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Domestic abuse in New York is an umbrella category meant to describe crimes that involve people who live in the same household, have a romantic or intimate relationship, or are family members. Due to the nature of these crimes, they are sometimes referred to by New York courts as family offenses. 

If you have been charged with a crime that falls under the category of domestic abuse in New York, it is crucial to get the help of an experienced New York domestic violence attorney who would listen to your side of the case attentively and investigate your case diligently. At Edward Palermo Criminal Defense, top-rated criminal defense attorney Ed Palermo has provided quality legal assistance to individuals charged with domestic violence cases in New York. Contact our office today at (516) 280-2160 or (631) 265-1052 to schedule a consultation.

Domestic Abuse in New York

Most people have the common misconception that domestic abuse only involves a husband or a father assaulting a wife or their children; however, statistics show that domestic abuse can be perpetrated by and can be experienced by people regardless of their gender, age, and socioeconomic background.

To be a victim of domestic abuse, there must be an “intimate relationship” between the defendant and the alleged victim. In New York, having an intimate relationship can include familial or relationships in the same household as well as the following close relationships as defined by Social Services Law Section 459-A:

The intimate relationship definition can still stand even if the alleged victim and the defendant do not live in the same residence, even if the relationship is not sexual, and even if the relationship is over. The court can also consider the nature or the type of the relationship, how often the alleged victim and the defendant see or saw each other, and how long the relationship has lasted as additional factors to establish the “intimate relationship”.

In addition, while physical abuse is the first thing that comes to mind when people think of domestic abuse, there may be factors of domestic abuse that are not as easily visible as bruises or injuries. Aside from physical abuse, domestic violence can also involve financial, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse. The law seeks to immediately provide respite to victims of abuse. When a call is made to law enforcement in New York regarding a domestic abuse case, they are mandated to make an arrest. This makes being accused of as well as being convicted of domestic abuse a very serious matter.

Protective Orders in a Domestic Abuse Case

Protective orders, also referred to as restraining orders, is a court-imposed directive that prohibits an individual, usually someone who has been convicted of domestic abuse, from having contact, both direct and indirect, with a person who has been a victim of domestic abuse.

Protective orders can be granted to alleged victims even if the proceedings for the domestic abuse charges are still ongoing. The court will review the petition for a protective order and may grant it if they believe that the defendant is a threat to the safety and well-being of the alleged victim. The court may also issue a temporary order of protection by itself. Protection orders may be issued without notifying the defendant before the order is issued.

A temporary protection order can include the following provisions:

Orders of protection issued in family court proceedings can last up to two years unless there is an aggravating condition in the case or there is conduct that violates an existing order of protection in which the court may decide to extend the duration of the order. Defendants in domestic abuse cases are advised to follow the provisions of protection orders carefully and to get the help of an experienced New York criminal defense attorney who can help them understand their rights and responsibilities. 

Charges Under Domestic Violence in New York

Domestic violence is defined in New York as “a pattern of coercive tactics, which can include physical, psychological, sexual, economic and emotional abuse, perpetrated by one person against an adult intimate partner, with the goal of establishing and maintaining power and control over the victim.” Acts of as well as threats to commit abuse are both included in the category of domestic abuse. Some of the most common domestic abuse charges include the following:

Disorderly Conduct

If you argue with your girlfriend or your spouse in public with the argument escalating to shouting or physical blows, either or both of you may receive charges of disorderly conduct. Disorderly conduct is one of the most common domestic violence charges. Disorderly conduct is considered a violation under N.Y. Pen. Law § 240.20.

Sexual Misconduct

In New York, sexual misconduct is defined as engaging in sexual acts, including sexual intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex, without the consent of the other person. This includes situations where the individuals are in a romantic relationship, such as married, cohabitating, or dating. If sexual contact occurs without the consent of the other person, it is considered domestic violence and a form of sexual misconduct.

Under N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.00, sexual intercourse is defined as any penetration, even partial, of the vagina by a penis. Sexual misconduct is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, and if convicted, a person may face a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

Sexual Abuse and Rape

Having sexual contact with another person without their consent is considered sexual abuse in New York while having sexual intercourse with another person without their consent is the definition of rape. Sexual contact is defined as the touching of a person’s sexual or intimate parts for gratification. The degree of charges can vary depending on the basis of the lack of consent, for example, if the alleged victim was incapacitated, was coerced into the encounter, or is a minor who is unable to legally consent. Sexual abuse and rape are both graded into three degrees and may range from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Assault and Reckless Endangerment

Causing physical harm or injury to another person, especially a person you are in a relationship with, a child, or another household member can constitute assault. The intent to injure is not required to be charged with assault in New York, just that the person exercised either negligence or recklessness that caused the injury. Assault charges can vary depending on the use of a weapon and the severity of the injuries.

While assault involves directly causing a victim’s injury or harm, reckless endangerment involves engaging in behavior that creates the conditions of another person being at risk of injury. Charges of reckless endangerment can vary depending on whether the defendant exhibited a depraved indifference to human life.

Harassment and Stalking

Harassment involves engaging in behavior that is annoying or violent towards another person, such as physical contact, following, or other conduct that causes alarm. If this harassment is carried out using written or electronic means, such as letters or phone calls, it is considered aggravated harassment.

Following someone such as a romantic partner, a spouse, or an ex, or engaging in communication that causes fear for their safety, you may be charged with stalking. The New York Penal Law outlines four different degrees of stalking, ranging from fourth-degree to first-degree. A first-degree stalking charge may be brought if while stalking someone, you also cause them physical harm intentionally or recklessly, or if you also commit a sex crime against them.


The most extreme cases can result in murder wherein a person causes the death of a spouse, a romantic partner, or another member of the household. A second-degree murder charge involves causing the death of someone while in extreme emotional imbalance while a first-degree charge involves intentionally causing the death of the other person.

The following are charges that also fall under the category of domestic abuse in New York when committed towards a significant other, a spouse, or someone living in the same household:

The penalties faced by those convicted of crimes under the category of domestic abuse may vary in severity depending on the charges they incurred. Some offenses may be charged as misdemeanors and carry lesser penalties compared to those charged as felonies. Aggravating factors can include whether the use of a weapon was involved in the crime and the number of previous convictions a defendant has.

Like with any other crime, people who are facing charges of domestic abuse are also entitled to legal representation regardless of their circumstances. A conviction can have serious consequences. Penalties can range from probation to life in prison depending on the charges. While penalties for convictions on charges like disorderly conduct may be considered minimal compared to other charges, the vast majority of punishments can involve being punished with a misdemeanor or a felony. For crimes involving sexual misconduct, sexual assault, or rape, the defendant may be required to register as a sex offender if convicted, possibly for the rest of their life. 

Aside from the possibility of being imprisoned and paying hefty fines, convictions for a domestic abuse charge can remain on a person’s criminal record. Regardless of the charges, it is important to get the help of a skilled New York domestic violence attorney. A qualified attorney can build a strong legal defense that can make the difference between a conviction or your charges being dismissed or commuted. 

At Edward Palermo Criminal Defense, our team of attorneys leverages their extensive knowledge of the justice system and the law to defend the rights of our clients charged with crimes in New York. We may be able to help investigate the circumstances of your case and represent your best interests in court. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at (516) 280-2160 or (631) 265-1052.

On Long Island, NY getting convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) can result in severe penalties. As a state with one of the toughest DWI laws, New York drivers can face steep fines, suspension or revocation of their licenses, and a possible prison sentence. It is important to get the assistance of an experienced Long Island DWI attorney who can help you understand your rights and represent your best interests.

Edward Palermo, a top-rated Long Island DWI attorney, has helped represent the rights of Suffolk County and Nassau County residents with complex DWI/DUI cases on Long Island. He has a long-standing record of successfully defending his clients and providing quality legal advice on matters of DWI/DUI and criminal defense. Contact Edward Palermo Criminal Defense today at (516) 280-2160 or (631) 265-1052 to schedule a free initial consultation on your case.

DWI/DUI Laws on Long Island

There are a lot of alcohol-related driving offenses under New York law. It can be very confusing to try and remember each one but as a simple answer to the question of whether DWI is a felony on Long island: it depends. Each DWI case is different and the different circumstances of a case can determine whether it will carry felony charges. Understanding the anatomy of a DWI case will help us determine what are the aggravating and mitigating factors involved in alcohol-related offenses on Long Island.

What is a per se DWI charge?

To understand how alcohol-related charges like DWI work on Long Island, it is important to first gain insight into what a per se DWI charge means. A per se DWI charge means that you were operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of  .08 percent. Having a BAC of .08 is considered legally drunk in New York. 

A conviction of a first-offense DWI can lead to the following penalties:

Successive convictions of a DWI especially when one already has a previous conviction of an alcohol-related offense (except a DWAI) within the past ten years can lead to a felony DWI conviction. A felony DWI is one of the most severe alcohol-related offenses in New York, carrying a Class E felony charge. A person convicted of felony DWI can face the following penalties:

However, a person can be subject to harsher penalties depending on the number of prior convictions they have and how often they occurred over a specific time frame.

Compared to a per se DWI, drivers found to have been operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.18, meaning over twice the legal limit of .08 are charged with Aggravated DWI. A first-offense Aggravated DWI conviction is considered a misdemeanor and can carry the following penalties:

If a driver commits the same offense within 10 years of a prior conviction, they may be charged with a Class E felony Aggravated DWI which carries the following penalties:

Hiring an experienced Long Island DWI attorney is crucial in building a strong legal defense and ensuring the best possible outcome in your case.

A third conviction of Aggravated DWI in ten years carries a Class D felony charge and the following penalties:

There is an additional variation to the Aggravated DWI charge wherein a minor is in the car as a passenger. If a driver is found to be operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08 (DWI) or their faculties are otherwise impaired by alcohol (DWAI) while a minor under the age of 16 is present in the vehicle, the driver could be charged with Aggravated DWI – Child in Car also called Leandra’s Law. 

Conviction of an  Aggravated DWI – Child in Car charge, even for a first-time offense is a Class E felony. Penalties can include the following:

The charges escalate significantly if the driver is involved in an accident and the child sustains a serious injury or dies as a result of the impaired driving:

Regardless of the charges, even for a first offense DWI, a conviction can have a significant impact on a person’s life. If you have been charged with a DWI in Nassau County or Suffolk County or anywhere on Long Island, getting the help of a qualified Long Island DWI attorney should be your priority. 

At Edward Palermo Criminal Defense, top-rated DWI attorney Edward Palermo has handled hundreds of DWI/DUI cases and successfully defended the rights of Long Island residents charged with alcohol-related traffic offenses. Our skilled Long Island DWI attorneys work diligently to provide quality legal representation and to build a customized defense strategy to provide clients with the best possible outcome for their cases.

Contact Edward Palermo Criminal Defense today at (516) 280-2160 or (631) 265-1052 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Long Island DWI attorneys.