In the Pennsylvania legal system, domestic violence occupies a complex area of the law that requires a delicate touch. Unlike other offenses, it’s not classified as a specific crime by itself. Most times, it will get attached to another crime that helps police, prosecutors, and eventually, juries determine what kind of criminal penalty exists. When you’re looking to get domestic violence bail in Pittsburgh, PA, you’ll want to know what criminal charges were attached to the domestic violence claim to determine your potential jail time.
What Charges Can Include Domestic Violence?
Whether a domestic violence crime carries a misdemeanor or felony charge will usually mean the difference between significant jail time or fines. Since it cannot be charged as a singular crime, it often gets attached to offenses ranging from aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, battery, and more. Each of these charges can range in severity based on various conditions.
Pennsylvania law classifies domestic violence as any number of acts committed against a family member or someone in your household — usually an intimate partner or someone you share a child with. For a domestic abuse case to be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, it has to meet certain criteria before the charge becomes official.
The following actions are often the most associated with a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence:
- Physical Assault
- Criminal Restraint — preventing the other person from leaving the property
- Intimidation or Threats of Violence
- Sexual Assault — lewd or coercive behavior
- Online and Physical Stalking
- Digital, Verbal, and Physical Harassment
Can I Be Charged With Domestic Violence Without Making Physical Contact?
Absolutely. Domestic violence covers more than simply physical and sexual assault. A wide range of domestic abuse issues deals with more psychological damage that can have far-reaching repercussions throughout the person’s life. For the law to cover every possible iteration of intimate partner violence, the inclusion of these non-physical examples became necessary.
The Repercussions from a Domestic Violence Conviction
Whether you go to jail for your first domestic violence conviction depends greatly on the judge and jury. Pennsylvania domestic violence laws are strict and complex, requiring experienced law firms and attorneys to work through these laws to ensure a fair outcome. The prosecutor may go for harsher penalties based on the severity of the charges. These outcomes range from significant time behind bars to mandatory anger management classes.
Additionally, the degree of misdemeanor or felony can prove a significant factor in the process. First, second, and third-degree misdemeanors carry specific terms upon a conviction that vary greatly from their felony counterparts. You may only have to commit to anger management classes and couples counseling for the less serious misdemeanors, while the more serious crimes can lead to jail time — even for first-time offenders.
How Freedom Fast Bail Bonds Can Help
When it comes to getting out on bail in Pittsburgh, PA, you want to find a bondsman that can help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Freedom Fast Bail Bonds have the team in place to help you get a quick bond and get out while you await your trial date. We work with our clients to ensure the bail process goes as smoothly as possible. Contact our team to learn more today!