Domestic violence happens in Philadelphia far too often, and when it does, it is always alarming because it often happens between people who care about each other. Sometimes, though, allegations of domestic violence are voiced as a way to get back at someone. So, when it comes to domestic violence, attorney Joseph D. Lento wants to know your story so that he can investigate and defend against the accusation with clarity and legal authority.
With more than 15 years of experience representing clients who have been accused of domestic violence, Joseph D. Lento is passionate about it. His clients have been women, men, wives, husbands, roommates, etc. He understands the emotional impact and the complex nature of this crime. He also is skilled at defending against crimes often associated with domestic violence. Contact Joseph D. Lento today to see how he may be able to help you with your domestic violence charge.
What is domestic violence in Philadelphia?
Domestic violence is not a specific crime in Pennsylvania. There are a set of crimes that can constitute domestic violence when the alleged victim is the alleged offender's:
- Boyfriend/girlfriend or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend
- Child, including natural, adopted, and step
- Spouse or ex-spouse
- Housemate or roommate or former housemate or roommate
Crimes most often associated with domestic violence include:
- Criminal Trespass
- Violation of Protective Order
- Endangering the Welfare of Children
- Child Abuse
- Sexual Assault
According to 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2711, domestic violence acts as probable cause, which allows a police officer to arrest someone without a warrant when the officer believes the person has violated some of the offenses listed above in addition to other crimes, namely:
- Involuntary manslaughter
- Simple assault
- Aggravated assault
- Recklessly endangering another person
- Terroristic threats
Before an officer arrests you, however, the officer must have first observed “recent physical injury to the victim or other corroborative evidence.”
What is the punishment if convicted of domestic violence in Philadelphia?
If you are convicted of domestic violence, then the sentence imposed by the judge will be dependent on certain factors, including but not limited to:
- the overall facts and circumstances of the domestic violence event;
- your criminal history;
- the severity of the victim's injuries; and
- the grade of the underlying offense.
You could face anything from a third-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum jail sentence of one year and a maximum fine of $2,500 to a first-degree felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a maximum fine of $25,000.
In addition to incarceration and fines, you could be required to register as a sex offender. You will also have your Constitutional right to use and possess firearms taken away from you.
Philadelphia Domestic Violence Attorney
As you can see, the offense of domestic violence carries a wide range of consequences. It is important for you to fight the charge strategically and aggressively. Joseph D. Lento will listen to what you have to say, outline your options, and help you make the best decisions for you and your future.
Contact the Lento Law Firm today either online or at 215-535-5353 to set up a consultation.