Friday, October 26, 2012

New York Increases Penalties for Repeat Domestic Abusers

New York State has enacted new penalties for repeat domestic abusers, including tougher standards for bail pending trial.

The law was signed on Thursday (October 25).  It creates the crime of “Aggravated Family Offense.”  Under the law defendants who commit certain offenses against family members and have a previous conviction for doing so within the past five years can be charged with a Class E felony, punishable by up to four years in prison.  The law also expands the definition of “Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree” to include when a defendant, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm, causes physical injury to an individual, or to a family or household member of that individual.

The new law also requires judges to consider various risk factors, including access to firearms and previous violations of orders of protection, when setting bail for people accused of a family offense.

For more on the new law and its requirements click here.