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Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Lawyer
Pennsylvania Code Section 2711 gives a law enforcement officer the right to arrest someone without a warrant if there is probable cause to believe that an aggravated assault, simple assault, stalking, or certain other offenses have been committed against a family member. Domestic violence is taken very seriously by the Courts and law enforcement in the state of Pennsylvania. You could face criminal charges even in situations where the victim does not cooperate with prosecution. A Pennsylvania domestic violence lawyer can help you if you have been accused of domestic violence, and it is a good idea to talk to a lawyer to discuss your options.
Domestic Violence Laws in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Code Section 6102 defines domestic abuse. Domestic abuse occurs when certain acts occur between family members, sexual partners, intimate partners, or people who share biological parenthood. As a Pennsylvania domestic violence lawyer can explain, these acts include:
- Causing, or attempting to cause bodily injury including serious bodily injury either intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.
- Intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly involving a family member in involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
- Committing, or trying to commit, sexual assault or statutory sexual assault against a family member.
- Attempting or committing aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, or rape.
- Incest, regardless of whether a deadly weapon is used.
- Placing a family member in reasonable fear of suffering imminent serious bodily injury.
- False imprisonment.
- Knowingly engaging in a course of conduct, such as stalking or following someone, that causes your family member to be in reasonable fear of bodily injury.
Code Section 6113 gives victims of abuse the right to seek a protective order. A protection from abuse order (PFA) may be issued that requires the alleged abuser to:
- Refrain from coming near the victim or the victim’s home or place of employment.
- Turn in all firearms to the local police department.
In addition to having a PFA order issued against you, you could also be charged with various criminal offenses for domestic violence. There is no separate crime specifically applying to the abuse, or attempted abuse, of a loved one, which means it may be in the best interest of those accused to contact a Pennsylvania domestic violence lawyer since you could be charged with:
- Aggravated assault (Code Section 2702).
- Simple assault (Code Section 2701).
- Recklessly endangering another person (Code Section 2705).
- Harassment (Code Section 2709).
- Stalking (Code Section 2709.1).
Most of these offenses are misdemeanors. However, aggravated assault is a serious felony. Repeat offenses, and especially those that cause serious bodily injury, may also result in felony charges. Based on the many potential charges and consequences that can accompany a domestic abuse charge, it is beneficial to contact a Pennsylvania domestic abuse lawyer as soon as possible. He or she will work with you to make sure that your rights vigorously defended throughout the process of handling the dispute.
How a Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help
Being charged with domestic violence can change your life. Custody and divorce proceedings can be affected and an accusation of abuse could result in you being forced to leave a family home. Jail time, fines, court costs, and a criminal record are also possible outcomes of conviction for an offense related to domestic violence.
You have the right to speak up for yourself to try to prevent a criminal conviction or even to prevent an order of protection from remaining in effect. A Pennsylvania domestic violence lawyer can help you to put together defenses or to negotiate a plea bargain in exchange for lesser charges and/or lesser penalties. Contact an attorney if you have been accused of domestic violence in order to get the legal advice you need when facing serious accusations.