Domestic violence cases often go hand in hand with turbulence in a marriage, a common law marriage or in legal unions of domestic partners. A husband or wife will typically have a Domestic Violence charge filed (even if they are false) as a means of gaining an upper hand in subsequent divorce proceedings.
Stewart A. McMillan is a former Westchester County Assistant District Attorney with over twenty (20) years experience as a criminal defense attorney who has successfully defended clients charged with domestic violence related crimes in such Courts as Manhattan, Queens, Bronx and Westchester County Courts including White Plains, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Sleepy Hollow, Chappaqua, Greenburgh, Rye, Elmsford, Mamaroneck, Larchmont, and Port Chester as well as Connecticut Courts like Stamford, Greenwich, Fairfield and Trumbull.
Domestic Violence arrests typically result in one or more of the following charges being filed:
- Assault; or
- Menacing - which alleges the threat of violence or harm to a person; or
- Stalking; or
- Aggravated Harassment - which alleges harassment of someone over the phone, by e-mail or text; or
- Endangering the Welfare of a Child - which alleges exposing a minor to potential danger.
Most Westchester County, New York City and Connecticut Courts have an unwritten rule requiring that an arrest must be made when a domestic violence charge is made even in the most minor cases. This rule arises out of prior cases, which have nothing to do with yours, in which persons have been injured or even killed by their respective boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends, wives or domestic partners.
Once Domestic Violence charges are filed it is often difficult if not impossible to get them dismissed quickly even when the husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend or partner consents. Sometimes the police or District Attorney’s Offices even go so far as to threaten prosecution of the accused in order to save face.
Orders of Protection are almost always required to be issued by the Court in order to protect the victim. Unfortunately, Orders of Protection are often used by unscrupulous husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, or partners, etc. in order to gain leverage in divorce or child custody proceedings.
It generally makes no difference which Court your Domestic Violence begins in. Nearly all Judges are universally against dismissing these charges or refusing to issue an Order of Protection for fear that they will end up on the front page of a newspaper. Therefore, they almost always err on the side of caution.
Most orders of protection contain complete Stay Away orders. This means that the person against whom a Domestic Violence Order of Protection is issued has no discretion to come within a certain distance of his former wife, boyfriend, partner, etc. This also means that the respective parties have no ability to work things out. Any such attempt at contact (whether by telephone, e-mail, or in person) would be classified as a violation of the order of protection and therefore would result in a subsequent arrest and prosecution for criminal contempt.
Domestic Violence arrests often lead to unanticipated consequences. These consequences must be carefully considered in defending your case. Our domestic violence lawyers will go over some of these with you, including the following:
- A criminal record;
- A loss of professional licenses including law licenses, real estate licenses, medical licenses and wall street related licenses;
- Child custody issues;
- The issuance of a protective order (which often leads to inability to go home or to work);
- Loss of employment and/or inability to get new employment.
Mr. McMillan has aggressively defended Domestic Violence cases like assault, menacing, stalking and aggravated harassment in New York Courts including Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, in Westchester Courts like Rye, Pleasantville, Mamaroneck, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, Irvington, White Plains and Greenburgh, and in Connecticut courts including Stamford, Fairfield, Greenwich, Darien, and Danbury.
If you have been arrested for domestic violence it is imperative you act fast and obtain fast, effective, reliable legal representation.
If you are facing a domestic violence charge, contact our domestic violence lawyers immediately at (914) 358-4326 or 917-538-5016 to defend yourself.