Philadelphia Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence is intolerable, and Pennsylvania laws are tough on those who cause injuries, make threats, or engage in other misconduct toward others in a domestic situation. Many of these acts are criminal, so someone could face charges and harsh penalties for a conviction. However, victims are more focused on safety for themselves and family members than punishment, which is why state laws implement a process for obtaining a restraining order. This civil proceeding enjoins an abuser from engaging in misconduct and protects the victim.
Retaining legal representation is essential for those seeking an order of protection, as well as anyone who is in the position to defend allegations of domestic abuse. Our team at the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane has extensive experience handling these cases, so we are ready to take on the challenges. Please contact our firm to set up a case evaluation with a Philadelphia domestic violence lawyer today. Some background information is also useful.
How Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Laws Work
A helpful way of understanding the operation of the laws is to view them in the context of two factors:
- Protected Individuals: The statutes cover misconduct between family or household members, a term that includes:
- Current and ex-spouses;
- Individuals who live or lived as spouses, even if not married;
- Parents and children;
- Individuals related by blood or marriage;
- Sexual partners and those involved in current or former dating relationship; and,
- Parents who share a child.
- Acts of Domestic Violence: Domestic abuse includes acts causing physical harm, serious bodily injury, rape and related sexual offenses, assault, incest, and many others. Threats and actions that put a person in fear of injury are also included.
Obtaining an Order of Protection
A victim of domestic violence can file a petition for a protective order, which usually prohibits the alleged abuser from contact and coming within a certain distance of the victim’s home, work, or school. A restraining order can also force the abuser to move out of shared residence and prevent communication with children.
Fortunately, state laws provide an expedited process when the petitioner needs emergency protection. It is possible to get a temporary order of protection without even notifying the abuser, but help from a Pennsylvania domestic violence attorney is essential. Our firm will support you by:
- Preparing all necessary documents for a domestic violence protective order;
- Appearing in court to obtain the restraining order; and,
- Assisting with service of process upon the respondent after the order is entered.
The court is required to hold a hearing within 10 days, at which point the respondent will have the opportunity to appear. At this proceeding the judge will determine whether to extend the temporary order of protection.
Advice for Those Accused of Domestic Violence
If you are the respondent and received paperwork on a restraining order, it is crucial to consult with the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane asap. You have rights and will get your day in court, but some tips are important:
- Comply with the terms of the protective order to the letter. Violations are a crime.
- Avoid discussions about the case, including posts on social media.
- Gather evidence that could support your case, such as texts, emails, and other communications from the accuser.
Get in Touch with a Philadelphia Domestic Violence Lawyer Right Away
Legal counsel is critical regardless of whether you are seeking a restraining order or fighting allegations of domestic abuse, so please contact the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane to discuss your situation. We are happy to schedule an initial consultation with a Philadelphia domestic violence lawyer. Once we assess your circumstances, we can start developing a solid strategy.