When a domestic violence incident occurs in the City of Buffalo, there are a variety of criminal charges that the accused person may face.
Not all of these charges necessarily involve causing or attempting to cause injury to a household member.
Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree is a charge that may be brought in domestic violence situations where the defendant is accused of interfering with reporting the incident.
While there are several different circumstances under which a person may be accused of Criminal Mischief in the Fourth Degree – such as any intentional damage to another’s property or recklessly damaging another’s property worth more than $250 – in domestic violence cases this charge is most often brought when the defendant is accused of intentionally disabling or removing a telephone or similar communication device for the purpose of preventing a household member from using it to request emergency assistance.
The charge is supported under circumstances where the communication equipment is disabled or removed while a person was attempting to seek, or actually already engaged in seeking, emergency help from law enforcement, the fire department or emergency medical services.
It is also supported where a person is being prevented from attempting to contact any other person or party (such as another family member) to request help protecting themselves or another person from physical injury.
The fact that the person accused of this crime may have actually owned the phone or other equipment that was disabled or removed is not a defense to the charge.
If you have been arrested in a domestic violence case, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Please call us at 716-542-5444.