Depending on the severity of the crime, there will be different maximum penalties and different general penalties a person can expect. Philadelphia domestic violence penalties are based on the sentencing guidelines and the facts of the case. A simple assault and other misdemeanor charges could lead to a year or two in jail, significant fines, and probation. Aggravated assault and other felony charges could lead to ten to 20 years of imprisonment, probation, and expensive fines. There are also lesser options depending on the circumstance, severity, and prior history of the individual charged. More minor penalties include anger management, restitution payments, community service, and addiction treatment.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, reach out to an experienced lawyer today. An accomplished domestic violence attorney could fight to get your charges reduced or dropped.
Domestic violence can come in many forms. Some of the charges prosecuted as domestic violence are related to intimidation and control such as theft, destruction of property (criminal mischief) and stalking. Other charges are not specific to domestic violence, but they will be prosecuted by a special unit if the allegations are that the two people live together. The most common domestic violence charges in that category are harassment, stalking, simple assaults, aggravated assaults, terroristic threats, recklessly endangering another person, and strangulation of another person. In Philadelphia, a domestic violence enhancement will call for a greater penalty due to the relationship between the parties involved. For instance, a strangulation charge will be graded as a felony if it is between domestic partners.
The laws regarding child custody and visitation after being charged with domestic violence will be specific to a person’s case, including whether a stay-away order was granted against them, and whether the children were involved in any way. While a domestic violence case is pending, they may not be able to visit their kids or have any interaction with them or the mother or father of the children. A domestic violence charge can seriously affect a person’s ability to see children if the other parent is involved in the case. Also, despite whatever custody orders are in place, if a protection from abuse order is granted against either parent and it includes allegations of abuse in front of or to the children, that could also override the custody agreement. If a domestic violence case involved children, the defendant should be aware that going forward there could be changes to any custody and visitation agreements.
An attorney familiar with Philadelphia’s domestic violence laws, cases, police officers, and prosecutors is a great ally to help you with your case. The benefits begin with understanding the process and getting accurate information about the process. An attorney can show you how to not make it worse for themselves by violating court orders, agreeing to conditions that deprive them of their rights, and help explain what happened without making a statement that could be used against them in court. Another advantage is to have a lawyer who understands the Philadelphia family violence unit, what to expect when dealing with them, and what the Commonwealth will use to prosecute you.
Domestic violence cases can have a variety of constitutional concerns as far as search, seizure, statements, and confronting the witnesses. The benefit of having a lawyer well-versed in these constitutional laws and focused on criminal defense is that they will know how best to use the Constitution to protect your interest. In addition, when challenging the credibility of the witnesses, an experienced attorney will know how to challenge the witness’s recollection of events.
If you are facing Philadelphia domestic violence penalties, reach out to a skilled legal professional today.