Evidence That Proves Domestic Violence in Pennsylvania
Getting someone placed under arrest for domestic violence or getting a protection order is one thing, but to get a conviction, you have to have the evidence. In Pennsylvania, proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” means there is a high probability that the accused committed the act for which they are being tried. Many of these cases are one individual’s word against the other.
Protection From Abuse Orders (PFA)
Protection from Abuse orders (PFA) are much different than a domestic violence charge. Although a PFA may not be a criminal charge, it can severely affect your life and job prospects in the future. Because they are not presented in criminal court, the burden of proof is less than a domestic violence charge.
Domestic Violence Charges
Under Title 18 § 2711, probable cause has to exist for a police officer to arrest someone for domestic violence. Charges can range from stalking and simple assault to reckless endangerment, manslaughter and more. Because these are criminal charges, the case has to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a higher standard.
Evidence Collection in a Domestic Violence Case
There are a variety of types of evidence used in violence cases. Physical evidence is often used by prosecutors and may include photographs, physical injuries such as scratches, bruises and cuts and property damage due to the incident. Police reports of the incident are used to support the claim of probable cause.
Medical records are obtained by the prosecution if the accuser went to their physician or the emergency room for treatment. Eyewitness and victim testimony is taken. Social media, cell phone records, texting and other forms of communication may be presented, which can show a rocky relationship between the two people and possible threats.
Can I Defend Myself Against a Domestic Violence Charge?
Absolutely and you should. Even a PFA can affect your ability to see your children and have shared custody or visitation. In addition, you have to give up your firearms. This charge is criminal, and having an attorney by your side who can build a good defense case such as those at The Travis Law Firm can make a big difference.
What Types of Defense Tactics Can Be Used in a Domestic Violence Case?
After reviewing the case and evidence, your domestic violence attorney can begin preparing a defense to either lower the charges or have the case dismissed. Some of the areas that can be questioned to show the event wasn’t as it was presented include:
- Eyewitness accounts that contradict the victim
- Lack of physical evidence
- You were defending yourself
- The allegations were false
- You had no intent to harm the person and didn’t know they feared for their safety
Travis Law Firm: Domestic Violence Attorney
The moment you are charged with a crime, The Travis Law Firm can start fighting for your rights. Call us as soon as you can at (814) 277-2222, and we can schedule a review of your case. If you prefer, we can also be reached online.