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Domestic Violence Charges Upstate NY

Domestic Violence Charges and Sentencing in New York State

Domestic violence is a very serious offense. Any person that believes they are in danger of facing domestic violence in an emergency situation should immediately call 911 for assistance.

Anyone facing domestic violence charges is entitled to professional legal representation; regardless of occupation, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith, socioeconomic status, or level of education.

Every day, domestic violence impacts citizens from every walk of life in the State of New York. Domestic violence is a serious crime that can result in physical injury or death. Some forms of Domestic Violence are not as visible, such as financial exploitation, sexual assault, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or psychological abuse. New York State requires “automatic arrest” for Domestic crimes and as a result, domestic violence charges can be quite complex to defend.

Definition of Domestic Violence in NY

New York State defines Domestic Violence (DV) as:

“A pattern of coercive tactics, which can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic and emotional abuse, perpetrated by one person against an adult intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim.”Source:

In other words, domestic violence includes acts of abuse, as well as the threat of abuse of a spouse, former spouse and could include relatives, unmarried persons living together, persons with a child in common, or those in an “intimate relationship”, according to the laws in New York State.

In NY State, law enforcement is required to make a “mandatory arrest” for Domestic Violence calls and a charge brings serious consequences.

NY Sentencing Guidelines for Domestic Violence

  • A felony has been committed by one “member of the same family or household” against another.
  • There has been a violation of an order of protection for an individual.
  • A “family offense” has been committed in violation of an order of protection.
  • A misdemeanor family offense has been committed.

Domestic Violence Felony

As the most serious level of a crime punishable by law, a felony assault charge requires more than one year in jail.

A felony charge will result in the termination of rights and freedoms that most U.S. citizens enjoy, like voting, exercising one’s 2nd amendment rights, and access to government assistance programs.

In addition to employment, financial and educational opportunities, a felony domestic violence charge will directly impact personal, family, and social relationships, especially when a Separation, Divorce, Family Court, or Family Services are involved.

A felony charge could also result in a longer sentence when additional charges are filed when there are prior Drug Charges, DWI or DWAI, and/or sexual assault charges or convictions.

Domestic Violence Misdemeanor

A misdemeanor assault charge is punishable by up to one year in jail. Law enforcement will only arrest the “Primary Aggressor” in domestic violence situations. For misdemeanor charges (not felony), law enforcement must determine who the primary aggressor was. If both persons are believed to have committed a misdemeanor-level crime, the police will attempt to determine who the primary aggressor was and file charges accordingly.

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Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

Just as each case is unique, so are lawyers. You will want to find an attorney that you trust to understand your rights and fight for your future.

Choose your attorney wisely. Looking for extensive criminal defense experience and good standing in the legal community is a good place to start. Make sure to ask a lot of questions and get a feel for how the attorney would handle your case. Most attorneys, including ours, will be open to working out a payment plan, so ask for a quote and then hire the criminal defense attorney you feel would be the best fit for your situation.

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys live and work in the Capital Region and we have been representing clients facing criminal charges.

Our firm has been continuously recognized by our peers and the legal industry as a whole, for our excellence and overall success. We make a point to listen to our clients’ needs and always work with them to provide the representation they can afford.

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Hacker Murphy also represents clients with the following criminal charges:

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys are available for a Free Phone Consultation or a confidential in-person meeting at one of our convenient offices in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, and Saratoga Springs.

If your situation is urgent, Call Us Now. Our attorneys are available 24/7/365 and will return your call promptly, if after hours. We are always here to help.

Have Questions?

We Have Answers!
  • If I hire an attorney but do not want to go to trial, can I settle?
    In the course of preparing a case for trial, your personal injury attorney will work with the defense attorneys and insurance companies in an effort to secure a fair settlement for you and your family. The final decision to accept an offer of settlement or go to trial is yours alone to make.
    Contact us now to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.
  • If arrested, what steps can I take on my behalf?

    1. Do not discuss your situation with anyone except your attorney.

    2. Unless your attorney says otherwise, do not discuss your case with law enforcement.

    3. Request to have your attorney present if you are to be put in a lineup or subjected to testing.

    4. Remain calm and courteous. Allow your attorney to speak for you to ensure that your rights are protected and you are given all the benefits afforded to you under the law.
    Contact us now to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.

  • What is the difference between criminal procedure and civil procedure?
    When a crime has been committed, action is taken by a government agency against the person, persons, organization or other entity that violated the law. The first purpose of a criminal prosecution is punishment, which frequently consists of a fine or jail time. In a civil matter, the dispute is between two or more individuals or entities. The first purpose of a civil prosecution is obtaining compensation for the wronged person or entity. Settlement in a civil matter is generally an award of a money judgment. A criminal sentence is not imposed in a civil matter.
    Contact us now to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.