During the past 50 years, awareness of domestic violence has increased as well as the attempt to curb its occurrence. Because intimate relationships are complicated, it is often difficult to disentangle their strands to uncover the truth. While there are many incidences of actual abuse within families or between those who share close quarters, there are also multiple incidences of false accusations of domestic violence and many false arrests on these charges. If you are involved in the turbulence of domestic violence, whether as a victim or an alleged perpetrator, you need a strong, criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the justice system.
Whatever your role in a situation of domestic violence, you likely feel victimized and alone. If you live in Syracuse, elsewhere in Onondaga County or anywhere in Central New York, you should do yourself the favor of contacting Carden Dotzler Hammond (CDH Law, PLLC). We are a team of first-rate attorneys, well-respected for our work in both criminal defense and family law. Because we are experienced in the two legal areas that deal with matters of domestic violence, we are capable of understanding your side of the issue whichever side you are on.
Domestic Violence as a Matter of Family Law
There are several reasons you may want to work with a family law attorney if you are caught up in a maelstrom of domestic violence. These include:
- Citing domestic violence as the reason to obtain an order of protection (restraining order)
- Citing domestic violence as a reason to initiate divorce proceedings
- Citing domestic violence as a reason to determine child custody in a divorce agreement
- Citing domestic violence as a reason to alter child custody or visitation arrangements
Our family law attorneys are well-prepared to protect you and your children from harm on the homefront. It is always wise to contact us as soon as you perceive that domestic disputes are getting out of hand. Don’t wait: seek sharp, caring legal assistance.
Remember, at CDH Law you will always be treated with empathy and respect. We are here to help you avoid escalating contact and bring your life back into balance.
The History of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is now considered a serious offense. This was not always the case. In past centuries a woman “belonged” to her husband; therefore, he could not be accused of raping her and he had the right to “discipline” her through corporal punishment. It has taken a great many years to get to a place in which domestic violence is considered to be a particularly heinous crime. It should be noted that children have been, and continue to be in some households, punished with what may be legally considered violent and/or abusive treatment.
It is now recognized that an intimate partner frequently has emotional and often financial control, providing him or her with more power to intimidate. As mentioned earlier, however, domestic violence cases are complex and reality often differs from apparent “facts.” If you have been accused of a domestic violence offense, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney with an in-depth knowledge of this aspect of the law to save your reputation, your freedom, and your future.
How Domestic Violence Is Legally Defined
The crimes considered domestic violence would be criminal actions outside of the home. What differentiates domestic violence is the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. The following relationships with the perpetrator put violent actions into the category of domestic abuse:
- Family member (spouse, parent, sibling, child)
- Person with whom he or she has a child
- Roommate or housemate
- Other relative (such as an in-law)
- Past or present romantic partner
Essentially, anyone with whom you are in an intimate relationship can accuse you of domestic abuse, including, of course, a same-sex romantic partner or spouse.
Types of Domestic Abuse
There are many ways an individual can suffer domestic abuse:
- Physical abuse — hitting, kicking, shoving, hair-pulling, pinching, burning, choking
- Unlawful imprisonment — keeping the plaintiff from leaving the premises (going to school, work, therapy, shopping)
- Sexual abuse — rape, sexual assault
- Emotional abuse — name-calling, denigrating, belittling, dismissing, disregarding
- Economic abuse — withholding the victim’s access to funds
- Psychological abuse — intimidating, threatening to hurt victim or his/her children or pets
- Stalking — spying, making disturbing calls, texting, showing up at victim’s workplace
- Cyberstalking — posting disturbing emails, revenge porn, vile content online
- Homicide — intentionally causing the death of the victim or killing him/her during an attack
CDH Law Will Defend You Against Charges of Domestic Abuse
Penalties for any type of domestic abuse can be extremely harsh, including heavy fines, court fees, probation, immigration consequences, mandatory enrollment in lengthy, costly treatment programs, long-term or even life imprisonment. If you are convicted of a felony, you may also forfeit certain civil rights, such as the right to own or carry a gun and the right to vote. You may even be denied access to your children or be required to see them only in supervised settings.
Defenses Against Domestic Abuse Charges
Though the consequences of convictions for domestic violence may be severe, our experienced criminal defense attorneys have a number of workable defenses to protect you. We will work tirelessly to expose inconsistencies in your accuser’s claims, scour police records and seek witness accounts that will help your case. We may also be able to prove that you were defending yourself or your children during the incident in question. There are a number of reasons someone close to you may falsely accuse you — jealousy, rage, revenge, or to increase leverage in divorce proceedings. There is also the possibility that you have been falsely arrested due to mistaken assumptions made by law enforcement officials called to your home.
Contact Our Central New York & Syracuse Domestic Violence Attorney
CDH Law attorneys are well aware of the complicated nature of domestic violence. Whether you have been victimized or falsely accused, once you become our client we are on your side. We have the successful track record, credentials, and testimonials to earn your trust. Contact us today to see just how forceful we can be when seeking justice for you and your family.