Syracuse Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence, otherwise known as intimate partner violence, can take many forms, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse and threats of abuse that occurs in a domestic or familial setting (marriage, cohabitation, elder family members cared for at home, etc.). Families and couples affected in the State of New York should know while acts of domestic abuse are criminal offenses, they can also have significant civil consequences.
Victims of domestic violence and abuse should consult with a skilled family attorney, to discuss their protection and. By pursuing legal options such as restraining orders, victims can take the necessary steps to avoid further abuse. Consider discussing your options with a Syracuse domestic violence lawyer right away.
Common Acts of Domestic Violence
A variety of acts may qualify as domestic or intimate party violence according to the law. Each of these is a criminal offense. In total, there are nineteen (19) offenses that could also be considered domestic abuse or domestic violence, some of which are more likely than others to result in domestic abuse charges. Examples of these include:
- Criminal restraint
- False imprisonment
- Criminal mischief
- Criminal sexual conduct
A knowledgeable attorney specializing in family law in Syracuse – one that understands domestic violence law – can assist the victim and/or victim’s family determine whether a particular act is a criminal offense and the next appropriate steps.
Understanding New York State Domestic Violence Laws
The laws of the State of New York provide additional criminal penalties for violent or threatening acts involving members of the same family or household. Although abuse in and of itself is likely unlawful, the relationship between the reporting witness and the accused can increase the degree of unlawfulness.
Domestic violence laws apply to parties that are in a relationship, including currents or former spouses and other individuals related either by marriage or blood. These laws are also designed to protect co-parents of children.
Domestic violence laws also apply to individuals who were previously in intimate relationships regardless of whether they lived together. The term “intimate relationship” is intentionally broad; multiple factors are considered in order to determine if two people were romantically involved. These factors include the nature and duration of the relationship, as well as the frequency of the interaction between the individuals.
An experienced lawyer specializing in family law in Syracuse can evaluate all of the facts, to determine the nature of a case and identify whether it qualifies as being covered under New York’s domestic violence statutes.
Pursuing a Temporary Order of Protection
One option immediately available to a victim of domestic violence – apart from seeking recourse in the criminal justice system, resulting in criminal charges – is to seek a temporary order of protection, otherwise known as a “TOP” or “TPO.” Some New York Courts refer to these as temporary restraining orders, or “TRO.” A TOP can be issued following an arrest or upon the request of a reporting witness. Through these Orders, the Court directs that an individual refrain from certain behaviors or stay away from another party.
The process of obtaining a TOP differs from most legal proceedings. The law allows for an urgent, emergency hearings to proceed on a “ex parte” basis, where the alleged abuser does not have to be present for the victim’s application to the Court. In order to receive a TOP, the domestic violence victim must convince the presiding justice at the hearing that they are at risk of further abuse. At the hearing, the victim will typically provide the Court with specific details about the abuse they suffered.
These restraining orders will only remain in effect until the Court has time to hear the case, and both sides have an opportunity to speak. If the judge determines there is a need for the domestic violence victim’s protection, the Court will make permanent the TOP previously granted. When participating during this TOP hearing process, it is crucial to do so with the guidance of a legal professional knowledgeable about domestic violence law.
Learn How a Syracuse Domestic Violence Attorney Could Help
Victims of domestic abuse: you do not have to live in fear. Steps can be taken outside of filing criminal charges that could protect you from further abuse.
A Syracuse domestic violence lawyer may be able to advise you of your options, including the possibility of a restraining order. Call today for a complimentary consultation.