What is the difference between a domestic violence charge compared to the same charge outside of a domestic relationship?

Under New York law there is no one offense called “domestic violence.” Domestic violence is a broad term used to classify crimes involving individuals who are members of the same family, live in the same household, are in a romantic relationship or have a child together.

State laws do not differentiate between domestic violence-related crimes and other offenses. Therefore, there is no added penalty for being accused of a domestic violence charge. Crimes and violent acts such as assault, stalking, harassment, murder and rape are handled as domestic violence offenses when they occur in the context of a family or household relationship.

In New York, any offense can be charged as domestic violence if a person committed the crime against a household or family member. The accused’s relationship to the victim determines whether or not an offense is charged as domestic violence.

Because the definition of what constitutes a domestic relationship under domestic violence laws can be complex, it is best to seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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