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NY Sets New Domestic Violence Charges, Penalties

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New York has established a new felony for repeat low-level domestic violence offenses.

The measure signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo applies the charge of Aggravated Family Offense to defendants who commit certain misdemeanors and already have a conviction for a misdemeanor or felony against a household member within the previous five years.

Punishment is one to four years in prison.

Sponsors say many abusers repeatedly commit low-level offenses that carry minor penalties, enabling them to continue subjecting victims to fear and harm.

Sen. Stephen Saland says Thursday the measure also elevates domestic violence harassment from a violation to a misdemeanor. That can mean up to a year in jail.

It also prohibits anyone subject to an order of protection and charged in that person's death from controlling that person's burial.

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