Rockland County Domestic Violence Lawyer

Much of New York Penal Law is dedicated to the prevention of violence against others. One particular area of focus is on the reduction of violence against household members. While there is no crime known as domestic violence in New York Penal Law, the court can label an act as domestic violence, making an alleged offense much more serious.

These acts can involve virtually any violation of New York Penal Law and these allegations can affect every portion of a person’s life ranging from being able to stay in contact with loved ones to where they can live. This is in addition to any potential consequences for a criminal conviction.

A Rockland County domestic violence lawyer could help represent accused individuals in court to meet their goals concerning the underlying criminal charges. A skilled criminal defense attorney could combat the imposition of any restrictions resulting from the allegations of domestic violence.

When a Charge is Considered Domestic Violence

A person cannot be charged with a crime known as domestic violence in New York. Instead, the court charges them with other violations. If the court then identifies the alleged victim of the crime as a household member, the charge can be labeled as domestic violence.

The exact type of the underlying charge does not matter, but these allegations generally involve some sort of violence or harassment. Common examples of criminal activity that may lead to cases of domestic violence include:  

  • Assault     
  • Unwelcome sexual contact    
  • Stalking     
  • Harassment
Who Qualifies as a Household Member?

The concept of who qualifies as a household member is unique to New York and is strictly defined by law. As a Rockland County domestic violence lawyer might explain,  New York Family Court Act §812 defines a household member as:

  • Any blood relation      
  • Any people who have had a child together    
  • Any people who are now or were ever married   
  • Any two people who are now or were ever in a romantic relationship   
  • Any two people who ever lived together

Therefore, the definition of a household member extends beyond the traditional concept of a family member to include boyfriends/girlfriends, ex-spouses, and even roommates.

Impact of Rockland County Domestic Violence Charges

As in any criminal case, a person needs to be concerned with the potential penalties associated with the allegation. However, instances of domestic violence allow the court to take extra steps that are intended to protect an alleged victim but also can have the consequence of punishing the accused.

Protective Orders in Domestic Violence Cases

According to Family Court Act § 154-d, as soon as the case is entered in court, the prosecutor can ask that the court issue a protective order against the defendant. This temporary order can remain in place throughout the case that can eliminate any contact between the defendant and the alleged victim. This can result in a person being forced to move out of their home, lose contact with their children, and even lose their job.

If the court convicts the defendant, this order can become permanent. It is essential that anyone facing these allegations protect themselves against not just the criminal charge at the root of the case, but also against protective orders that can throw their lives into chaos.

Talking to a Rockland County Domestic Violence Attorney

As soon as charges involving domestic violence are entered in court, a person may be forced to leave their home and prohibited from seeing their children. It is important that anyone facing these allegations take steps to fight back at the earliest opportunity.

Consulting a Rockland County domestic violence lawyer could be a strong initial step. Attorneys work to present powerful defenses in court against the underlying criminal charges and can argue against restrictive protective orders. Contact an attorney today.