Reviewing Domestic Violence Laws with a Philly Criminal Attorney

In Pennsylvania, domestic violence is identified by the intent of bodily harm against another individual in the same household. The severity of the victim’s injuries and classification of the exact action identified by the victim dictate the charges received. A Philly criminal attorney builds a defense for individuals who are accused of this crime in the state of Pennsylvania.

Who is the Victim?
When law enforcement is called into the scene, they must make snap decisions about the identity of the victim. The initial assessment determines which party is arrested. However, this initial assessment may identify the attacker as the victim, based on the injuries they have sustained. The objective of the criminal defense attorney is to determine the identity of the victim. A domestic violence victim (the defendant) has the right to file formal charges against their attacker.

How to Get a Protection Order
A protection order is a court order issued against the attacker. It identifies specific activities that are prohibited. The primary focus of the order is to prevent further attacks and injuries. The court prohibits the defendant from visiting known areas in which the victim visits, lives, or works. The defendant is also prohibited from participating in activities that could present risks to the victim or any children involved in the situation.

Increasing the Criminal Charges
Any time the defendant violates the court order, they incur in additional charges. The court will manage these additional charges in separate proceedings. If convicted, the defendant faces the criminal penalty for each individual charge.

Supervised Visitation for Parents
If the domestic violence case is connected to a divorce case, the judge may order supervised visitation. The domestic violence case won’t determine the custody assignment. However, it could play a role if there is a continuing risk to the children.

Pennsylvania courts apply criminal penalties for domestic violence based on the severity of the crime. If malice or an aggravated intent to cause harm is present, these penalties could equate to the maximum sentence. Defendants who are facing domestic violence charges should contact a Philly criminal attorney by visiting website for more information.

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