Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi Legislative


Hevesi Laws Strengthen Protection for Victims of Domestic Violence

photo Hevesi argues for tougher domestic violence legislation on the floor of the State Assembly.
The first two bills authored by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi passed both houses of the New York State legislature and were recently signed into law by Governor Pataki. These laws give victims of domestic violence stronger orders of protection by increasing penalties for repeat offenders who commit the most egregious crimes.

After consulting with the office of Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown, Hevesi and Domestic Violence Bureau Chief Scott Kessler drafted two pieces of legislation. The first corrected a gap in the penal law that had enabled certain repeat offenders to avoid a penalty enhancement in existing law. The second increased jail-time for perpetrators who repeatedly violated orders of protection and committed the worst crimes including physical abuse, stalking or threatening their victim with a weapon.

“I am very proud that my first laws were created with the help of my friends in the Queens District Attorney’s Office. My first experience in government was working in the Domestic Violence Bureau of the Queens DA’s office as a paralegal. It is especially gratifying to be able to give them the tools they need to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens. I am eternally grateful for their help,” Hevesi said.

Assembly bill A.10151 / S.7055 was written to address a serious problem in New York State; that orders of protection were being routinely violated. That troubling reality indicated that the penalties set in existing law had proven insufficient to deter repeat offenders. Hevesi’s bill increased the maximum penalty for violating an order of protection from a class E felony to a class D felony, which carries with it a penalty of up to seven years in jail. Bill A.10150 / S.7054 closed a loophole in the existing law by adding aggravated criminal contempt to the list of predicate offenses that raised misdemeanor-level criminal contempt to felony-level criminal contempt.

“We will not tolerate domestic violence in New York State”

Both bills had the support of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the New York State District Attorney’s Association. The bills were carried through the State Senate by Queens Senator Serphin Maltese and passed overwhelmingly in both houses.

“It was a privilege to have Senator Maltese sponsor these bills in the Senate. I am proud that we worked together on the first two laws of my career,” Hevesi said.

Hevesi’s bills were part of a three-bill domestic violence package designed to provide longer and stronger orders of protection. A.9907A, a measure introduced by Westchester Assembly member Amy Paulin and co-sponsored by Hevesi, increased the duration of orders of protection in criminal courts from three to five years in misdemeanor cases and from five to eight years for felony convictions.

“These bills send a message to the perpetrators of domestic violence: We will not tolerate domestic violence offenses in New York State. No New Yorker should have to live being harassed, threatened or abused!”

Local Programs Available to Residents
of the 28th Assembly District

Stop Graffiti Program
  • Stop Graffiti Program (718) 263-5687 — Residents of our community are encouraged to call our new graffiti hotline. My office will coordinate free cleanup of the site. Before the graffiti is cleaned each location will be photographed by my staff to assist in the prosecution of the vandals. Evidence collection is coordinated with the Queens County DA’s Office and local Police Precincts.

  • Senior Medical Alert ID’s — These free identification cards include basic information such as name and address as well as the phone number of an emergency contact person. If desired, the card can list any medications, allergies or special conditions that an EMT or doctor should be aware of if they need to treat the card holder.

  • Child Safety Initiative — After consulting with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children my office will be providing free safety identification cards. In the event a child is lost this information will be readily available to give to authorities and others assisting in the search.

  • Services Brought to Buildings — My staff and I are available to set up a table in the lobby of your building for several hours to hear residents’ concerns about our community and state government. We are also able to produce free senior medical ID’s and child safety IDs on the spot.

*For more information on the programs listed above please call my office at (718) 263-5595*

Have an idea you would like to share with me? Many of the laws now on the books began as ideas expressed by private citizens. I would also appreciate your thoughts on how my office may serve you or our community. I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Mail this response card to:
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi
98-08 Metropolitan Avenue
Forest Hills, New York 11379

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