If the police have charged you with domestic violence in PA, know that the state considers this a serious offense and you should retain a lawyer. Speak with an attorney as soon as you are able to protect your rights and your future. At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our criminal defense attorneys have experience with the intricacies of domestic abuse and can help you with your case.
DOMESTIC ABUSE UNDER PA LAW
In Pennsylvania, the courts do not consider domestic violence as a separate charge from assault, aggravated assault, or battery. From a legal perspective, assault may be the same in a domestic situation as an assault between strangers at a bar. However, the police have other factors to consider regarding domestic violence. When victims call the police and make an allegation of abuse, the law requires the police to make an arrest. Regardless of whether victims make the call to the police – even if they change their mind – the police will arrest the person they believe is causing violence. It is not up to the victim, but the prosecutor to charge the assailant.
TYPES OF DOMESTIC ABUSE IN PENNSYLVANIA
If someone intentionally causes bodily harm, fear of bodily harm, assaults, rapes, or sexually abuses minor children, the police could charge them with domestic abuse. These acts can happen between family members or members of the same household, sexual partners, or people who share parenting responsibilities.
PENALTIES FOR DOMESTIC ABUSE
Penalties for domestic violence have a wide range, and they depend on the situation. For instance, in some situations, the courts may order the assailant to attend anger management courses. However, if the assault was a felony, it will likely lead to incarceration. Sentencing depends on the severity of the abuse and the assailant’s pattern of conduct. If it’s a first offense, he or she will likely receive a lighter sentence than someone who has been in front of the court many times for domestic violence.
As with other assault charges, domestic abuse penalties depend on the intent of the assailant and level of violence that occurred. Domestic abuse can be a felony if the result was serious bodily harm, if the victim was a child, or if a weapon was involved.
Whether you believe someone is targeting you unfairly or you simply need a proactive defense, we can help. Talk with one of our attorneys for possible defenses in domestic violence cases. Defense strategies range from lack of intent to self-defense depending on the circumstances. Whatever happened, our attorneys know domestic situations are often complicated, and we are dedicated to providing you a fair defense against domestic violence charges.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGE
If police arrest you for domestic violence, know you still have a right to not speak. Take advantage of that right, and wait for your attorney; Pennsylvania statutes are tough surrounding this issue. It’s possible to incriminate yourself even when you believe you are explaining the circumstances. Between the arrest and trial, avoid contacting the alleged victim, don’t defend yourself on social media, and be as calm as possible when talking with police and investigators. Talk to an attorney for help with your charges.