Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Laws
In Pennsylvania, domestic violence involves the use of intimidation, threats or actual physical violence against another member of the same family. In fact, there is no one single criminal charge in Pennsylvania law of domestic violence. There are a number of separate offenses which are linked by the fact that one member of a family or household is harming one or more of others.
Domestic violence can be physical, sexual or financial. Certain types of harassment happen through different types of communication, including written, telephone, fax, e-mail, or voicemail.
Some examples of domestic violence-related charges are:
- Child abuse
- Criminal trespass
- Domestic assault
- Endangering the welfare of children
- Sexual assault
- Violation of protective order
Laws regarding domestic violence have undergone many changes in Pennsylvania in recent years. The penalties for domestic violence can range from being ordered to take anger management courses or counseling to felony charges and incarceration. The sentence imposed will depend largely on the severity of the abuse the victim endured and the defendant’s pattern of conduct. If this is the defendant’s first time being charged with domestic violence, that will be treated with a lighter sentence than perhaps a defendant who has been charged with domestic violence several times in the past.