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Domestic Violence Cases are Difficult for Everyone Involved

Domestic Violence situations are difficult for everyone who is involved in handling them. Family dynamics can be extremely volatile. When domestic violence occurs, there are many people involved. Family Violence Laws encompass past or current spouses; children or step-children, parents and children, foster parents and foster children, siblings, and anyone who has ever lived or is living in the same residence. This is a broad definition of the relationships that are included in the definition of the domestic violence statutes. Domestic violence laws are created not just to deal with crimes that have already occurred; they are expected to intervene to prevent future assaults from happening. However, whenever a law is created that is expected to prevent future offenses before they have occurred, abuses to that law often follow. Many people are arrested in domestic violence situations who did not need to be arrested. Many are arrested who do need to be arrested, but still deserve a fair hearing in a court of law.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said that often police officers are called upon to enter a home and restrain one or more of the parties involved in the altercation. When this happens, it can be a dangerous situation for the police officers. In April of 2006, a New York City police officer responded to a domestic violence call in Albany County. During the course of that call, the officer had to struggle with and restrain a male subject. The officer in question and his partner ended up against a table which collapsed under the weight of the three people. The subject had pushed one of the officers onto the table before the officer in question was able to hand cuff him. The officer sustained a debilitating injury to his right shoulder. In July of 2007, he applied to the New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System to obtain accidental injury retirement benefits. The Hearing officer determined that this officer was not able to obtain these benefits because the injury could not be considered an accidental injury because it occurred in the normal course of performing his ordinary employment duties.

The officer argued that the collapse of the table was not an expected ordinary course of his employment duties. The state did not agree and refused his petition. The state maintains that responding to domestic violence calls and restraining unruly participants is a normal course of a police officer’s duties. If that officer in catastrophically injured in the course of those duties, the state does not feel that they should be responsible. A Westchester County Criminal Lawyer said the Officer appealed this decision. The State Court of Appeals upheld the verdict.

This type of situation is becoming all too common. Officers are expected to put their lives and bodies in danger to protect the citizens of this country. Yet when they are injured, the departments are not standing behind them. Recent changes in the employment laws in several states are permitting police departments to fire injured officers rather than ensure that they are taken care of for their sacrifice. It will not be long in this type of environment before young prospective officers refuse to take jobs in law enforcement. Why would anyone risk their livelihood and health to protect others knowing that when they get hurt, they will lose everything. Injured officers are losing their jobs, houses, and lives without the support of the very citizens whom they risk everything to protect. One has only to remember the events of 911 to acknowledge the risks that these people take every day. A profession that has always been more of a calling than a job, has now become too much of a risk to the officer’s ability to care for their families.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates have attorneys who can help. Because there are convenient offices throughout New York and the Metropolitan area, it is easy to locate one of these attorneys close to you. Whether you are the police officer who is injured and needs representation to recover what you have earned, or the suspect arrested for domestic violence. Whether you have been charged with domestic violence, sex crimes, or a theft crimes, we have legal counsel that can assist you.

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