West Chester, PA 19380
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Lee Ciccarelli is the founder and managing partner of Ciccarelli Law Offices with over two decades experience as a practicing attorney.
Joshua Tebay is an experienced attorney and former prosecutor licensed to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Michael E. Houghton brings both passion and enthusiasm to criminal defense through his extensive knowledge and experience.
Timothy Kraeer is a highly experienced traffic attorney who handles related criminal and civil matters across the state.
Since 1992, Ann has been advocating for her clients both in and out of tough courtrooms of Philadelphia, which has cultivated her craft.
These locations are available by appointment only
Our firm provides excellent services at reasonable fees and accepts a variety of payment methods, including most major credit card providers.
Lee Ciccarelli has received a 10.0 (Superb) rating on Avvo, the highest possible rating for attorneys on the site. This rating is given based on client reviews, peer endorsements, and professional experience and credentials.
Domestic violence is a tragedy, and heartbreaking for all involved. People are quick to have sympathy for the victim, however, they are equally quick to cast judgment on the accused. They forget that the accused is innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. They do not know that domestic violence accusations can stem from misunderstandings, or even false or exaggerated claims engineered by someone trying to gain an advantage in a legal proceeding, such as a child custody matter.
When you are accused of domestic violence, it can feel like you are all alone, and that the people closest to you have turned against you. You could use someone on your side, fighting the accusations.
A West Chester domestic violence lawyer from Ciccarelli Law Offices will stand by you during this time and be your advocate. You need more than one lawyer or just one hope when facing an accusation and/or arrest of domestic assault, “beating a spouse”, same-sex couple violence, and/or endangering the welfare of a child in Chester County or the greater Philadelphia area.
We are a team of defense lawyers with nearly 40 years of experience fighting for your justice when you are facing domestic violence charges, and who put out the strategies on your behalf and implement the strongest possible defenses for you. We can represent and fight for your interests in related proceedings, including hearings for (PFA) Protection from Abuse Orders. Call us today at (610) 719-3200 for a free consultation with a dedicated advocate.
We represent people facing domestic violence charges throughout the Philadelphia region, including Chester County, Montgomery County, Lancaster County and Delaware County. Along with our West Chester office, we have office locations in Philadelphia, Lancaster, King of Prussia, Kennett Square, Malvern, Plymouth Meeting, Radnor or Springfield.
There is not a charge in the criminal code for "domestic violence" or "domestic assault." Domestic violence, in Pennsylvania, is defined as one of many crimes of violence or endangerment between two or more people who share a certain kind of relationship. There are not necessarily enhanced criminal penalties for domestic violence. However, there are civil penalties, such as Protection from Abuse Orders, that can have a very serious effect on your life.
The relationships that can define domestic violence are found in 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6102. The relationship between the accused may be the victim's husband, wife, ex-husband, ex-wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, life partner, ex-partner, person he or she lived with, mother, father, son, daughter, current sex partner, former sex partner or anyone else otherwise related by blood or marriage.
There are several accusations of violence that may be made during a domestic violence matter. If convicted, you may serve the sentences for the underlying charge as well as any civil penalties:
Assault means intentionally causing or attempting to cause bodily harm, or putting another person in imminent fear of bodily harm. A simple assault can be a second degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to two years in jail and a $2,000 fine.
If there was any serious bodily injury, the charges may escalate to a first degree felony with aggravated assault. The punishment may be up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Parents are allowed to spank a child, but it is a very fine line where corporal punishment becomes child abuse. Assault on a child is a charges that can lead to up to five years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
If accused of endangering the welfare of a child, it means you had a duty of care, protection or support you are alleged to have violated. For instance, if you are a parent with custody of a child, then you have a duty to care for that child. Violations are wide ranging, including driving drunk with a child in the car, leaving the child in a car when it is hot outside, not seeking medical care for a sick or injured child or merely living in conditions not suitable for children.
A single instance of endangering the welfare of a child is a first degree misdemeanor, resulting in up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000. If a pattern of endangerment can be proved, it may become a third degree felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
In stalking, the accused allegedly repeatedly follows or communicates with the victim in a way that causes him or her emotional stress and/or reasonable fear of bodily injury.
Stalking is a first degree misdemeanor, resulting in up to five years in jail and a fine up to $10,000. If prosecutors can prove that the defendant repeatedly communicated with the victim, it may be a third degree felony, with punishments up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Terroristic Threats is defined in 18 Penn. Cons. Stat. § 2706. It involves the accused communicating a direct or indirect threat to commit an act of violence to terrorize a person, cause an evacuation or otherwise cause public inconvenience. Terroristic threats is a first degree misdemeanor unless it causes a severe public disruption, at which point it becomes a third degree felony.
Any allegations of domestic violence may result in a Protection from Abuse Order, or PFA. A PFA Order is designed to keep the accused from being anywhere near the victim.
The order prevents the accused from coming anywhere within a certain distance from the victim, going to the victim's place of work or school, and from contacting the victim in any way. They may also prevent the accused from possessing a firearm, can change child custody arrangements and a variety of other measures.
The person seeking the order does not have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused engaged in domestic violence. A person may be able to obtain an order on details and evidence that would never result in a criminal conviction.
When a person demands a PFA order, there may be a temporary order. For a longer one, though, there will be a hearing. Your West Chester criminal defense attorney can represent you at this hearing.
Any violation of a PFA order can result in criminal contempt charges, which may result in up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Our team of criminal defense attorneys can represent you if you face accusations of domestic violence in Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Downingtown, Exton, Lancaster, Glenn Mills, Chadds Ford, Landenburg and Glenmoore. A West Chester domestic violence lawyer can help you maintain your life despite these accusations, and fight the resulting criminal charges. Contact us today at (610) 719-3200 for a free consultation.