New York law does not define domestic violence as a single criminal offense. Instead, domestic violence refers to a category of crimes that involve some type of family or household relationship between the alleged victim and the accused individual. As a result:
- Domestic violence charges in Westchester County, NY, are somewhat unique from other criminal cases.
- There can be immediate legal consequences when police are called to respond to a domestic violence call.
- Having a well-crafted, strategic defense can be pivotal to bringing the truth to light and protecting the accused individual’s rights and reputation.
For more than 25 years, Mamaroneck Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael J. Borrelli has been a tireless advocate for the accused. As a former prosecutor, he has first-hand knowledge of how the opposition will try to secure a conviction. That makes him exceptionally effective at poking holes in their cases while presenting the strongest possible domestic violence defense case.
Whether you have been accused of domestic violence for a first or another time—and regardless of the circumstances surrounding the incident and your arrest—you can rely on Attorney Michael J. Borrelli when it’s time to defend yourself and seek the best possible outcome.
Explore the following to learn more about domestic violence arrests, charges, and cases in Westchester County. Whenever you need additional advice or 5-star criminal defense representation, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Michael J. Borrelli for a free, confidential consultation.
When police respond to a domestic violence call and there is reasonable cause to suspect this offense has been committed, they are required to make an arrest. This is due to the mandatory arrest laws for domestic violence in New York. Though enacted to try to help victims who may not be able to speak up, these laws can also create an array of problems for the accused. They can even lead to the wrong individuals being accused of domestic violence crimes.
In fact, with mandatory arrests for domestic violence in Westchester County, NY, it’s crucial to know that:
- Violence does not have to happen for an arrest to be made: Although many acts of domestic violence involve assault or other violent crime charges, threats of injury may be sufficient for domestic violence charges and arrests. Consequently, charges like menacing, harassment, and stalking can fall under the category of domestic violence just as much as charges of assault or abuse.
- A victim’s wishes may not be considered: This is true both at the arrest phase and, later, when prosecutors enter the picture. Effectively, it means that domestic violence criminal cases can proceed against the accused even when the alleged victim does not necessarily want to file charges or testify later.
- Victims may end up under arrest: Sometimes, police make the wrong call when it comes to determining who is the aggressor versus the victim in a given situation. That can wrongly put domestic violence victims and those who may have simply been trying to defend themselves in the legal hot seat.
Along with mandatory arrest laws for domestic violence, New York also has mandatory reporting laws for this offense. Also well-intentioned, these statutes are aimed at protecting children who are reasonably suspected to be the victims of mistreatment or abuse.
Mandatory reporters in New York span several occupations, all of which have been deemed, within the practice for their profession, to have the ability and/or potential opportunities to spot and help alleged victims. Some of the mandatory reports in New York include:
- Health care providers, like physicians, surgeons, registered nurses,
- Mental health care professionals, such as psychologists and counselors
- Educators and other care providers, like teachers, school nurses, school administrators, and daycare workers
- Others, such as social workers, police, and district attorneys
For those who are mandatory reporters in New York, failing to make a report when legally required to do so can result in Class A misdemeanor charges. These may be punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Domestic violence cases often come with protection orders for the alleged victims. These orders of protection may be:
- Limited or full: This refers to the amount of contact that is permitted or prohibited, based on the circumstances of the case. While limited protection orders may allow some level of contact, full orders of protection tend to limit any contact whatsoever, including calls and emails.
- Temporary or final: This refers to when the order is issued and how long it will last. Generally, temporary orders of protection are issued in emergency situations or while a case is pending. In contrast, final orders of protection may be handed down after a pending case has been resolved.
Being accused of violating an order of protection in Westchester County, NY, can have many negative consequences, including (but not limited to):
- Revocation of bail: If the accused individual is out on bail while a domestic violence (or other) criminal case proceeds, the court can revoke bail and immediately remit the accused individual back to jail.
- New criminal charges: These charges, at the very least, can include criminal contempt of court, which may be filed at the misdemeanor or felony level. Additional charges can also come into play if the accused person is alleged to have committed other offenses while violating the order of protection.
Given how violations of protection orders can complicate criminal cases, it’s crucial to work with an experienced lawyer when facing these and other serious criminal charges.
Alleged acts of mental, physical, and sexual abuse can all bring child abuse charges under New York law. So can neglect, the exploitation of a child, and permitting the sexual abuse of a child. Depending on the circumstances involved, child abuse charges may be misdemeanors or felonies, with factors like (but not limited to) the following contributing to the severity of the charges:
- The age of the alleged victim: When the alleged victim is younger than 13 in cases of abuse that involve sexual molestation, serious felony charges are usually filed.
- The nature and duration of the alleged abuse: More severe acts of abuse and/or abuse that occurs over extended periods of time tend to be associated with more serious felony-level charges.
- The nature and severity of the alleged injuries to the child(ren): Cases involving permanent injury are also among the most serious types of child abuse cases.
Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges in Westchester County, NY
As serious as the charges and potential penalties can be for domestic violence cases in New York, there can be many ways to defend against them. In fact, with these defense cases, it’s crucial to remember:
- The burden of proof rests with the prosecutor. That can mean an effective defense only needs to create enough holes or doubt in the prosecutor’s arguments.
- Allegations can be falsely made or trumped up when heated emotions, bitterness, or revenge may be involved.
- These cases often come down to he-said-she-said arguments. When they do, a good lawyer can be crucial to showing the credibility and character of the accused individual.
Don’t Face Domestic Violence Charges Alone: Contact Westchester Domestic Violence Lawyer Michael Borrelli
If you or a loved one has been arrested for or charged with domestic violence in Westchester County, NY, the sooner you have Mamaroneck Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Michael J. Borrelli in your corner, the better. He can advise, guide, and represent you at every step, from dealing with police and representing you in court hearings to reinvestigating your case, presenting a strong defense, and more.
Call (914) 825-8620 or contact us online for a FREE, confidential consultation. We offer consultations 24/7.
With tens of thousands of criminal cases under his belt, Michael J. Borrelli has deep expertise in New York criminal law, as well as lasting relationships with the courts and police in Westchester County. He also has a near-perfect success rate in more than 40 felony criminal trials and a near-perfect 9.5 rating from former clients on Avvo.
Beyond his experience and credentials, Attorney Borrelli is dedicated to helping people just like you. He knows how overwhelming the criminal justice system can be and how good people can end up on the wrong side of the law. That’s why he works tirelessly to provide effective defense representation and client-focused service in the pursuit of fair, favorable resolutions for his clients.
Find out your best defense options against domestic violence charges in Westchester County, NY,s in a FREE consultation.