Being accused of domestic violence can have serious implications on your life, even without a guilty verdict. These cases are prosecuted harshly, and a conviction could result in losses of your rights, along with potential jail time and high fines.
If you have been charged with household abuse, you should not hesitate to seek representation from a dedicated defense attorney. An experienced Manhattan domestic violence lawyer could help you build a strong defense against these allegations and work hard toward a favorable resolution.
What is Domestic Violence?
State law defines domestic violence as a threat or act of violence against any household or family member, or a person who is currently or formerly involved in a dating relationship with the alleged offender. It also includes any other crime that is committed against one of those people or their property. This expansive definition of domestic violence means that charges can result from many different situations.
Many prosecutors will charge a case for domestic violence when a lesser charge is more appropriate. This may be done purposefully to attempt to force a plea or may simply be an overzealous prosecutor. In either case, a competent criminal defense attorney could help protect the defendant’s rights when they are facing domestic abuse charges in Manhattan.
Defining Family or Household Member
A family or household member, as defined by Kansas Statutes §21-5111, includes those who are over eighteen years of age and:
- Former or current spouses
- Parents or stepparents
- Children or stepchildren
- Currently or formerly lived together
- Parents of the same child, regardless of marriage or living situation
- A pregnant woman and the man alleged to be the father, regardless of marriage or living situation
- Currently or formerly in a dating relationship
Someone who is accused of committing a crime against one of these persons could be charged with domestic violence. For example, a charge of assault can be considered domestic violence if it occurs against a family or household member.
Domestic Battery Offenses in Manhattan
In addition to domestic violence charges, there is a similar but separate offense known as domestic battery. This crime occurs when a person recklessly or knowingly causes bodily harm to a family or household member and includes any physical contact against these individuals that is in a rude, insulting, or angry manner.
A significant difference between domestic violence and domestic battery is the latter does not apply to those in dating relationships alone. One of the other factors to meet the definition of a family or household member must be present as well.
Building a proper defense to a charge of domestic violence or domestic battery takes skill and experience. These cases can be incredibly complicated, and defendants should not attempt to represent themselves. Prosecutors can make mistakes that are better caught with the trained eye of a skilled local domestic violence attorney.
Contact a Domestic Violence Attorney in Manhattan
Domestic violence charges are serious. This is true no matter the situation or the level of the offense. First offenses and repeat offenses can both carry stiff penalties and can have severe implications on your constitutional rights as well as your reputation.
With the help of an experienced Manhattan domestic violence lawyer, you could defend your rights and your freedom. Contact us today to begin building a strong defense against these charges.