charged with domestic violence. New York's domestic violence laws can be complicated, but an experienced criminal defense attorney can help if you are facing charges of domestic violence in Buffalo.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence Under the Law?
There are three common types of domestic violence that are prosecuted in the State of New York. These include:
- Domestic battery or assault - Physically laying hands on another person without their consent is considered battery under the law. Prosecutions generally involve an individual who has inflicted bodily harm on a housemate, romantic partner, or spouse.
- Verbal threats - Making threats against another individual to injure or kill them is considered menacing under the law and constitutes a form of domestic violence, even when committed over text messages or over the phone.
- Stalking - Stalking involves the aggravated harassment or persistent unwanted attention of someone who is either trying to harm another person or become romantically involved with them. It is considered a serious crime under the law, but should not be applied to persistent exes who cannot move on unless their conduct represents a threat.
Understanding New York's Domestic Violence Policy
When police officers take a call for domestic violence, their first job is to secure the scene to ensure that no one is injured. This generally means removing one individual from the scene and bringing him or her to jail. This person is almost always male since males are a greater threat to females than females are to males, at least physically. Once removed from the scene, it is not uncommon for this individual to face charges.
While many folks face charges related to domestic violence, a number of these cases are dropped unless the alleged victim is willing to give a statement to police or testify against their partner.
Defenses to Domestic Violence
Romantic partners and exes get angry at each other. Sometimes, this anger boils over and becomes rage. Not every altercation between couples rises to the standard of domestic violence. The prosecution must present credible evidence that some law was broken. This would include evidence that a defendant made a threat of violence against their partner or physically assaulted them. When those elements cannot be corroborated, it often becomes a he-said, she-said situation, which is not enough for a conviction.
Talk to a Skilled Buffalo, NY Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
If you are the victim of domestic violence, you can get help here. If you have been charged with domestic violence, call immediately and discuss the matter with a seasoned professional. We may be able to resolve the matter without criminal consequences and ensure that there are no black marks on your record that could prevent you from gaining the apartment you want or the job of your dreams.