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Schenectady Domestic Violence Lawyers

Proven Defense When You Need It Most

Accused of domestic violence in Schenectady? You’ve come to the right place.

Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behaviors such as sexual assault and/or physical abuse used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Unlike most other states, New York State law does not have a crime called “domestic violence,” making this a nuanced area of law. Although domestic violence is handled in courts as a family offense, don’t be fooled into thinking it is any less serious. Domestic violence is a crime that almost always warrants tough criminal penalties upon conviction. This is because domestic violence includes a range of criminal offenses, with common types being:

  • Assault: Hitting, punching, kicking, throwing things at, or using a weapon against someone
  • Stalking: Following, monitoring, or tracking another person
  • Harassment: Repeatedly doing something that causes alarm or distress and serves no useful purpose
  • Aggravated harassment: Repeatedly doing something that causes alarm or distress and serves no useful purpose by using electronic means, like a phone or computer
  • Menacing: Threatening to harm with or without a weapon
  • Reckless endangerment: Putting the person in a dangerous position that might cause physical injury
  • Strangulation: Strangling or choking, putting a hand on the neck and squeezing even slightly; blocking nose or mouth
  • Disorderly conduct: Behavior that disturbs others, like drunken yelling or fighting
  • Criminal mischief: Destroying or taking property without permission, even if it is property that you own together. Examples: breaking a cell phone or scratching a car
  • Sexual abuse: Any unwanted sexual conduct
  • Intimidation: Actions or words that make someone afraid or force them to do something or stop them from doing something
  • Threats: Words said to make someone afraid
  • Identity theft: Using someone’s personal information or credit without their permission
  • Grand larceny: Taking someone’s property worth more than $1,000 without their permission and with no intent to return it
  • Coercion: Trying to prevent someone from doing something that they have the legal right to do

With these offenses in mind, we strongly encourage you to retain our Schenectady domestic violence attorneys at DeLorenzo, Grasso & Dalmata, LLP today. Your freedom depends on it. To schedule your consultation and learn more, contact us at (518) 299-0314!

What Is Considered an Intimate Relationship in Domestic Violence Cases?

As we mentioned before, domestic violence involves a pattern of behaviors used by one partner over another in an intimate relationship. This component is key, as a crime will not be categorized as a domestic violence offense unless it occurs within an intimate relationship. In New York, an intimate relationship includes family or household members, although, this definition also includes all kinds of close relationships. That said, domestic violence can occur between:

  • People legally married or divorced
  • People with a child in common, including adopted children
  • People related by marriage, like in-laws
  • People related by blood, like brothers, parents, cousins
  • Unrelated people who live, or have lived together for periods of time
  • Unrelated people in, or were in an intimate relationship (current or former), like same-sex couples and teens who are dating

Believe it or not, an intimate partner relationship can exist even if the abuser and victim do not live with each other, lack a sexual relationship, or no longer have a relationship. However, a casual friend or co-worker does not qualify as an intimate relationship in New York. The court will evaluate several factors when deciding if a relationship is an "intimate relationship,” including:

  • The nature or type of relationship
  • How often you see or saw each other
  • How long the relationship has gone on

Types of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can include a pattern of behaviors such as sexual assault and/or physical abuse, as we said before. But that’s not all. Domestic violence can include a variety of factors to threaten or terrorize the victim, such as emotional abuse, financial abuse, control, and isolation. We give examples of these types of domestic violence below.

Control

  • Demanding your partner’s usernames and passwords to emails, work-related platforms, apps, and social media
  • Obtaining your partner’s house keys, car keys, phone, computer, etc.
  • Abandoning your partner in dangerous places
  • Forcing your partner to disclose their emails, text messages, call logs, and social media chats
  • Tracking your partner’s location constantly
  • Stalking your partner
  • Controlling what your partner wears, eats, drinks, etc. as well as where they go

Emotional Abuse

  • Ignoring your partner’s feelings
  • Embarrassing your partner in public or private
  • Continuously calling your partner disrespectful names
  • Ridiculing or insulting your partner
  • Continuously shouting at your partner
  • Blaming your partner for everything
  • Extreme jealousy
  • Intimidating your partner

Isolation

  • Prohibiting your partner from seeing their friends, family, and co-workers for the holidays
  • Making your partner feel guilty when they want to see friends, family, and co-workers
  • Threatening to withhold attention and affection if your partner sees anyone besides you
  • Refusing to socialize with your partner’s friends, family, and co-workers at holiday parties
  • Not allowing your partner to go anywhere without you present

Financial Abuse

  • Harassing your partner at their job
  • Hurting your partner’s credit score
  • Prohibiting your partner from buying gifts for their loved ones
  • Hiding or spending your partner’s money so they become financially dependent on you
  • Causing physical or emotional harm that prevents your partner from working
  • Withholding money or regulating how much money your partner gets (like an allowance)

Mandatory Arrests for Domestic Violence

Did you know that the state of New York has a “mandatory arrest” law for domestic violence incidents? Essentially, this means that the police must make an arrest if there is reasonable cause to believe that a person has committed specific crimes against their family or household members.

The police do not ask the victim if they want an arrest to be made but rather take it upon themselves to do so. This is primarily because the police are almost always required to make a mandatory arrest for domestic violence, even if the victim does not want it. An exception to this law is when both people involved are alleged to have committed misdemeanors. If that is the case, the police will identify and arrest the primary aggressor after considering if either person:

  • Caused any injuries to the other, and the type and seriousness of those injuries
  • Is threatening or has threatened future harm against the other, or another family or household member
  • Has a prior history of committing domestic violence
  • Acted in self-defense

However, a mandatory arrest most likely will not be made if harassment is involved, unless the police witness the harassment in front of their own eyes. That said, once a suspect is arrested for domestic violence, an order of protection will likely be issued against them. Orders of protection are issued to protect the victim from further abuse, harassment, threats, and/or intimidation. They may be full or limited, which we explain below:

  • Full order of protection: The subject of the order must stay away from the victim, their home, job, and school, and cannot abuse, harass, or threaten the victim.
  • Limited order of protection: The subject of the order can maintain contact with the alleged victim but cannot abuse, harass, or threaten them.

With this information in mind, if you are arrested for domestic violence, it may seem like the odds are stacked against you. Don’t let New York’s mandatory arrest law intimidate you, however, because an arrest does not equal a conviction. With our Schenectady domestic violence lawyers on your side, you can rest assured that our powerhouse defense and unrivaled representation can be put to good use for you.

We are ready to defend your charges today. For more information, contact us online or at (518) 299-0314!

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