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Reliable Rochester Lawyer Defends Against Domestic Violence Charges

Accomplished Monroe County attorney appears in civil and criminal cases

Domestic violence allegations can result in both civil and criminal liability in New York. In addition to potential jail and fines for a criminal conviction, there may be repercussions in family court proceedings, particularly as to child custody. The Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. in Rochester delivers assertive defends clients accused of assault, stalking, harassment and other crimes that may constitute domestic violence. With more than 30 years of experience, attorney Maurice J. Verrillo is respected by courts throughout the region.

Determined lawyer takes on accusations of partner abuse and family violence

The term “domestic violence” describes physical, psychological, emotional or economic abuse among members of the same family or household or between people in current or former intimate relationships. While not a crime in itself, domestic violence can factor into more severe treatment by police, prosecutors and courts. Most notably, New York has a mandatory arrest law, requiring that police responding to a domestic violence complaint must take the suspected offender into custody if they have probable cause, even if the victim does not wish to press charges.

Courts also err on the side of caution when issuing domestic violence orders of protection, whether in criminal or family court. A family court judge can initially grant a temporary order without hearing the offender’s side of the story, but there must be a full hearing before a permanent order can be entered. The judge can also temporarily suspend the suspected offender’s child custody rights. When custody is at issue, we work to protect parental rights and support the best interests of the child.

If you are the subject of a temporary order of protection, it is imperative to seek counsel from an experienced domestic violence defense attorney to represent you at the court hearing where the order may become permanent.

Focused defense attorney defends against assault and harassment allegations

Domestic violence can be a factor in prosecutions of the following crimes:

  • Assault — A person who intentionally causes physical injury to another person can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Assault in the first degree, which may involve serious physical injury caused by a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon, carries a potential sentence of five to 25 years imprisonment.
  • Harassment — There are many forms of harassment, including repeatedly following someone in public, striking or attempting to strike another person, engaging in conduct that makes another person fear injury or acting in any other alarming or annoying way with no purpose of legitimate communication. In all cases, intent to harass must be shown. Harassment is usually classified as a violation or misdemeanor but may rise to a felony offense when motivated by a person’s race, gender, age, disability or other protected characteristic.
  • Stalking —A pattern of behavior that creates a credible threat of material harm to a victim’s mental or emotional health can be the basis of a stalking charge. A prosecution can also result if a victim’s employment, business or immediate family member is placed in harm’s way. The intensity of the behavior, the threat or harm level and a record of prior offenses can influence the punishment an offender receives.

To avoid the most serious penalties, accusations must be met with a vigorous defense. If an alleged act of violence was committed in self-defense or without intent to cause harm, charges may be without merit. We will build an evidence-based case to support your position, raising all mitigating factors that might affect the outcome.

Contact a seasoned Rochester domestic violence defense attorney to schedule a consultation

At the Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C. in Rochester, New York, we defend individuals accused of domestic violence offenses. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us at 585-563-1134 or contact us online. We represent clients in Monroe County and the neighboring areas.


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