Getting arrested for domestic violence is stressful enough without having to decode complicated legal jargon. Although a criminal defense attorney can handle the logistics of your case, it may be possible to alleviate some of the stress you are experiencing by learning the terms you will likely encounter throughout the proceedings.
Below we’ve defined some of the most important terms to know if you’re facing domestic violence-related charges:
1. Intimate Partner
The state of New York differentiates between domestic violence and intimate partner violence. While domestic violence encompasses violence against any member of the household, intimate partner violence refers to violence against a former or current romantic partner.
The arraignment is the first time the defendant appears in court. It’s usually held within 48 hours of arrest. During this proceeding, bail is set if applicable, and the accused will get the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
Perjury refers to lying under oath. If the alleged victim fabricated his or her story—as is sometimes the case when it comes to domestic violence—he or she could face felony charges.
4. Assault and Battery
Battery is the physical act of hurting someone while assault—which is often used interchangeably with “battery”—is simply the imminent threat of harm. In other words, you can be accused of assault even if you didn’t actually lay a hand on the alleged victim.
5. Affirmative Defense
An affirmative defense is one that not only refutes the allegations against you but also presents new allegations. Such defenses are especially common in cases involving domestic violence. For example, if the alleged victim attacked you first and you were merely acting out of self-defense, presenting evidence that proves as much would be considered an affirmative defense.
A deposition is sworn testimony that occurs out of court. In criminal cases, depositions are not typically used as a discovery device but, rather, as a way to preserve witness testimony.
7. Aggravated Family Offense
If you already have a history of domestic violence, you could face charges for aggravated family offense following an arrest for a subsequent incident. Such charges can apply to defendants who were convicted of a domestic violence-related misdemeanor within the past five years.
An alibi is a defense that claims the accused was physically in a different location when the alleged incident occurred. When it comes to domestic violence allegations, defendants may be able to prove their alibis using social media check-ins, retail receipts, GPS tracking from their smartphones, security camera footage, or eyewitness testimony.
Discuss Your Case with a Domestic Violence Attorney in New York
If you’ve been accused of a domestic violence-related crime, contact LoTempio P.C. Law Group. Our seasoned attorneys have more than 200 years of combined experience in the legal field. Call (716) 855-3761 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free case evaluation with a domestic violence lawyer in New York.