Bill to Bar Domestic Abuse Offenders From Holding Public Office Introduced in PA House

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Oct 12, 2022 | 0 Comments

A bill to ban those convicted of domestic abuse from holding a number of government offices has been introduced in the Pennsylvania House. Initially proposed in early 2022 by Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, House Bill 2596 would prohibit anyone convicted of “physically or sexually abusing a family or household member” from serving as governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, justice, judge, justice of the peace, or as a civil officer (a general term covering a range of appointed and elected positions, including members of the state legislature).

The bill defines “family or household member” broadly. It includes spouses, former spouses, someone who lives with you or lived with you “as a spouse,” parents, children, “other individuals related by consanguinity or affinity” (meaning blood relatives or relatives by marriage), sexual partners (current or former), and half-siblings. Taking this definition to an extreme, this could mean that under some circumstances, siblings who get into a physical dispute and are convicted of physically abusing one another could both be prohibited from holding public office.

The Bill Has Supporters and Critics

As might be expected for such a bill, it has its proponents and its critics. Proponents argue that prohibiting domestic abusers from holding a range of public positions will protect the integrity of the Pennsylvania government. Critics argue that the bill is too broad and could unnecessarily penalize those convicted based on an isolated violent incident or where the behavior was the result of a psychological condition.

If Accused of Domestic Violence, You Need a Strong Defense

Whether or not House Bill 2596 becomes law, it highlights the importance of mounting a strong defense if you have been accused of any kind of domestic violence. While there are unfortunately many legitimate cases of domestic violence that leave both physical and mental scars, it is also not unusual for one party to custody or divorce proceedings to make unfounded allegations of domestic violence against the other party in an effort to gain some leverage in those disputes.

And because the broad term “domestic violence” covers a number of specific crimes, including ones not covered by the proposed house bill, such as Harassment, Stalking, and False Imprisonment, it is vitally important that if you are accused of any type of behavior that could be construed as domestic violence you seek the advice of an experienced and knowledgeable domestic violence attorneys from Our Criminal Law Team. Whether or not you ever intend to hold public office, you have rights in these kinds of cases, and our Criminal Law Team and the LLF Law Firm will help you protect those rights.

Contact Our Criminal Law Team if You've Been Accused of Domestic Violence

Even if charges have not been brought against you, if you find yourself in a position where someone is accusing you of domestic violence, you owe it to yourself to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced domestic violence defense attorney from our Criminal Law Team at the LLF Law Firm. They have the background to help guide you through what can be an extremely stressful time, and in the event charges are brought, they will help you defend your rights. Call our Criminal Law Team and the LLF Law Firm today at 888.535.3686, or use our contact form to learn more about how we can help.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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