New York Penal Law § 240.75 – Aggravated Family Offense
The term Aggravated Family Offense refers to charges brought against someone who has a previous conviction for specified domestic violence crimes and is again arrested for a similar offense. Aggravated Family Violence offenses are class E felony offenses.The Elements of Aggravated Family Offense
The New York Aggravated Family Offense statute is less a substantive criminal law than an enhancement designed to provide harsher punishments for those arrested for a domestic violence crime and have a previous domestic violence conviction.
Under NY Penal Law § 240.75, prosecutors can bring Aggravated Family Offense charges if you are charged with a “specified offense” and have a previous conviction for one or more specified offenses within five years. Under § 240.75, specified offenses include:
- Assault in the first, second or third degree
- Menacing in the first, second or third degree
- Reckless endangerment in the first or second degree
- Stalking in the first, second, third or fourth degree
- Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation
- Strangulation in the first or second degree
- Manslaughter in the first or second degree
- Murder in the second degree
- Sexual misconduct
- Rape in the first or second degree,
- Criminal sexual act in the first, second or third degree
- Forcible touching
- Persistent sexual abuse
- Sexual abuse in the first, second or third degree
- Aggravated sexual abuse in the first, second or third degree
- Sexually motivated felony
- Predatory sexual assault
- Predatory sexual assault against a child
- Unlawful imprisonment in the first or second degree
- Coercion in the first, second or third degree
- Burglary in the first, second or third degree
- Criminal mischief in the first, second, third or fourth degree
- Criminal tampering in the first, second or third degree
- Criminal contempt in the first or second degree
- Aggravated criminal contempt
- Harassment in the first degree
- Aggravated harassment in the second degree
Notably, the prosecution must prove that the prior offense occurred within five years. However, any period you were incarcerated does not count towards the five years.Examples of Aggravated Family Offense
Due to the vast number of specified offenses, many situations can give rise to an Aggravated Family Offense. The most common example involves a defendant who was convicted of a family violence offense, and then, several years later, they are arrested for another specified offense. For the purposes of § 240.75, it does not matter if the original conviction involved the same victim as the more recent arrest. In other words, the focus is on whether you have a prior domestic violence conviction and not on who the specific victim was.What Are the Defenses to Aggravated Family Offense?
The defenses to an Aggravated Family Offense vary, depending on the specified offense you’ve been charged with. However, as a general rule, it is a defense that your prior conviction occurred more than five years before your recent arrest. Additionally, as is the case in most domestic violence charges, fabrication is also a common defense.What Are the Penalties for Violating NY Penal Law § 240.75?
An Aggravated Family Offense is a class E felony. In New York, all class E felony offenses are punishable by a term of up to seven years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.Have You Been Charged with an Aggravated Family Offense in New York?
If you were recently arrested for a domestic violence crime and you have a prior DV conviction on your record, you will most likely be charged with an Aggravated Family Offense under NY Penal Law § 240.75. This will undoubtedly increase your risk of facing jail time if you are convicted. At the New York criminal defense law firm of Tilem & Associates, P.C., our dedicated attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience aggressively advocating on behalf of men and women charged with domestic abuse and family violence crimes. We are immediately available to meet with you to get started working on a compelling defense to the charges you face. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.