Domestic violence is considered a crime of abuse in Pennsylvania. According to Pennsylvania Statutes, Title 23, Sections 6102 and 6113, some of the crimes that a suspect may be charged with stemming from such an incident include stalking, assault, sexual abuse or rape charges.
State law allows victims of domestic violence to petition for a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order. Both a protection order and a domestic violence conviction can impact your job prospects, so it’s important to understand what charges you’re facing.
What does Pennsylvania law classify as domestic violence?
Pennsylvania law allows police to arrest an individual on suspicion of domestic violence, provided they share a familial bond or household relationship with their alleged victim. State law defines domestic abuse as the threat or actual infliction of bodily harm. This can result from someone’s reckless, voluntary or intentional acts.
What penalties exist for domestic violence in Pennsylvania?
The penalties that a defendant may face if convicted of domestic violence may vary, depending on the nature of the offense. In most misdemeanor cases, it’s commonplace for judges to order defendants to pay fines or complete anger management classes or therapy. Felony charges may result in more serious penalties such as prison time.
Even a charge of domestic violence will temporarily deprive you of your gun ownership rights, and a conviction for domestic violence may forever forbid you from possessing a firearm, thus affecting your ability to remain in the military or work in law enforcement. A conviction for a crime of moral turpitude such as this may also limit your ability to maintain your immigration status and affect any professional licensure you might have.
This is why it’s more important than ever that you are aggressive in fighting the charges that you face. Your future is contingent upon you doing so.