Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

It has been reported that one in four women and one in seven men will experience violence at the hands of a domestic partner. Domestic violence allegations in Pennsylvania are taken seriously.  Severe penalties will be assessed if you are convicted of behaving violently or abusively toward your spouse or partner. However, everyone has the right to a fair trial and a robust defense. After all, it is not uncommon for feelings of frustration, anger, and embarrassment to be taken out of context and interpreted as domestic violence. In these situations, the help of an attorney is essential.

Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., is a team of talented domestic violence defense lawyers. Our skilled legal team has the knowledge to help clients build a strong claim as they help them navigate the Pennsylvania legal system. We understand that dealing with a domestic violence allegation can be challenging for our clients; that is why we are proud to provide the dedicated and personalized service they deserve. If you have been charged with a domestic violence-related charge, it is essential that you get in touch with a knowledgeable Montgomery County criminal defense attorney who can provide you with expert guidance at every stage of the legal process. A lawyer may be able to help you avoid a conviction and maintain your positive reputation among friends, family, and colleagues.

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How Is Domestic Violence Defined in Pennsylvania?

Contrary to popular belief, Pennsylvania law does not designate a specific criminal charge for “domestic violence.” Rather, a domestic violence charge occurs when a person commits specific crimes against another in a domestic relationship with the suspect.

Under Pennsylvania law, the police are permitted to arrest an individual who is suspected of domestic violence—even without a warrant—so long as the officer has probable cause that certain types of offenses have been committed against someone in a domestic relationship. Though officers are permitted to make a warrantless arrest, it’s important to note that not every arrest is administered correctly. With the right lawyer by your side, your arrest may be successfully challenged in court. Domestic violence can come in many shapes and sizes, and it is not limited to causing physical harm. For example, domestic violence may take the following forms:

  • Physical abuse: Physical abuse involves force being used against the victim in order to cause injury. Even if the violence does not cause a significant injury, it may still be considered physical abuse.
  • Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse is not just limited to sexual assault and rape but also includes sexual harassment such as unwelcome touching and demeaning behaviors. Likewise, being coerced into not using a contraceptive or having an abortion are also forms of sexual abuse.
  • Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse involves putting the victim into a negative state of mind or making them feel less worthy. This can be brought on in a number of ways, such as persistent insults, criticism, or humiliation.
  • Economic abuse: In this case, the victim feels financially reliant on their spouse or partner.

If you have been accused of domestic violence or abuse, you may feel like there is no one on your side, but you still deserve a fair trial. To get help with your defense claim, contact a trusted domestic violence defense attorney.

Types of Domestic Violence Charges in Montgomery County

Although domestic violence is not classified as its own crime in Pennsylvania, an accused abuser may be charged with one of several different misdemeanor or felony level offenses based on the severity of the crime. A few common types of charges include the following:

Simple Assault

Simple assault encompasses several different types of violence that may result in another person suffering injuries. It is typically classified as a second-degree misdemeanor, but may be increased to the first degree if the individual is an adult accused of assaulting someone under 12 years of age. 

Aggravated Assault

If the assault caused the victim to suffer serious or deadly injuries or if the attacker used a weapon, the accused may be charged with aggravated assault. This crime is typically charged as a first-degree felony, and those convicted may be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. 

Indecent Assault

Indecent assault charges are reserved for situations involving sexual acts other than intercourse. This crime is usually charged as a second-degree misdemeanor but may be elevated to the first-degree depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. 

Sexual Assault

If you are accused of engaging in sexual intercourse without the other party’s consent, you may be charged with second-degree felony sexual assault. It is important to note, however, that this charge differs from rape, which is more serious and carries severe penalties. Your attorney can review your case to determine the charges and potential penalties you may face. 


Stalking involves a wide range of behaviors that repeatedly threaten the victim’s safety. These charges are taken seriously in Pennsylvania and are typically charged as a third-degree felony offense. 


If you are accused of attempting to strangle the victim, you may be charged with a second-degree felony, even if the victim did not suffer a personal injury as a result. These charges carry significant penalties, including ten years behind bars. 

False Imprisonment

When someone prevents another person from leaving, whether they grab them or block the doorway, they may be charged with false imprisonment. False imprisonment is typically charged as a second-degree misdemeanor but can increase to a second-degree felony if the victim is under the age of 18. 

Get Advice From An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney. All You Have To Do Is Call 215-822-7575 To Receive Your Free Case Evaluation.

Who Can Be Charged With Domestic Violence In Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, police have vast authority when responding to domestic violence-related charges. Police have elevated arrest power when dealing with people considered “family or household members,” including:

  • Intimate dating partners
  • Those who have parented a child or children together
  • Spouses
  • Those who have “lived as spouses”
  • Parents
  • Children, stepchildren, or adopted children
  • Others related by blood of “affinity”

It is important to note that there are situations where other individuals may qualify under this definition, especially if they are sharing the same household as the alleged abuser. A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to help you determine whether this applies to you based on the circumstances of your case.

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Allegation

An allegation of domestic violence is serious and the consequences can affect someone for years to come. Some surprising consequences of a domestic violence allegation include:

  • Trouble finding employment
  • Difficulty leasing a home or apartment
  • Strained relationship with family and friends
  • Tarnished reputation
  • Severe legal repercussions such as jail time

If you feel you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, our skilled defense lawyers may be able to help you protect your future. 

Potential Defense Strategies for Domestic Violence Offenses in Pennsylvania

Domestic violence allegations sometimes boil down to one person’s word against the other. With that in mind, it is not always necessary for your lawyer to prove that you are innocent. Like all criminal defendants, you’re innocent until proven guilty, which means that it is the prosecutor’s role to prove your guilt. Your attorney may question the credibility of the prosecutor’s witnesses and physical evidence that raises a reasonable doubt in the jurors’ minds. There are several possible defenses to the crime of domestic violence in Pennsylvania, including the following:

  • Self defense
  • False allegations
  • Insufficient evidence
  • Mental incapacity
  • The alleged victim lied
  • It was an accident

It is crucial that you do not try to attack this case alone. An experienced Montgomery County domestic violence defense attorney will best be able to help you understand the law and choose a winning defense strategy based on the circumstances of your case.

Contact a Knowledgeable Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer 

If you are facing a domestic violence charge, it’s crucial that you speak with a trusted domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. For legal assistance, look no further than the talented lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. Our firm takes a client-centered approach that will help make the legal process as painless as possible, and our highly trusted legal team is dedicated to fighting for your rights.

For more than 65 years, the award-winning attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. have been serving clients’ legal needs in Montgomery County, Bucks County, Lehigh County, Chester County, Delaware County, and throughout the surrounding areas. We have earned the trust of clients facing a variety of legal problems. To set up a free consultation, call us at (215) 822-7575 or complete our contact form today.