When you need a lawyer to represent you for a domestic violence, domestic abuse, or Protection from Abuse (PFA) matter, contact a criminal attorney from the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania criminal defense firm of The Zeiger Firm. Our attorneys understand that domestic abuse and domestic violence cases involve both criminal and civil courts, and we will zealously represent you if you are charged with abuse and other domestic crimes.
There are frequently allegations of assault, battery, and false imprisonment; in addition, domestic violence claims may also involve weapons such as guns. That is why you need an attorney who understands the various charges and how to deal with them. Whether you are a person seeking protection from domestic abuse, or you have been charged with domestic violence, it is crucial to know your rights and to hire an attorney who will fight as hard for you as the prosecutor or opposing attorney will battle against you.
At The Zeiger Firm, we regularly defend clients against allegations of domestic abuse, including a variety of criminal charges. We can handle any accompanying civil proceedings to help limit the effect of a domestic violence charge on your life. We understand that domestic violence carries social and professional consequences as well as possible criminal penalties. Our skilled defense attorneys seek to mitigate all consequences.
Domestic Violence Defined
Contrary to what many people believe, Pennsylvania law does not set out a separate criminal charge of “domestic violence.” Instead, defendants face criminal charges that may have additional consequences due to a preexisting relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim. When a criminal case is categorized as domestic violence, there may be accompanying civil cases and penalties in addition to the criminal proceedings. It is critical to have an attorney on your side who understands how to handle all aspects of a domestic violence case.
Under Pennsylvania law, domestic violence and abuse occur between family or household members. This can include the following:
- People who live or lived as spouses
- Any other family relation
- Intimate partners
- Former intimate partners
- Parents of the same child
- Family or household members may be related by blood, marriage, or neither in the case of intimate partners or parents of the same child.
Domestic abuse can involve any of the following against the above family or household members:
- Causing someone to fear imminent injury
- Attempting to cause injury
- Recklessly or intentionally causing bodily injury
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated indecent assault
- Sexual or physical assault of children
- Engaging in conduct that repeatedly causes fear of injury
Abuse often involves a weapon but does not have to. In fact, it does not have to involve any actual harm as long as the alleged victim suffers reasonable fear of harm. However, the key word here is “reasonable,” as domestic abuse will not occur if another reasonable person would not actually fear injury under the same circumstances.
Anytime a crime is classified as domestic violence, the case can become substantially more complicated. The Zeiger Firm represents clients facing a variety of domestic violence charges and can assist with every aspect of a case.