Domestic Assault Charges in Erie, Pennsylvania

Do I Need a Defense Attorney in a Domestic Assault Case?

There are two sides to every story. Domestic assault can be a heinous crime, one that society provides protection against. However, not all domestic assault charges are ultimately proven to be true. In such cases, the accused can have their reputation destroyed by an unfounded accusation. That is why it is important to have an experienced Erie, Pennsylvania, defense lawyer with a solid record of dealing with domestic abuse at your side.

Probable Cause of Domestic Assault

In cases of domestic assault, the police are obligated to have probable cause to arrest a person. However, probable cause in these cases can range from an observable injury to breaking a restraining order or making a physical move that plants an element of fear in the assaulted party. The police officer must observe a recent injury or other evidence, although no warrant is needed. 

What Is a Domestic Arrangement?

Under Pennsylvania law, a domestic relationship exists if:

  • People were or are spouses
  • People are not married but lived as if they were
  • Parents of children
  • Those who have dated one another intimately in the past or currently
  • Parents of the assaulted person
  • Children or stepchildren can be involved in domestic assault
  • Those with a blood relationship to one another
  • People who live in the same household even if they are not related by marriage or blood

What Is Domestic Assault?

Domestic assault is a type of crime done against another person who is in a relationship with the perpetrator. Some crimes of this type are:

  • Holding/imprisoning the person against their will
  • Harming the person intentionally, recklessly or knowingly
  • Acts that make the assaulted person fear for their well-being
  • Strangulation
  • Crimes of a sexual nature including rape, aggravated indecent assault and others
  • Stalking, especially acts that make the assaulted fearful of harm
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Manslaughter, involuntary
  • Sexual or physical abuse of minors


Since there are no direct charges for domestic assault, the person is usually charged with the crimes listed above. When this happens, the individual, once convicted, will serve the penalties assigned to that crime. The penalties may be lower or higher than what is normally levied based on the circumstances. 

What Type of Defense Can Be Mounted?

Your assault defense lawyer may use different defenses. Some of the most common are:

  • The defense may be that the assault was not intentional. Usually, it is argued that the assault was accidental. 
  • The defense lawyer may deny that the allegations against their client are true. Often, it is posited that the accusation is built upon an emotion such as jealousy or anger.
  • The defense lawyer may argue that the actions were the result of unmitigated anger or temporary insanity.
  • The accused may argue that the act was done in self-defense

Defense Lawyer for a Domestic Assault Charge

At the Travis Law Firm, we believe that everyone has the right to defend themselves against unjust charges. We work hard to protect your rights and prevent a miscarriage of justice. Call us at (814) 277-2222 to schedule a free case review. If it is easier for you, use our easy contact form or have a family member call.