Even though First Degree Criminal Contempt (New York Penal Law 215.51) and Second Degree Criminal Contempt (New York Penal Law 215.0) are both horrifying, career-ending, and publicly humiliating offenses, an arrest and conviction for Aggravated Criminal Contempt (New York Penal Law 215.0) dwarf these offenses. There is no other way to put it than to say that the most serious criminal contempt offense in the State or City of New York that a criminal attorney in New York will defend against is New York Penal Code 215.52. Aggravated Criminal Contempt is classified as a “D” felony, with a maximum sentence of two and third to seven years in jail. Anyone who commits a first offense, whether a teacher, doctor, bartender, or MTA employee, faces a potential seven-year prison sentence.
The same fundamental components that underlie the [relatively] less serious Criminal Contempt charges also underlie arrests for violating NY PL 215.52. The first need is that there must be a valid order of protection that you were aware of since you were present in court when it was obtained (subject to some other factors that you should discuss with your counsel). Second, the covered party must have suffered a serious physical injury or a physical injury due to your willful or negligent actions.
Reckless VS. Intentional
While New York criminal defense lawyers find it more challenging to defend, the law of aggravated criminal contempt makes it simpler for assistant district attorneys to prosecute. Proof of careless and purposeful behavior is not required by the prosecution. Both “mental states” are acceptable. If you acted recklessly and the prosecution demonstrated the other components of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, you are guilty of the crime even though it was not your deliberate intent and desire to cause a physical injury or significant physical injury.
According to New York Penal Code 15.05(3), when you are aware of and consciously disregard a significant and unjustified danger that a specific outcome will occur or that the circumstances exist, you are acting recklessly in the eyes of the court. The risk must be of a kind and magnitude such that to ignore it would be a flagrant departure from the expected behavior in the circumstances in which you run. Your inebriation is not an excuse for your risky behavior.
- CRIMINAL CONTEMPT: NEW YORK PENAL LAW ARTICLE 215
- Criminal Contempt in the First Degree: New York Penal Law 215.51
- Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree
Physical Injury VS. Serious Physical Injury
There are two possible levels of hurt that can establish aggravated criminal contempt, just as there are two mental states that apply to this offense. Serious physical injury increases the degree of harm whereas physical injury is an impairment of one’s physical state or, as it is sometimes referred to in cases “severe pain.” These kinds of injuries increase the chance of death or result in death, serious long-term disfigurement, long-term health problems, long-term loss of function, or impairment of any bodily organ.
A physical injury could be a punch to the face that results in a bloody nose, but a significant physical injury could be a punch that breaks the nose and results in long-term breathing problems.
Defences And Criminal Defense Lawyer
Any response to a set of facts must be specially crafted to counter the available proof. Is the complainant a helpful person? If yes, how soon after the alleged incident did he or she notify the police about your “attack”? For instance, may any bruises be the consequence of something else? What caused the delay? There may have been witnesses. Have you made any negative remarks or accusations? Exist any reports of domestic incidents in the past? Likewise, there might be a variety of approaches embracing a variety of defenses.
The importance of getting started as soon as possible in the process cannot be overstated, even though you might not be able to recognize each of these strategies the first time you go before a court. There is little doubt that the prosecution will apply for bail and use all of its resources. You should be ready to be assertive when necessary and reserved when necessary, but always be prepared to refute any accusations.
Don’t let a charge of domestic violence or a violation of a protection order cause your family to suffer, lose your job, or result in a trip to central booking where you spend weeks, months, or even years in detention.