Domestic Violence arrests have increased dramatically over the years. With legislation striving hard to protect victims of domestic violence, more laws have been passed which expand the list of charges one can be arrested for, increase penalties for repeat offenders of domestic violence, as well as allowing the prosecutor to go forward on pursuing charges against the accused even when the complainant is reluctant to testify against the accused, uncooperative with the prosecutor, or flat out refuses to testify for the prosecution.
An example of a fairly new charge which is common in a Domestic Violence case in Queens, NY, is the crime of Strangulation or Criminal Obstruction of Breathing. A new Article 121 in the Penal Law, titled “Strangulation and Related Offenses,” establishing the new crimes of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation (Class A Misdemeanor); Strangulation in the Second Degree (Class D Violent Felony), and Strangulation in the First Degree (Class C Violent Felony). All offenses are added to the list of family offenses which can be pursued in Family Court in a Family Offense Petition seeking an Order of Protection. In addition, the strangulation offenses are added to various sections of existing law for other considerations, such as DNA collection, hate crime prosecution, etc. This change amends multiple sections of NYS laws, including Penal, Criminal Procedure, Domestic Relations, Executive, Mental Hygiene, Vehicle and Traffic, Social Services and the Family Court. Effective: November 11, 2010 Chapter 405
Although the legislative intent was to increase protection for true victims of domestic violence, like anything else in life, the potential for abuse and fabrication by an alleged victim always exists. We would all hope a victim of domestic violence would not fabricate or exaggerate allegations in order to gain an edge in an ongoing Family Court Custody or Supreme Court Matrimonial action, or even worse, to gain special immigration status as a victim of domestic violence. However, it is a reality that is happening everyday, and probably is happening at this very moment. It is incumbent upon all involved, Judges, Prosecutors, attorneys appointed by the Court for minor children, social workers and the accused’s lawyer to ensure that justice is being served, and that the alleged victim is in fact telling the truth. Each party involved has an important role to fulfill, and the system can only work if all the players involved do not shrug off their responsibility, duties and ethical obligations in the case.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a domestic violence charge in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx NY, or Nassau County, the sooner you hire a DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWYER IN QUEENS NY the sooner your lawyer can help defend and protect your rights and future. You can contact me at 718 414-6186, or by email at [email protected]