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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Chester County Domestic Violence Lawyer

In Chester County, domestic violence is taken very seriously by prosecutors and the courts, as well as many private organizations such as Women Against Abuse and other domestic programs throughout the county. These programs assist the prosecutors with resources and knowledge in aiming to attack an alleged perpetrator of domestic violence or abuse. In many cases, those accused of such a crime are often made to feel as if they are guilty before their case even begins.

When a spouse or other family member makes a complaint and an organization gets involved, it becomes very difficult to defend oneself even if the facts are on their side. Therefore, the only way to create a level playing field when fighting allegations of domestic violence or abuse is to obtain the services of an experienced Chester County domestic violence attorney. An experienced defense attorney can not only assist in building a strong defense based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case but can also help prepare those individuals for what to expect at each step of the legal process.

Elements of a Domestic Violence Charge

In Pennsylvania, domestic violence is defined by elements of particular crimes in the statute and/or Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Domestic violence in and of itself is a term that’s used in a conclusory type of manner, meaning domestic violence is the actual crime. That is, if one spouse attacks another, the crime would be assault or aggravated assault depending on the seriousness of the injuries. If one individual threatens another, the crime may be terroristic threats or an underlining charge of simple assault or something along those lines.

However, the way domestic violence cases are typically viewed by society, it can sometimes seem as though a person must prove their innocence before the government proves their guilt. Therefore, having the right Chester County domestic violence attorney at the earliest possible point can help an accused individual begin to prepare defenses, obtain statements from other family members or eyewitnesses contradicting the alleged victim’s version of events, and preparing for any possible defenses or bias that the victim may have when a trial may be heard.

Severity of the Crime

There are many elements that make up a domestic violence charge. Domestic violence in and of itself is not tolerated, meaning the prosecution and courts look closer at cases involving crimes that have begun through domestic violence. Therefore, if an accused individual should be charged with the crime of domestic violence, their ability to carry a firearm, live in their own home, and work and/or survive generally can be affected even before a conviction.

In order to combat this at the very earliest time or to prevent this from occurring, an individual should seek out the services of an experienced Chester County domestic violence attorney. Only then can a person feel that their rights are being protected, and that at every point in a juncture of the case, there is an opposing side to protect the defendant. Society can sometimes believe that just the charge of domestic violence can imply guilt, however an individual can effectively combat this with the use of a knowledgeable lawyer.

Penalties

There are a number of possible penalties when it comes to domestic violence cases. The details  of each individual case are ultimately what determine the possible consequences a person could face. These include:

  • Diversionary programs
  • Probation
  • Anger management classes
  • Community service
  • Incarceration

There are also long term consequences that come into play with a domestic violence conviction. For instance, a person could be expelled from their home, or have their livelihood or job affected immediately even upon the accusation of domestic violence. If and when a conviction takes place, an individual might be placed on certain Pennsylvania registries. It is many times impossible or extremely costly, in both time and money, to reverse one’s listing on these registries.

Aggravating Factors

Having strong representation can bring things to light that may reduce the impact of what otherwise would be very serious charges. Penalties involving domestic violence revolve around the circumstances and the specific charges listed by the Commonwealth when attempting to obtain a conviction. The more significant the charge, the more significant the penalties. For instance, if the case is one of aggravated assault, the sentence imposed will be more serious than if it were a question of simple assault. Whether or not these are continuing courses of conduct often affects a case.

Importance of an Attorney

Only with the assistance of an attorney can an individual be assured that their rights are being protected, that all possible defenses can be raised and challenged in regards to the evidence presented by the government and, in many cases, even lead to an acquittal. Domestic violence is often one-sided and because of the way domestic violence is viewed in society, it is often tainted from the beginning.

Just because a person makes a domestic violence complaint does not mean the accused is guilty of such. Any individual involved should be sure to consult with a Chester County domestic violence attorney to properly defend against their charge. Domestic violence is taken seriously, bail can often be extremely high and, as a result, having an attorney from the very outset is the only way to properly defend against such charges.