Law Offices of Daniel A. Hochheiser Articles New Felony Charge for NY Domestic Violence Offenders

New Felony Charge for NY Domestic Violence Offenders

By Hochheiser & Hochheiser LLP  Apr. 3, 2013 10:04a

A new Class E felony charge was created in October 2012 in the state of New York called an "aggravated family offense." It applies to those who have been convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors who repeat the offense within the next five years. Prior to the new legislation, repeat offenders of domestic violence incidents could only be charged with another misdemeanor unless they committed a serious assault or attempted murder. The new felony charge is punishable by up to four years in a state prison. The new legislation also expanded the terms of a Class A misdemeanor of Aggravated Harassment which now includes intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm resulting in physical injury.

Additionally, provisions in the new law make it tougher for domestic violence offenders to be released on bail. Under the new laws, judges are required to consider such factors as previous convictions and the offender's access to firearms when determining bail.

According to the press release issued by the New York Governor's office, domestic violence poses an enormous legal and social problem to the state and the nation and has been named as the leading health problem for American women by the U.S. Surgeon General. An estimated 450,000 incidents of domestic violence are reported to law enforcement annually in New York State.

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