Is It a Good Idea to Plea Bargain a Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Charge?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 05, 2022 | 0 Comments

Domestic violence crimes in Pennsylvania are serious, and laws are stringent concerning any allegations. Even being accused of domestic violence can cause severe disruptions to everyday life and family ties, as alleged offenders can be taken away from their homes by a restraining order before they can defend themselves. If you're preparing how to safeguard your future in your upcoming domestic violence case, it's essential to consider how a plea bargain may help.

What Are the Consequences of Domestic Violence Convictions?

In Pennsylvania, domestic violence crimes can be categorized as misdemeanors or felonies. For lesser misdemeanor offenses, a judge may decide the defendant needs to complete court-ordered domestic violence classes, probation, and pay hefty fines instead of jail time. However, that's no guarantee, as each category of misdemeanor domestic violence—first through third degree—carries a jail or prison sentence.

Felony convictions in Pennsylvania are much more severe due to the nature of the crime and usually involve some amount of prison time. For example, third-degree felonies garner up to seven years in prison, whereas first-degree charges can result in up to 20 years behind bars. Felony charges will stem from actions like aggravated assault, rape, or injuries caused by weapons. However, misdemeanor domestic violence charges can be pursued for something as seemingly minor as trying to reach your partner multiple times by phone, which could be interpreted as harassment.

No matter what the charge entails, it's critical to take the situation with the seriousness it deserves. Yet, you may believe that there is overwhelming evidence against you, and there's no way you won't go to jail. Hopefully, you'll have legal representation that will bring up the possibility of a plea bargain. Our Pennsylvania Criminal Law Team can assist you with mitigating as many negative consequences as possible.

Plea Bargains Can Help You Stay Out of Jail

In Pennsylvania criminal trials, defendants can avoid the possibility of a harsh sentence with a plea bargain instead of risking a long, expensive jury trial. Occasionally, Pennsylvania state prosecutors will offer the method to save the government's time and money. Unless a defendant is innocent or their attorney feels the charges will not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, a plea bargain can be a wise option. As soon as you take a plea bargain, though, you will be giving up your rights to a trial by jury.

In some cases, a plea bargain can help jail time. Your attorney may be able to negotiate away from a domestic violence conviction for a guilty plea for lesser charges like:

  • Criminal trespass
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Simple assault

Even though the plea bargain will still put a criminal conviction on your record, the reduced charges will likely carry lighter penalties, and there is less of a stigma attached that will hinder future opportunities.

First-time offenders may be able to vie for deferred adjudication as part of a plea bargain. A domestic violence attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution or the judge for the defendant to complete a variety of programs in exchange for dropping the charges, such as:

  • Attending domestic violence classes
  • Community service
  • Paying fines
  • Reporting to a probation officer
  • Submitting to random alcohol and substance abuse monitoring

How Can a Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Attorney Help?

If you're wrongfully accused of domestic violence, our Criminal Law Team can build a strong case so you can avoid criminal penalties. However, if the deck is stacked against you, we can ensure that you have the best chance at restoring your reputation.

Our Criminal Law Team at the LLF Law Firm understands how Pennsylvania addresses domestic violence and how to ensure clients are appropriately defended. If a plea bargain can be struck to keep you out of jail, they will know how to walk you through the process. Therefore, partner with a proven attorney by calling 888-535-3686 today or visiting the confidential online consultation form.

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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