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New York domestic violence registry up for debate

Should New York residents accused of domestic assault be included on a registry like those designed for sex offenders? Legislators think so -- and this domestic violence registry could be on its way soon in the state. The cause is being championed by a state congressional representative whose constituents lost a daughter to domestic violence.

Family members report that the victim in the case was attacked for multiple days at a home in Cattaraugus County. She was in a coma for several weeks before passing away. Relatives say that the registry should be among the serious consequences that convicts should face after they have been sentenced for their felony crimes.

Those opposed to the measure say that the registry could provide a "false sense of security," however. They argue that not only would the registry make people complacent -- most domestic violence offenders do not have prior convictions -- but it could also violate the rights of those facing domestic violence charges. Victims' privacy could be compromised through the use of a registry, according to opponents of the legislation, which could ultimately have a chilling effect on reporting domestic violence.

Criminal defendants should know that a domestic violence conviction carries some serious consequences, but this registry is on hold -- for now. Defendants should have a right to a fair trial, and this type of registry could compromise that objective proceeding. Opponents of the legislation worry about unintended consequences and penalties for those who are listed on the registry.

This is just one more example of criminal defendants being victimized by overzealous legislators. A criminal defense attorney can provide you with the information you need to get a fair trial, no matter the nature of criminal charges that you are facing.

Source: WIVB.com, "WNY Congressman joins fight for domestic violence registry," Jordan Williams, Jan. 10, 2017

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