Reports of cases of domestic violence have surged during the Covid-19 pandemic in New York and throughout the country. Unfortunately, these times of major stress and uncertainty are often accompanied by an increase in domestic disputes. Any accusation of committing a domestic violence crime can cause extreme damage to both your personal and professional worlds. Even without a conviction, it’s possible that you could end up losing your livelihood and/or friends and associates. That’s why it’s crucial to understand what you’re up against if you’ve been accused of domestic violence. Read on to learn about what you need to do if it happens to you.
Understand the Charges
Take a typical scenario. In many cases, a domestic violence incident may occur after an argument between partners or spouses gets physical. When the police arrive after a 911 call, (which sometimes are made in the heat of the moment) an arrest is made even times when the situation has calmed.
First, you need to understand the seriousness of the situation. Even if you’ve been falsely accused of committing domestic violence, you need to realize the trouble that you’re in and should do everything you can to defend yourself.
Identify the actual charges. Domestic abuse or domestic violence itself is not a criminal charge per se here. However, in New York the charges that are considered under this category are assault, harassment, and stalking. For assault, the range of charges begins with a misdemeanor and goes all the way up to a B felony; the penalties can be probation for the lowest offense and potential jail time from up to 25 years for the high end.
Seek Legal Representation
After realizing the seriousness of your charges, you should not hesitate to get an attorney experienced in criminal defense to represent you. Even if you’re facing charges based on false allegations or your accuser is flipping the script after abusing you, it’s critical that you hire counsel. You will need help mounting a solid defense and an attorney will also ensure that your rights are protected during this process.
After you have obtained a lawyer, they will help you gather and preserve evidence. An investigation can yield important information that can bolster your case. Documenting correspondence like text messages with the accuser can be especially helpful. In some cases, the only evidence comes from the domestic violence complainant who also serves as a witness. However, if there are witnesses, you can compile a list, complete with their names, contact information, and any other information that could be significant. It’s also a good idea to include everyone you can think of even if they end up not being relevant to your case; the attorney can sort out those details.
Accused of Domestic Violence in New York? Contact an Experienced Lawyer
The importance of obtaining an experienced criminal lawyer can’t be overstated when you’ve been accused of a crime, especially of the domestic violence variety. Our MOWK Law criminal defense attorneys have countless experience and can help you fight your charges and increase your chances of keeping your freedom, livelihood, and reputation. Contact us today.