The consequences of a domestic violence charge are perhaps the most traumatic experienced by any criminal charge. Suppose you’ve been accused of attacking someone in your family. In that case, you run the danger of going to jail and being unable to return home, seeing your children, and permanently destroying family ties. It is critical to have an effective defense during this trying period.
DOMESTIC ABUSE AND YOUR FAMILY
Domestic violence involves abuse against current or former spouses, live-in or former partners, children, parents, related family members by blood or marriage, co-parents, and current or former sexual partners.
In Pennsylvania, you don’t have to physically injure your family member to be charged with domestic violence. You can still be charged if you create fear of impending injury. Domestic violence in PA includes assault, stalking, rape, sexual assault, and false imprisonment.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACCUSATIONS
If a domestic abuse charge is filed in Pittsburgh, courts will usually not dismiss the charges even if the alleged victim asks to withdraw them.
Often, during a divorce or custody battle, one party will accuse the other of domestic violence – even if there is no merit to these claims. These false accusations can still lead to many serious legal problems for the accused.
PROTECTION FROM ABUSE ORDERS
In Pennsylvania, victims of domestic violence may petition the courts for a protection from abuse order (PFA). A PFA order may be filed against a spouse, ex-spouse, parent, child, or other intimate partner or family member. PFAs remain in effect for up to three years and offer protective relief to victims of abuse in several ways; for example, by ordering the alleged abuser to:
- Stop talking to the victim
- Hand in any firearms or other weapons you may have
- Avoid going places where the victim often goes, such as their school, home, or workplace.
- See a counselor
If you are subject to a PFA order, you will be prohibited from returning home if you live with the victim. The penalties for breaching a PFA order can be severe, including fines of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.
HOW A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGE CAN BE DANGEROUS FOR YOU
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be sentenced to prison time. During an arrest, the police might take possession of your guns and ammunition. You can permanently lose your right to own a firearm if you are convicted of a domestic violence crime. Domestic violence allegations can damage your family’s stability for good. For life, your ties with family members may be destroyed.
When your employer finds out you were arrested for a violent crime, it can harm your job and future career opportunities. You will be saddled with a criminal record that might make it difficult to obtain employment, join the military, obtain specific professional licenses, or pursue higher education. You may lose your job as a result of this information becoming public.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ARRESTS
The police will investigate the situation thoroughly when they are called in. This includes looking for injuries or any other forms of abuse on the victim’s body. If probable cause is found, then you will be arrested.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWS
While Pennsylvania does not have one all-encompassing law for domestic abuse crimes, various criminal statutes depend on the nature of the charge. These include the state’s Protection from Abuse Act and the federal Violence Against Women Act–which can come into play if you violate a protective order. Most times, however, domestic violence crimes will fall under assault per Title 18, Chapter 27 of the Pennsylvania Code.
SPEAK TO A PITTSBURGH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEY FOR A STRONG DEFENSE
If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you need to contact a top PA criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced Pittsburgh domestic violence lawyer may not be able to repair your connection with the other person. However, they can fight on your behalf so that you don’t have to go to jail, lose your rights to see your children or other dependents or suffer additional penalties. Only talk to the cops if your attorney is present. To elicit an admission of guilt from you, law enforcement will ask questions for you to say anything inadvertently or inadvertently admitting guilt.
It may be challenging, but you must avoid communicating with the individual who accused you. If you call, text, message them on social media, or talk to them in any capacity, anything said could be used against you in court.
When you visit your Pittsburgh domestic violence lawyer, inform them about everything that has occurred, including the names of any potential witnesses. Your Pittsburgh domestic violence attorney will need as much detailed information as possible.
Questions? Contact us.
Your rights are at stake, and you need the best legal representation to protect them. If you have been charged with a PA Domestic Violence felony, you must contact our office at (610) 541-2859 to setup a consultation. Your future is at stake!
1210 N. Middletown Road, Glen Mills, PA 19342
8 West Front, Media, PA 19063