Under Pennsylvania law, domestic violence (Title 23, Chapters 61-67 http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/23/00.061..HTM) is defined as violent acts committed against a family member or a member of your household. Charges of domestic violence should be taken very seriously, as they are punished harshly.
Domestic violence can be either physical abuse or psychological abuse, often directed towards significant others and children. If arrested, you are usually charged with the specific crime committed. Most frequently, domestic violence charges occur when someone commits the following crimes against a family or household member:
- Physical or verbal assault
- Sexual assault or rape
- Abuse of a child
- Murder or manslaughter
These charges are very serious and come with steep penalties. Often, the crimes are punished more harshly if they are committed against a family or household member. This means you are facing felony charges and spending years in prison, in addition to other requirements like anger management courses. You could even facing up to twenty years in prison for a domestic violence charge, especially if it is not your first domestic violence charge.
Why You Need a Domestic Violence Attorney
Because the charges are taken so seriously and are prosecuted so harshly, you need an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney to help you with your case. An attorney who is familiar with domestic violence charges and the best defenses can help you fight the charges against you and make sure that you do not face the extremely harsh penalties from a domestic violence conviction.
Some of the best defenses for a domestic violence charge include: lack of intent and/or knowledge; being provoked; being intoxicated; acting in self-defense; no violence committed; and insanity at the time of the crime.
Call us right away if you have been arrested for a domestic violence charge. Our Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers will aggressively defend you in court.