Domestic violence charges are serious charges. In Pennsylvania, domestic violence charges are based on the circumstances and the standard charges include assault, aggravated assault or battery. It is up to the prosecution in Pennsylvania to determine if domestic violence charges will be pressed. Under Pennsylvania laws, domestic violence includes causing bodily injury; assault; or knowingly engaging in repeated conduct that creates the fear of bodily injury.
Domestic violence is considered to take place between family members, household members, sexual partners and some others. The penalties and consequences of domestic violence charges are serious and can range from a mandatory anger management class to felony charges which can result in incarceration. Most crimes also involve an act and a mental component for the accused individual to be convicted of the crime.
Because intent, or knowingly engaging in the activity, is a required element of most criminal charges, there are different methods for which a lack of intent may be a successful challenge to a criminal charge. A strong criminal defense strategy may be based on lack of knowledge; a lack of intent; insanity; intoxication; that no violence was committed; or self defense. It is always important to be familiar with the elements of the crime and the facts of the alleged incident.
Legal resources are available to all parties involved in domestic violence situations and individuals who have been accused of a domestic violence crime should be familiar with the legal protections available to them. Domestic violence should never be treated lightly which is why parties impacted by it should be familiar with their legal protections and the resources available to them.
Source: Statelaws.findlaw.com, “Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Laws,” Accessed April 2, 2018