Domestic Violence in Pennsylvania covers a wide array of crimes from stalking to homicide and, depending on the circumstances and severity of the crime, can be treated as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction may involve attending domestic violence treatment programs, probation, fines and jail time while a felony conviction could involve many years in prison.
In Pennsylvania, any of the following can be considered domestic violence:
- Domestic Assault
- Stalking, Trespassing and/or Harassment
- Violation of a Protective Order (Restraining Order)
- Child Abuse and Child Endangerment
It is common for domestic violence charges to stem from couples having disagreements. Arguments and domestic disputes can escalate into domestic assault charges being brought against the defendant.
If the alleged victim changes their mind later, this does not matter to the police—the charges will still stick and you will still need to defend yourself.
Oftentimes the accused was lying about an assault to begin with during a heated argument, causing the defendant to be arrested. For all of these reasons, it is important to build a strong defense and hire an experienced attorney who knows how to litigate and effectively battle the charges.
Unfortunately, in many instances domestic violence charges are exaggerated or false and are used to get the upper hand in custody battles or divorces.
The courts in Pennsylvania are very tough on domestic violence offenders. If you have been charged with domestic violence, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced domestic violence attorney for a free consultation. An attorney can listen to the details of your case and help you understand your rights and how to defend them.
Just because you have been arrested does not mean you will be convicted—there are several defenses to domestic violence charges.
A criminal record can be very damaging, especially a domestic violence charge. Employers or anyone looking into your background will see this conviction and may not be able to understand your individual circumstance surrounding the incident. It is difficult to get hired when a domestic violence conviction is found in your background check.
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Pennsylvania, call an experienced Pittsburgh domestic violence attorney like Justin J. Ketchel for a free consultation. Ketchel Law will aggressively fight on your behalf to ensure that your arrest has a minimal impact on all aspects of your life and your future. Attorney Ketchel will investigate your case thoroughly, taking every available option to have your charges reduced or dismissed.