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Common Domestic Violence Charges in Pittsburgh and Their Consequences

Stalking is defined as repeatedly communicating with or following another person so that it causes the other person a reasonable fear of bodily injury or severe emotional stress. Stalking is classified as either a third-degree felony or a first-degree misdemeanor. A first offense is considered a first-degree misdemeanor. This is the most serious misdemeanor classification. A second stalking charge is a third-degree felony. A first stalking offense comes with a fine of up to $10,000 and a jail sentence of 2 ½ to 5 years. A second or successive charge can result in a fine of up to $15,000 and a jail term of 3 ½ to 7 years. Additionally, a stalking charge becomes a third-degree felony when the offender has been charged with any of the following AND has a previous conviction for stalking “the same victim or household member:” simple assault, kidnapping, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, rape, or involuntary deviate sexual intercourse. For more information on stalking, see the Pennsylvania Code Title 18, section 2709.1.

Child abuse includes a range of activities, but is generally defined as negligent or reckless actions that endanger the welfare of a child, performed knowingly by a parent or guardian. Child abuse is classified, depending on the case, as either a third-degree felony or a first-degree misdemeanor. It comes with fines of up to either $10,000 or $15,000, depending on the classification assigned to it. Child abuse also carries a jail sentence of 3 ½ to 7 years or 2 ½ to 5 years, again dependent upon the classification assigned to it. For more information on stalking, see the Pennsylvania Code Title 18, section 6903(b).

Harassment is defined as what happens when a person makes physical contact with another person when the other person does not wish it, or communicates with them repeatedly, or follows them, or repeatedly engages in conduct that has no purpose. Harassment is done with intent; depending on the case’s circumstances, it is classified as a summary offense or as a third-degree misdemeanor. Summary harassment comes with fines of up to $300 and a jail sentence of up to 90 days. Third-degree misdemeanor harassment convictions carry fines of up to $2,000 and jail sentences of up to 1 year. If an alleged offender has previously violated a protection from abuse order, his or her harassment charged can be bumped up one degree. So, a third-degree misdemeanor could become a second-degree misdemeanor, which makes it a more serious charge. In that case, the fine can be as high as $5,000 and the jail time as long as 2 years. For more information, see The Pennsylvania Code, Title 18, section 2709.

False imprisonment is when one person unlawfully and knowingly restrains another person against his or her will. False imprisonment is a second-degree misdemeanor and comes with fines of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of one to two years. To learn more about false imprisonment, see the Pennsylvania Code, Title 18, section 2903.

Sexual assault is defined as one of two things: engaging in sexual intercourse with another person against his or her will or without his or her consent, or engaging in sexual intercourse with a person who is not able to give his or her consent. This is a second-degree felony and comes with a fine of up to $25,000 and a prison sentence of five to ten years. The Pennsylvania Code defines and explains sexual assault in Title 18, section 3122.1.

If you have been arrested and charged with any of the above crimes in relation to domestic violence, you will require the immediate advice of a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney knowledgeable about domestic violence laws. The attorneys at Logue Law Group will explain your charges in detail and help you choose the best defense for your case. The Logue Criminal Defense team has defended many people charged with domestic violence, often getting charges reduced or dismissed. Logue Law Group serves Pittsburgh, PA, West Virginia, and Ohio. Call today for a free initial consultation at 1-844-PITT-DUI or (412) 389-0805. Or, you may contact us online.

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