If you have been accused of domestic abuse, it is a good idea to hire a defense attorney without delay. With your future on the line, you may benefit from the experience and determination of our Philadelphia law firm.
Depending on what charges you face and whether you have prior convictions, you could lose years of your life behind bars or be permanently estranged from your family. Let us do everything possible to get your life back to normal as soon as possible.
How a Defense Attorney Can Protect You
Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC. is committed to helping people in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas protect their rights, no matter what they have been charged with. We do this by representing our clients from the moment they hire us until the very end of their case. This representation includes the following services.
- Filing motions, notifications, and other paperwork: Whether it is requesting a new trial or submitting evidence to the court, we can handle all administrative tasks.
- Seeking reduced bail: We can negotiate with the judge to get your bail reduced. This way, it is easier for you to get home, and you do not have to wait for your trial behind bars.
- Negotiating a plea: For example, by bargaining the charge from a felony down to a misdemeanor, you may face lower fines and less time in prison—or you may be granted probation and avoid prison time all together.
- Reviewing police behavior: If there is any sign of a mistake or deliberate misconduct, we can bring it to the court’s attention. We may ask that they throw out the evidence connected to the mistake or even drop the charges against you.
- Helping you make legal decisions: There is more than one way to approach a case. We would be happy to review the facts of your case, inform you about your options, and help you decide which route is best for you.
- Advocating for you in court: If the case goes to trial, you can depend on a lawyer from our firm to represent you there. We can present oral arguments, locate witnesses, question them, and much more.
The statute of limitations for assault is two to five years according to Chapter 55 Title 42 PA. The time limit to pursue legal action depends on the severity of the assault. Call us today to see how exactly we can help you before it is too late.
Domestic Abuse Penalties
Below is a brief overview of the types of consequences you may suffer if you are convicted of domestic abuse in Philadelphia. While it is understandable to be nervous and angry in these circumstances, remember that you are not alone. A defense attorney from the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC. is ready and willing to fight so that you do not face penalties like these.
According to 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 1103 – 1104, the prison time you face if convicted depends on whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor convictions could land you behind bars for between one to five years, depending on the severity of the crime. Felony convictions could put you in prison for as much as seven to twenty years.
Loss of Reputation
Domestic abuse is a serious crime, both legally and from a social standpoint. Anyone convicted of domestic abuse may have a difficult time reintegrating into society in the following ways.
- Some employers may balk at hiring you: If a potential employer runs a background check, they will see your conviction. This may influence their decision to hire or not hire you.
- Acquaintances may not believe you are innocent: Even those within your social circle may take your conviction as a definitive sign of guilt. They may withdraw and refuse to associate with you on that basis.
- Convictions can affect your mental health: Both the arduous penalties that come with a conviction and the nature of the conviction itself can wreak havoc on your psychological wellbeing.
The financial instability and social isolation that can result from a domestic abuse conviction may affect the rest of your life.
Loss of Rights
Depending on what type of crime you are convicted of (i.e., a misdemeanor versus a felony), you may end up losing some of your civil rights.
For example, per the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC), anyone serving out a prison sentence for a felony is not allowed to vote. However, those who are serving a sentence for a misdemeanor or who are on probation retain the right to vote.
Your Rights in Domestic Abuse Cases
According to 18 Pa. C.S.A. § 2711(a), a police officer does not need to have definitive proof that someone is guilty of domestic violence to make an arrest: if they have “probable cause” to believe someone is guilty, they have the right to arrest that individual. This pertains to a wide range of suspected violent behaviors, including:
- Physical assault
- Involuntary manslaughter
Regardless of the suspicion you are under or if you have already been arrested, you have the right to legal representation and due process. Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC. wants to ensure that the authorities and the courts respect your rights at every step. We can do this by:
- Providing a free consultation: All one has to do is pick up the phone and dial our number. A member of our team will listen to your story and let you know if there is anything we can do to help.
- Keeping you updated: Whenever there is a big development in your case, we let you know right away. This way, you do not have to spend undue time wondering about what is happening.
- Informing you of your rights: We spend as much time with our clients as they need, explaining their rights and responsibilities and making sure they are comfortable with whatever course of action we have chosen.
The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can begin fighting to get you home.
Get a Free Consultation Today
If you are facing domestic abuse charges, get help from Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC. as soon as possible. A defense attorney from our firm can fight to protect your rights and may even be able to get the charges reduced or dropped. Call our Philadelphia office or fill out our contact form so that we can start working for you.