Domestic Assault / Threats of Violence
One of the most common domestic violence offenses in Pennsylvania is spousal abuse or domestic assault. Domestic assault charges can arise from many situations, including arguments that have escalated out of control, child custody disputes, or heated divorces or marriage dissolutions.
A conviction for domestic assault can lead to serious repercussions, including prison sentences, a criminal record, negative impact on an individual’s reputation, loss of certain employment or educational opportunities, and/or steep fines.
West Chester Domestic Assault Attorney
If you have been charged with domestic assault in West Chester, PA, Michael J. Skinner of the Skinner Law Firm will hear your side of the story and make every effort to fight the allegations against you and help you achieve the best possible outcome in your particular situation. Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (267) 388-3476 for a consultation about your alleged domestic assault offense today.
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Misdemeanor Domestic Assault in Pennsylvania
An individual can be charged with misdemeanor domestic assault if they commit simple assault on a family or household member. A family or household member in Pennsylvania is a current or former spouse, persons currently or previously living as spouses, parents, children, other persons related by blood or marriage, current or former sexual partners, or parents to biological children.
Simple assault under 18 Pa. Const. Stat. § 2701 occurs when an individual:
- Attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another;
- Negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or
- Attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
Bodily injury is defined in Pennsylvania as impairment of a physical condition or substantial pain.
Intentional, as defined in Pennsylvania law with respect to bodily injury, is to purposefully cause such injury.
Reckless, as defined in Pennsylvania law with respect to bodily injury, as acting with conscious disregard to the substantial and unjustifiable risks that bodily injury will result from the conduct.
Knowing, as defined in Pennsylvania law with respect to bodily injury, as being aware with practical certainty an individual’s actions will cause the bodily injury.
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Pennsylvania Felony Aggravated Domestic Assault
An individual can be charged with felony domestic assault under 18 Pa. Const. Stat. § 2702 if they:
- Attempt to cause serious bodily injury to another family or household member, or causes such injury intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances that indicate extreme indifference to the value of human life; or
- Attempt to cause, or intentionally or knowingly cause bodily injury to a family or household member with a deadly weapon.
Serious bodily injury is defined in Pennsylvania as impairment of a physical condition that would create a substantial risk of death or serious, permanent disfigurement, or the loss or impairment of the function of a bodily organ.
A deadly weapon under Pennsylvania’s laws is any firearm or any device designed to be a weapon and capable of producing death or serious bodily injury, or any other device that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury from the manner it was used.
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Penalties for Domestic Assault in Pennsylvania
Misdemeanor domestic assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree and punishable by a maximum of two years in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000.
If the simple domestic assault was against a child under 12 years old by an adult 21 years or older, the offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree, which is punishable by up to five years imprisonment and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
Aggravated domestic assault can be a felony of the first degree and is punishable by a prison sentence up to 20 years and/or a fine not exceeding $25,000.
If a weapon is used during aggravated domestic assault, a conviction for the offense is a felony of the second degree and is punishable by a prison sentence not more than 10 years and/or a fine up to $25,000.
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Skinner Law Firm | Domestic Assault Lawyer in Pennsylvania
If you have been arrested and charged with domestic assault in Chester County, Pennsylvania, contact the Skinner Law Firm today for a free consultation about your alleged domestic violence offense. Michael J. Skinner is an experienced domestic violence lawyer in West Chester who will make every effort to help you find applicable defenses or mitigating factors to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. Contact the Skinner Law Firm at (267) 388-3476 for a consultation about your alleged domestic assault in Lancaster County, Montgomery County and Delaware County in Pennsylvania.