Cultural Barriers That Lead to Domestic Violence Charges

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Apr 12, 2023 | 0 Comments

Dealing with the police can be stressful enough, but if you aren't native to the U.S., it can be even more so. Sometimes misunderstandings can arise from cultural or language differences, leading to more conflict than necessary. If you're facing an arrest for domestic violence because of a cultural or language barrier, this isn't something you should try to untangle on your own. You need our experienced Criminal Defense Team at the LLF Law Firm to protect your rights.

Domestic violence is a global problem. According to the Journal of Immigrant and Mental Health, more than a third of women worldwide will experience intimate partner or family violence or sexual abuse in their lifetimes. In the United States, nearly a quarter of women will experience family violence. As a result, Pennsylvania's laws treat domestic violence harshly, with steep sentences and many legal protections for potential victims. Moreover, in Pennsylvania, if the police have probable cause to believe you've committed an act of domestic violence or you've violated a protection from abuse or stay away order, they will arrest you.

Domestic Violence in Pennsylvania

What qualifies as domestic violence in Pennsylvania goes beyond simple or aggravated assault. Crimes that qualify as domestic violence include:

  • Assault,
  • Sexual assault,
  • Kidnapping,
  • Harassment or stalking,
  • Burglary or destruction of property,
  • Theft, and more.

See 23 Pa. Stat. § 6102(a) (2018). Examples of domestic violence penalties include:

  • Up to one year in prison for a third-degree misdemeanor like simple assault involving mutual combat,
  • Up to two years in prison for a second-degree misdemeanor like simple assault of an adult,
  • Up to five years in prison for a first-degree misdemeanor like stalking or simple assault of a child,
  • Up to seven years in prison for a third-degree felony like some theft charges,
  • Up to ten years in prison for a second-degree felony like aggravated assault,
  • Twenty years to life for a first-degree felony like murder, kidnapping, rape, and assault with threatened or serious bodily injury.

The LLF Law Firm Criminal Defense Team Can Help

The consequences of a conviction for domestic violence charges go far beyond jail and a fine. You could face domestic violence counseling, anger management counseling, a protection order against you, and inclusion in the state's domestic violence registry. Additionally, a criminal record for domestic violence will follow you for years. It can affect child custody and visitation, your ability to get a job, obtain or keep a professional license, volunteer in your community, obtain a mortgage, or even rent an apartment.

You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights in the criminal justice system. If your arrest resulted from cultural differences or a language barrier, a skilled defense lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors and the court to ensure the best possible outcome in your case. Our Criminal Law Team at the LLF Law Firm can help. We've been helping people in Pennsylvania with domestic violence charges and protection from abuse orders for years, and we can help you too. Give the LLF Law Firm a call at 888-535-3686, or contact us online to set up your consultation.

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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