Montgomery County Domestic Violence Attorney

Approximately 33% of women and 25% of men have experienced violence involving an intimate partner. There are nearly 21,000 calls received across the country each day regarding acts of domestic violence. Roughly 43% of dating college women have experienced a form of abuse either verbally, physically, or sexually. Over 70 agencies and organizations offer services related to domestic violence in Pennsylvania currently. In 2017 in Montgomery County, there was 1,658 Protection from Abuse (PFA) orders filed.

Understanding Domestic Violence

Acts of domestic violence involve an individual intentionally or recklessly inflicting bodily injury or making threats or otherwise creating fear of bodily harm against a member of their family or household. These may be acts including assault, rape, child abuse, stalking, and more. In Pennsylvania, such criminal charges may constitute either a misdemeanor or a felony level offense.

Designation of Domestic Violence Charges

Pennsylvania statute does not specifically categorize these offenses as being domestic violence. They are charged according to the nature of the offense such as assault, recklessly endangering another person, strangulation, etc. Charges that are misdemeanors, such as simple assault, are usually of the second-degree. These offenses are punishable by a maximum of two years of imprisonment and a maximum of a $5,000 fine.

Responsibilities of Responding Law Enforcement

Disclosures to Victims

Any officer(s) who responds to an incident of domestic violence is required to follow a certain protocol that involves disclosure and reporting requirements. The alleged victim(s) must be told by the officer and provided information in writing that lists the local community resources available that include options for medical treatment and shelter. The officer will also inform them of their right to file a PFA petition, which may be completed on the first floor of the Montgomery County Courthouse.

Report Requirements

Any officer who responds to a home where there was a complaint of domestic abuse or violence must file a report using the Federal National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). This incident report will summarize the key details. If an arrest was not made, the report should contain details that justify the grounds for this decision.

Court-Imposed Actions

The court will generally impose the PFA order on the same business day. The PFA will typically order that the alleged abuser vacate the home and may not contact any alleged victim(s). If there are minor children, the court will act in the best interest of their safety when determining custody arrangements and any need for interim financial support from the parents. All PFA orders are promptly received by the Pennsylvania State Police for centralized access among all authorities statewide.

The parties involved will be notified of a PFA hearing, which must occur within 10 days. This hearing is conducted to confirm the validity of the alleged violence or abuse. The alleged abuser (defendant) will be formally reminded of their right to be represented by legal counsel. This individual may be ordered to relinquish any weapons that they own or possess. The court is able to implement temporary orders necessary to ensure the safety of the alleged victim(s) and any minor children.

Importance of Retaining Experienced Legal Counsel

Those who are facing allegations associated with domestic or intimate partner violence or abuse should promptly consult with an attorney. The courts are able to impose orders that may have significant consequences for the alleged abuser. Having seasoned legal counsel will help to ensure your rights are not violated and to begin developing a comprehensive defense strategy.

An Attorney for Defending Against Charges of Domestic Violence in Montgomery County

The Lento Law Firm has a wealth of experience in defending clients facing charges that stem from allegations of violence in Montgomery County. For a confidential case evaluation, contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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