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FAQs About Domestic Violence

What Is Domestic Violence?

A domestic violence act is anything that takes place between a husband and a wife, a boyfriend and a girlfriend, a husband and an ex-wife, a boyfriend and an ex-girlfriend, or ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends, any two people who have lived together and/or who have had children together. Anything and any crime or any event that gets involved with the penal law system or the criminal justice system between those actors is now designated as a domestic violence or a domestic crime, a domestic act.

The case is taken by the police and handled differently. It is treated now in different courtrooms and it is looked at and prosecuted. Since it’s a criminal case, it’s prosecuted differently than the same act or the same occurrence happening between strangers or friends who never had any relationship together as a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife etc.

Is Domestic Violence Seen As Part Of Divorce A Great Deal?

Yes. Unfortunately, it is seen more commonly at this time, more than any other time. The charge or the allegation of a domestic violence case, is unfortunately seen commonly during divorce. One person will try and use it as leverage over the other.

The case is handled differently and it’s handled in a different courtroom. It’s used as a sword instead of as a shield especially if there is custody involved with children. The allegation that somebody has hit somebody else or has violated an order of protection or has committed an act, they try to use it to their benefit in the family court. However, that becomes an issue.

It is an issue because people who are involved in a divorce, could be in the family court as well as in New York state, the civil court which would be the Supreme Court, they are now also involved in the criminal court. The whole thing becomes quite a spider’s web.

How Serious Are Domestic Violence Allegations And Charges?

They are very serious. In New York, there is no distinction between the charge. An assault case is an assault case. However, the allegation is that there is a relationship between the parties, the police have absolutely no discrepancy. When you take the same act or occurrence between just friends or people known to each other or acquaintances or even strangers, the police can get involved and sometimes the police can actually use their better judgment.

They may not be able to make an arrest. They may issue a Desk Appearance Ticket, which is a summons to come to court another day, or they can hold off and speak to all the sides. If they think that it didn’t happen, they can try to put off or postpone arresting somebody.

When it’s a domestic violence classification, the police have no discretion. They have to arrest one of the parties. When that person is taken off to jail and they spend the night in jail, then the case continues. Depending on what the allegation is, especially if there is an injury, if you get into the point where there is actual physical injury or an actual crime as opposed to the false allegation, and the person is already in custody, when you go to plead not guilty for the arraignment, the judges will handle it in a different tone. Orders of protection are issued, bail is set a lot of times.

The cases now proceed in a domestic violence part instead of just an upfront part. When you go into specialized parts where a judge sees the same thing over and over again, they start to lose perspective. The judges don’t get a fresh look on cases nor the individuals. Same is the case with the prosecutors. They don’t look at things as cleanly and as clearly as they should, so these cases become much more serious than the case that is not a domestic violence case.

If you need answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Domestic Violence, call the Grizopoulos & Portz, P.C. for a free initial consultation at (516) 679-0400 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.