PITTSBURGH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEY
Arguments between couples can quickly escalate into verbal and physical disputes. While domestic violence is a serious problem in our community, there are far too many situations where the alleged victim has lied or embellished details about the incident for an ulterior motive. A spouse, ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, or family member may lie to police or exaggerate details of a minor incident for a number of reasons, including retaliation for developing a new romantic relationship, or to gain the upper hand in custody or divorce proceedings.
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
In the criminal justice system, domestic violence refers to verbal and physical assaults on spouses, girlfriends, domestic partners, children, parents, blood or marital relatives, and those who have had a prior intimate sexual relationship.
If arrested during a domestic violence incident, you may be charged with one or more of the following crimes:
Corruption of Minors
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGE?
The consequences of a domestic violence charge are some of the most severe from a legal and personal standpoint, which include:
Possible incarceration in a county jail or state prison
House arrest or alternative housing
Seizure/forfeiture of your guns and ammunition, losing the right to own or carry a gun for life
Loss of employment or limit on your ability to find a job or obtain professional licenses
Loss of housing and educational opportunities
Being prevented from living in or returning to your home, even if you own your residence or are the only party named on your lease
Being prevented from visiting or having custody over your children during the pendency of your case
Harm in reputation, as you may be labeled as a "domestic abuser"
WHAT IF THE VICTIM DOESN'T SHOW UP IN COURT?
During any criminal case, it is always the Commonwealth versus you. The government - and not your significant other - controls what happens with your case. If you are charged with a domestic violence offense, your case won't just go away if your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend wants to drop charges. Repairing your relationship with your loved one does not mean that your case will go away! In many instances, the Commonwealth may force your loved one to provide testimony against you even despite their wishes to drop the case.
SHOULD I LOOK FOR A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER OR FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT ME?
Many family law attorneys in the Pittsburgh area advertise as domestic violence lawyers. Family law attorneys focus their practice on divorce, custody and PFA litigation in family court, often handling criminal cases with less regularity than a criminal defense attorney. While some lawyers are very proficient at both criminal defense and family law, you want to hire a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney to represent you in criminal court.
Defending you against criminal charges requires a level of skill, experience, and familiarity with the legal system that a family law practitioner may not have. At the Zuckerman Law Firm, our practice is exclusively dedicated to criminal defense, with Attorney Zuckerman having experience prosecuting and defending against domestic violence charges.
MY PARTNER AND I ARE BOTH CHARGED WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIMES? CAN WE BOTH HIRE ONE LAWYER?
To avoid conflicts of interest, it is typically preferable for each partner to obtain his or her own attorney. After a careful case evaluation, it may be possible for one attorney or firm to represent two co-defendants charged with crimes of domestic violence. There have been circumstances where the lawyers at ZLF have represented, and obtained favorable results for both partners.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIME IN PITTSBURGH & WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA?
As experienced domestic violence defense lawyers in Pittsburgh, we have compiled the following Tips for Handling Domestic Violence Allegations. The first and most important step you can take is to contact the Zuckerman Law Firm at 412-447-5580 for a free confidential consultation.
Make sure to pay close attention to the conditions of your bail. If you have been ordered to have no contact with your accuser, then you must avoid all forms of verbal, written and 3rd party contact. If you have been ordered to have "no violent" contact, then you must be careful to avoid engaging in any verbally or physically violent behavior towards your accuser, or your bail can be revoked for good.
If you have sustained any injuries, you should make sure to take pictures of them as soon as possible, and provide them to your criminal defense attorney only.
ATTORNEY ZUCKERMAN HAS PROSECUTED AND DEFENDED THOSE CHARGED WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Former domestic violence crimes prosecutor Dave Zuckerman is intimately familiar with litigating crimes of domestic violence at all Pittsburgh courts, including Magisterial District Courts,