Domestic violence charges in Pennsylvania are very serious. If you’re currently accused of committing an act of domestic violence, you have a lot on the line. Please continue reading and contact a seasoned Blue Bell criminal defense lawyer from Mudrick & Zucker to learn more about the potential penalties a domestic violence charge may warrant, as well as the best defenses against these charges. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What Penalties Accompany Domestic Violence Charges in Pennsylvania?

The penalties for domestic violence vary significantly, based on several factors including the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history. At the core, domestic violence can encompass a range of behaviors, from physical harm to emotional abuse, each carrying different legal consequences.

First and foremost, jail time is a common penalty for domestic violence convictions. The duration of incarceration depends on the offense’s gravity; it can range from days in less severe cases to years for more egregious acts. Furthermore, the court may impose fines, which also vary depending on the offense’s severity.

Another crucial aspect of domestic violence penalties is mandatory counseling or anger management programs. These interventions aim to address the underlying issues contributing to the offender’s behavior. In addition, the court might issue a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, which restricts the offender’s contact with the victim. Violating a PFA order can lead to separate criminal charges.

Beyond these direct penalties, there are other significant consequences. For instance, a domestic violence conviction can adversely affect child custody and visitation rights, potentially leading to limited or supervised access to children. This aspect is especially critical in cases where the victim and the accused share parental responsibilities.

What Are Some Viable Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges?

Of course, the specific defense we use in your case will depend on the specifics of your case. That said, some of the best potential defenses against domestic violence charges in Pennsylvania are as follows:

  • False Allegations: Unfortunately, some domestic violence accusations are baseless. In these cases, proving the falsehood of the claim is paramount.
  • Self-Defense: Asserting self-defense requires showing reasonable fear of imminent harm. This defense can be complex, necessitating skilled legal representation.
  • Lack of Proof: The prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Insufficient evidence can lead to acquittal.
  • Consent: In rare cases, consent may be relevant, though it’s a delicate and often controversial defense.
  • Alibi: Providing an alibi can effectively counter accusations, proving the accused wasn’t present at the alleged time of the incident.
  • Wrongful Identification: Mistaken identity can lead to wrongful accusations. Demonstrating the error can be a solid defense.
  • Constitutional Violations: If law enforcement violated the accused’s rights during the investigation, this could result in the dismissal of the charges.
  • Mental Incapacity: Demonstrating mental incapacity at the time of the alleged offense might be a viable defense, though it carries its own legal implications.

Don’t face domestic violence charges on your own. Contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer from Mudrick & Zucker today.