In Arthur L. Pressman Law Blog, Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence

Top 4 Domestic Violence Charges in Buffalo NY

What To Know About Domestic Violence Charges in Buffalo

A healthy relationship will never require you to sacrifice your friends, your dreams or your dignity. However, every so often, we hear about a person who has been a victim of domestic violence. With domestic violence charges in Buffalo, the thing that people rarely acknowledge are the warning signs that come before the physical violence. It happens to the best of us. Love can often cause one to turn a blind eye to the warning signs of domestic violence and abuse. And contrary to popular belief, domestic violence victims may be male or female.

Domestic violence charges in Buffalo are a criminal offense punishable by law. It can a variety of different forms, ranging from assault to stalking. Before we delve deeper into the gravity of the manifestations of domestic violence, let me explain the gravity of criminal offenses. Criminal offenses are categorized three different ways: violations, misdemeanors and felonies.

Violations are minor charges, and are rarely used except in juvenile cases or non-moving infractions. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies but still carry fines and the potential for jail. Felonies are very serious offenses that are usually punished with jail time and fines.  There are a lot of different variables between the felony and misdemeanor charges, but basically, it’s penalties. On a felony conviction, you are likely to go to a state prison facility or have a longer term of probation.

People often underestimate the impact of having even a misdemeanor on their record. The reality is that any type of crime can go on your permanent record and can surface in the future and be used in future employment evaluations.  It is important to hire a trial experienced Criminal Lawyer in Buffalo who has your side if you become arrested.

Domestic Violence Charges in Buffalo

Domestic ViolenceThe state of New York takes domestic violence very seriously. Domestic violence charges in Buffalo are a criminal offense committed against a spouse, a former spouse, a person you live with, a person you have a child with or a person with whom you have intimate relations.

If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence crime in New York State, the penalties and consequences on your life can be quite severe. Depending on the circumstances, you can lose the right to reside in your own home or be restricted in your communication with your family and those around you, including for seemingly minor infringements such as violating a restraining order.

Typically, in most cases you will be issued an order of protection, which prevents you from having any contact with the complaining witness in the case. You must be aware if you have any contact with the complaining witness in a case, you may be brought up on additional charges, which could be felonies as well.


  • Domestic violence is a criminal offense committed against a person with whom you have intimate relations.

1. Assault

AssaultIn New York, assault is commonly charged as a Class A misdemeanor. The charge of assault shows the intent to cause physical injury to another person or causing physical injury. Assault in the second degree is a Class D felony in New York state, and it is punishable by up to seven years in a state prison. Someone who is charged with assault in the second degree has committed the crime of misdemeanor assault. Someone who commits an assault in the third degree has physically assaulted another person, causing physical injury without that other person having given consent for the physical contact.


  • Based on its extent, assault is classified as a Class A misdemeanor or a Class D felony.

2. Menacing

MenacingA person charged with criminal menacing is intentionally putting a person in reasonable fear of physical injury, imminent serious physical injury, or death. The penalty is a Class B misdemeanor offense in New York. The use of a deadly weapon classifies the allegation as a Class A misdemeanor. If you have previously been convicted of menacing within ten years preceding this charge, the charge is considered a Class E felony.

Menacing in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor in New York State. When you place someone in fear by displaying – or attempting to display – a weapon or an imitation weapon, this is considered menacing. It is punishable by up to one year in jail

Menacing in the third degree is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail. Menacing in the third degree occurs when a person instills fear in another person by means of threat or the display of a dangerous instrument.


  • Menacing is classified as either a Class A or a Class B misdemeanor.

3. Harassment

HarassmentHarassment is charged if a person intentionally harasses another person by following that person in or around a public place or by engaging in a course of conduct that places the person in reasonable fear for physical injury. It can also include threatening or alarming another person, communicating with the other person by telephone or communicating with the other person in a manner that is likely to cause annoyance or alarm, making phone calls without a legitimate purpose or striking, shoving, or kicking someone.


  • Harassment can take the form of striking, shoving or kicking another person, or even merely unwarranted phone calls that make the receiver fear for their safety.

4. Stalking

StalkingA person charged with stalking has caused reasonable fear or material harm to the physical health, safety or property of another person or has caused material harm to the mental or emotional health of another person through telephoning or initiating communication or contact with that person. Stalking charges can vary from Class B misdemeanors to Class E felonies.


  • Stalking charges vary from Class B misdemeanors to Class E felonies.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for domestic violence charges in Buffalo, please contact Arthur Pressman, an experienced criminal lawyer in Buffalo.

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