Sun 16 Jun, 2024 Criminal Defense

How To Get Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed

This guide discusses how to get domestic violence charges dismissed.

Each domestic violence case is different, and therefore there is no “one-size fits all” approach to getting the charges dismissed. If you are facing domestic violence charges in New York City, contact Cody Warner, P.C. for a free consultation. We routinely handle domestic violence cases in NYC, and we can evaluate your case to determine the best strategy for dismissal.

Common Domestic Violence Charges

In New York, the most common domestic violence charges are Assault in the Third Degree, Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, and Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree.

Assault in the Third Degree

If you intentionally or recklessly cause physical injury to a family member or partner, the prosecution will likely charge you with Assault in the Third Degree (P.L. 120.00).

Assault in the Third Degree is a class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to a year in jail if you are convicted.

Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree

If you subjected someone to unwanted physical contact but it did not result in physical injury, the prosecution will likely charge you with Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree (P.L. 240.26). For instance, if a couple gets into an argument and a partner pushes or slaps the other, but no one is injured, the likely charge will be Harassment in the Second Degree.

Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree is a violation, which carries a maximum sentence of fifteen days in jail.

Sometimes the prosecution will overcharge a defendant with Assault in the Third Degree when all that occurred was a harassment violation. In that situation, an experienced assault lawyer can make sure that all unwarranted charges are dropped.

Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree

If you violate an order of protection that was issued in family or criminal court, then you can be charged with Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree (P.L. 215.50). For instance, if a judge ordered you to not contact your partner or family member, but you then intentionally contact them, the prosecution can charge you with criminal contempt.

In many criminal contempt cases, the alleged victim who is protected by an order of protection contacts the defendant and asks the defendant to visit. It’s important to keep in mind that the court, not the protected party, controls the order of protection. Therefore, even if the protected party asked for you to visit them, to do so would be in violation of the order of protection, unless the judge modifies the order to allow contact.

Ways to Get Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed

Evidence of Innocence

Quite obviously, the fool-proof way to get domestic violence charges is to have evidence that proves you didn’t commit the crime. For instance, if the alleged victim says that you assaulted them at a street corner, but security camera footage from the location shows otherwise, your lawyer could present that evidence to the prosecution.

If the evidence makes it clear that you didn’t commit the crime, then the prosecution should dismiss the charge.

Uncooperative Domestic Violence Victim

Oftentimes, the alleged victim will, in the heat of domestic dispute, make false or exaggerated allegations to the police. When that happens, the alleged victim will typically want the charges to be dropped and will not cooperate with the prosecution.

In these situations, an experienced domestic violence lawyer can speak with the alleged victim to explain the steps they can take in effort to end the prosecution.

Speedy Trial Violations

In New York, the prosecution has a very strict timeline they must follow for the case to move forward. For a class A misdemeanor like Assault in the Third Degree, the prosecution only has 90 days to provide the defendant with all its evidence.

If the prosecution does not prioritize your case, it may slip through the cracks and get dismissed after 90 days. Even if the prosecution says they provided all required evidence, a skilled criminal lawyer can scrutinize whether the prosecution provided all required evidence. If the criminal defense lawyer finds missing evidence, he can file a motion to dismiss.

Need Help Getting Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed?

Every case has unique facts, so if you are facing domestic violence charges, it’s important to speak with a lawyer who can develop a tailored defense strategy. If you are facing domestic violence charges in New York City, contact Cody Warner, P.C. for a free evaluation. We can assess your case to determine the best path forward.