New York City Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Answers Your Questions
Joey Jackson Law, PLLC., helps clients from all walks of life who are contending with allegations of domestic abuse. These are serious charges with hefty penalties if you are convicted. We provide brief answers here to some frequently asked questions for your information. For legal advice and experienced legal representation, contact our firm online or give us a call at 833-563-9522 for a consultation.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence refers to disputes that erupt within households between family members that turn violent. It is broadly defined to apply to married and formerly married couples; those who are not married, but may be living together; people who share a child in common; and those who have shared an intimate relationship– even if not living under the same roof.
Should I call the police if I am a victim?
It is always best to err on the side of being safe and secure. If you feel that you are in danger, you do not really have a choice. No one wants to call the police on the person they love. The bonds are deep, and the love is strong. However, if it is unavoidable, that may be the only option. There are also a variety of programs in which you and your partner may participate that may resolve the problem. Getting help, support, advice, and therapy may be a very effective path to a healthy and violent-free relationship.
What if the police are called on me?
Domestic violence situations are often very emotionally charged. In the heat of the moment, people tend to be very irrational, irate and confrontational. This causes people to do and say things that they often regret. It also can have very harmful consequences when the police appear at your home and attempt to restore order. Gather and gain control of yourself as quickly as the situation will allow. Do not fight, argue or resist the police when they arrive. Comply with all instructions, and do what they ask. Do not make any statements to the police about what occurred. But please be cooperative. You will likely be handcuffed, taken away, and arrested. The best option is to comply.
An order of protection was issued by the court, but my partner wants me back home. Can I go?
No. Not if it is a “FULL” Order of Protection!!! Yes, if it is a “LIMITED” Order of Protection. Once you are seen in Court, the Judge will issue an Order of Protection. Depending upon the facts of the case, the Order will either be “Full” or “Limited.” A “Full” Order directs that you fully stay away from the home, place of employment, school, etc., of your significant-other, and often that you have no other contact via text, email, social media or by sending messages through a third party. Violating that order in any way can subject you to additional criminal charges. It is very important that you follow the Order to the letter. On the other hand, a “Limited Order” allows you to have contact with your significant other. Therefore, you can go back home. But, you must refrain from any type of harassment or violent behavior. Failure to do so could get you in more trouble.
How serious is a domestic violence charge?
All criminal charges are serious however, some are more serious than others. Some domestic violence charges result in misdemeanors while others can be felonies. A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by up to one year in jail. A felony can carry a sentence of up to life. If the domestic violence scenario results in significant bodily injury or involves the use of a weapon including chairs, shoes, belts, and even objects in the home, it can be charged as a felony. While felonies are far more serious, even a misdemeanor can have consequences on your employment, criminal history, and overall life.
What if my significant other does not cooperate with authorities? Will the charges be dismissed?
Not necessarily. While it is true that the case is less likely to move forward without the prosecutor having the support and assistance of your significant other, prosecutors can still force the issue. They can still prosecute the case by using any witnesses to the incident, or people who the victim may have spoken with immediately after the domestic violence occurred, including the police. These are called “recent outcry” witnesses. The victim of the abuse may have also given a statement to the police or medical personnel. The victim will be subpoenaed to appear to give their story. What ultimately happens depends upon a number of factors, including: the prior history of the parties; the seriousness of the case; and how much evidence prosecutors can piece together.