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What department or office labels a case/convition to be Domestic Violence?

New York, NY |

I pleaded guilty to 120.00 (2). Based on what is a case label Domestic Violence? How is the intimate relationship determined? based on a statement, any document needed? I actually didn't have a intimate relationship with this person. how to argue for my crime not to be label Domestic Violence since it might being some immigration issues?

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Best Answer

Well, this question is loaded with many legal possibilities, outcomes and results. Since you are now aware, the "labeling" of domestic violence can be at minimum a scarlet letter on your reputation and at worse can get you deported. I didnt mention the issue of incarceration because you already plead guilty based on how you asked your question. Moreover, it appears that you did not receive jail time. The category of "domestic violence" has changed over the last 15 years and it seems to the defense bar that each year it has broaden to encompass, live-in relations, child-in-common, family members, divorce relationships, etc. Your criminal record on the guilty plea of section 120.00 will only show an A misdemeanor on your rap sheet. However, an investigative body will see that an OOP was issued. That investigative body can have access to your "docket" which will reveal the DV component. Make sure to gather as much proof as possible demonstrating to immigration officials that the case was a DV in the "classic" sense. Otherwise, you can choose to appeal the plea or have an attorney withdraw your plea so that you can litigate these issues.


The stigma attached to the label of "domestic violence" is constantly increasing in society generally and in the legal system. Therefore, you face the somewhat ironic possibility that this incident will follow you for the rest of your life, becoming more important over time, rather than less. Because you mention potential immigration issues, I strongly recommend that you immediately engage an attorney who is experienced in BOTH criminal law and immigration law to fight this on every available legal ground. Do not wait! The more time that passes, the harder it will be. If you search here on Avvo, you should be able to find one in your area--if not, contact the New York State Bar Association ( for a referral. Good luck!

IMPORTANT LEGAL NOTICE: Ms. Brown’s response above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown’s responses to all questions posted on AVVO are intended to provide general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual. In order to offer legal advice about this or any similar situation, a qualified attorney would likely need to consider many factors not stated in the question or response above. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, please contact an attorney in your state. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York, and may be contacted by email at: