Domestic violence charges do not derive from one statute but instead encompass statutes related to false imprisonment, stalking, assault, and sexual assault. One of the common charges relating to domestic violence is assault, including aggravated assault.
When police have been called in a domestic violence situation, it can quickly spiral out of control. A police officer will almost always arrest someone, and he doesn’t have to have an arrest warrant to do so. Then, the district attorney is placed in charge of the case, and the victim may decide against dropping the charges. The alleged offender will need a dedicated and experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney to help him.
Special Investigative Powers of Police
In a domestic violence case, police do not have to have a warrant to arrest someone when the case involves assault, aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter, stalking, reckless endangerment, or terroristic threats. They are required to observe corroborative evidence, however, such as a recent physical injury on the victim’s person.
Police are required to take possession of or seize all weapons that were used to commit the crime.
In an assault case, bail may be contingent upon the defendant staying away from the victim and his or her home or place of business. The offender must also refrain from committing any more crimes against the victim. If you have been charged with assault because of an incident with someone you cohabit with, you will need to find someplace else to live, and that can be costly, especially if it ends up being a long-term thing. An attorney defending someone from domestic assault charges will present the client as being someone who does not pose a threat to the victim, as a way to limit bail conditions that cause a burden. However, if the defendant violates any of the conditions of his or her bail, he or she may find themselves under arrest once again and their bail forfeited.
Often, a domestic assault charge will lead to more than just legal problems for the person who was charged. Moving to a motel, even temporarily, can be a financial burden and lead to the alleged offender getting behind on bills and other payments. Moving in with a family member or friend can cause friction between the alleged offender and his or her host/hostess, which causes more stress for everyone. Job performance can suffer, and often, people lose their jobs because they have had to spend time in jail, or even simply because they have been charged with a crime. Even in the community, there may be unforeseen consequences, because many times, people see in the newspaper that a person has been charged with domestic assault and assume he or she must be guilty. The community members might shun or gossip about the offender, damaging his or her reputation.
Domestic Assault Protective Orders
Domestic assault victims can ask for an order of protection to keep the defendant away from them. This requires the defendant to remove themselves from the household and have no contact with the victim. Sometimes protective orders grant child custody. Also, the defendant may be required to continue to pay child support. Many times, protective orders in cases of aggravated assault and stalking take away a defendant’s right to own firearms. Also, some form of restitution to the victim may be required, as determined by the judge. If a defendant violates a protective order, the result will be that person being found in indirect criminal contempt of court. In that case, the defendant will have to pay a $1,000 fine and serve up to six months in jail. Domestic assault is a serious charge and comes with serious consequences.
If you have been charged with domestic assault, you will need an attorney experienced in criminal law and domestic violence cases who is dedicated to getting you the best outcome possible. The Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers at Logue Law Group have the experience and dedication you require. Logue Law serves Pittsburgh, PA, West Virginia, and Ohio, and initial consultations are free. Sean Logue and his associates can be reached at 844.PITT.DUI, or they can be contacted online.
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