An experienced domestic violence lawyer can help prevent or reduce time behind bars
Having a domestic violence lawyer on your side is critical after you are charged. Importantly, the prosecution will do whatever it takes to convict you and put you in jail for as long as possible. In addition, the court process is complex, intimidating, and confusing!
Therefore, hiring a lawyer with extensive experience in these matters can dramatically increase your chances of getting the charges dropped or jail time reduced. At Kitay Law Offices, we have over 25 years of experience defending domestic violence charges. We will explain your rights and help you understand the charges against you. Finally, we will work hard to obtain the best outcome possible in your case.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence can come in many forms. Interestingly, it is not limited to causing physical harm. For example, domestic violence may include:
- Physical abuse: Includes hitting, shoving, slapping, and punching
- Sexual abuse: When someone forces the victim into sexual behavior without consent
- Emotional abuse: Putting the victim into a negative state of mind or making them feel less worthy
- Economic abuse: The victim feels financially reliant on their spouse or partner
As a result, it can be difficult to understand exactly why you are being charged with domestic violence. An experienced domestic violence lawyer will explain whether the charges are supported in your situation. For immediate help, contact Kitay Law Offices online or at 888-KITAYLAW.
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What is the punishment if I am convicted of domestic violence?
With an experienced domestic violence lawyer on your side, many cases resolve as simple assault misdemeanors. This sort of charge means that:
- You intended to cause bodily harm to the victim;
- The victim felt that this harm or threat may occur; and
- The victim was harmed in some way.
Other, more serious charges may include a first degree misdemeanor. This may include a $10,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison. For example, this could also include burglary charges.
If charged with a second degree misdemeanor, the punishment could be up to a $5,000 fine and up to 2 years in prison. For example, this could include bigamy charges. If granted bail related to your charges, you must typically pay at least 10% of the total bail amount. In other words, if your bail is set at $50,000.00, you may be able to get out of jail by putting up $5,000.00.
For a complete review of your case, contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer at Kitay Law Offices. Importantly, you can reach us both online and at 888-KITAYLAW. We will discuss your charges and the evidence while developing a plan to defend your case.
How can a domestic violence conviction affect my future?
A conviction for domestic violence can ruin your life, both now and in the future. You may lose your job, miss out on future job opportunities, and have trouble making a living for the rest of your life. Importantly, this is true because most employers conduct criminal background checks prior to making a new hire. Even if you are otherwise qualified for the position, having a felony or misdemeanor conviction on your record may prevent you from getting the job.
In addition to having a criminal record, you will have to pay fines and court fees. Depending on the seriousness of your charges, it may take years to pay off these fees. Further, failure to pay can result in additional jail time. Finally, your driver’s license may be revoked. Getting your license back can be a difficult, complicated, and costly process just by itself.
And while you may not have thought about this potential consequence, having a criminal record can prevent you from obtaining a higher education. Having a criminal record may make you ineligible to receive certain types of federal funding or financial aid. For many, as a result, obtaining a higher education is impossible without the additional financial aid.
Do everything you can to avoid these extraordinary consequences. Contact an experienced domestic violence lawyer at Kitay Law Offices immediately for help. You can reach us online or by calling 888-KITAYLAW.
How do I find the best domestic violence lawyer for me?
We have previously created our guide to finding the best personal injury lawyer for you. Importantly, many of those same principles apply when searching for the best domestic violence lawyer for you. In addition to doing your own research, here are some important questions to ask during the process:
- Do I have any friends or family who can refer me to a good lawyer?
- Does the lawyer have a good track record of satisfied clients?
- What ratings does the lawyer have?
- How experienced is the lawyer in defending criminal charges?
- Is the lawyer responsive?
- Does the lawyer have experience in the local court house?
- Can the lawyer share basic knowledge of your charges off the top of their head?
- Are they enthusiastic and confident about their job?
We encourage you to do your research and ask these important questions when finding the best domestic violence lawyer for you. At the same time, however, we are confident that you will decide Kitay Law Offices is the best choice. When you do, contact us online or at 888-KITAYLAW. We are ready to help!
How often does domestic violence occur?
Unfortunately, domestic violence occurs on a daily basis. In Pennsylvania, statistics show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience severe violence from their partner or spouse. In 2017, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) served 2,486 victims in a single day. Alarmingly, 123 domestic violence victims died last year in Pennsylvania.
Luckily, several resources exist to help domestic violence victims. Visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233 for help. Supportive survivors are available 24/7 if you need someone to talk to. For other resources in your area, click on the following links below:
What is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor?
While an experienced domestic violence lawyer can provide a more detailed explanation, there are some important differences between felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are generally the more serious crimes. Typically, punishment includes longer jail or prison times, higher fines, and sometimes permanent incarceration. The most obvious example is murder.
Misdemeanors may still involve jail time, along with smaller fines, and temporary punishments. Temporary punishments may include parole, probation, and community service. Some examples may include a DUI or a simple assault charge.
For a more thorough explanation of these differences, as well as to learn how the differences impact your case, contact Kitay Law Offices today. An experienced domestic violence lawyer can help develop a plan to defend your case. Call 888-KITAYLAW or contact us online.
What is the difference between state and federal criminal charges?
The President of the United States appoints federal judges. In Pennsylvania, most judges are chosen through an election. Local and state police generally investigate crimes based on state law. On the other hand, federal agencies, like the FBI and DEA, typically investigate federal crimes. For example, instances resulting in federal criminal charges may include:
- Any crime that takes place on federal land or involves federal officers: While there are others, these may include national forests, reservations, military bases, or assaults directly against a federal agent.
- When a defendant crosses state lines: For example, this may include a kidnapping that travels through different states.
- When the criminal conduct crosses state lines: Interestingly, the defendant may have remained within a single state, but online fraud may affect victims across state lines.
- Immigration and customs violations: A sad, but common, example of this is human trafficking.
What is an arraignment?
An arraignment is a hearing where the defendant learns what charges they are facing and the defendant is able to enter their plea of either guilty or not guilty. Importantly, bail is often set during an arraignment. And while this is a short hearing, it can be pivotal in your case. Therefore, make sure you have an experienced domestic violence lawyer from Kitay Law Offices on your side. Contact us online or at 888-KITAYLAW.
I am not a US citizen. What will happen to my immigration status if I’m arrested for a domestic violence charge?
Any immigrant, even with a green card, can be subject to deportation for violating immigration laws. Being charged for a misdemeanor, however, does not automatically result in deportation. Instead, you are most at risk for deportation if convicted of either a crime of “moral turpitude” or an “aggravated felony”. Some examples may include: rape, forgery, robbery, and solicitation of prostitutes. Also, in the context of your immigration status, domestic violence may include:
- Violence against a current or previous partner
- Child abuse, neglect, or abandonment
- Violation of a PFA (protection from abuse order)
In these situations, you need a lawyer experienced in both legal fields. Fortunately, a domestic violence lawyer at Kitay Law Offices will have lots of experience with these issues.
How do I bail someone out of jail?
You have a couple different options to bail someone out of jail. Importantly, the most common method is to simply pay the bail amount. Where you can pay bail will vary, but usually you can pay at the police station or sheriff’s department that made the arrest. Often times, you have the option to pay with cash, check, or even with a credit card.
Another method is using a bail bondsman. In this scenario, you will typically pay 10% of the bail amount. Also, be aware that you will need to provide identifying information regarding the defendant when paying bail money. For more information and requirements, see the below links for some specific courts in your area. Many other courts have similar information posted on their own website.
- Berks County Courthouse
- Chester County Courthouse
- Lehigh Valley County Courthouse
- Northampton County Courthouse
Do I still need a domestic violence lawyer if I plan on pleading guilty?
Simply, yes! It is always important to have legal representation when facing criminal charges. An experienced domestic violence lawyer can help you avoid pleading guilty. Sometimes, a lawyer can convince the court to reduce your charges or drop them altogether. Perhaps most importantly, a lawyer can explain your charges and the legal process so that you understand your rights. Further, a guilty plea could lead to:
- Suspension or loss of driver’s license
- Loss of voting rights
- Interference with visits or custody of minor children
- Inability to carry a firearm
Make sure you protect yourself before entering a guilty plea. An experienced domestic violence lawyer at Kitay Law Offices will review your case, explain the process, and develop a strong defense plan. Contact us online or by calling 888-KITAYLAW.