Experienced Lawyer Defends Clients Charged with Domestic Violence in PA

Staunch defense for Somerset area clients accused of battery and abuse

Because domestic violence is a charge that depends on an intimate relationship between the accused and the alleged victim, it carries a special stigma in our society. That stigma is often more damaging than the legal penalty, which can also be substantial. If you’re accused of domestic violence, you want an attorney who will not only protect your rights but who has the experience to guard your reputation as well.  Fortunately, you can trust Matthew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law to fight aggressively for a favorable outcome to your case and to manage the proceedings with the discretion you deserve.

Aggressive advocacy for common charges of domestic violence in Somerset

The term “domestic violence” applies to circumstances where an assault occurs between an abuser and a victim who share a particular relationship: spouses, ex-spouses, partners or ex-partners in an intimate co-habiting situation, parents and children, siblings, and people otherwise related by blood or by marriage. Common charges that arise under the title of domestic violence include:

  • Domestic assault — This charge is for intentionally causing a victim bodily harm or putting the victim in fear of bodily harm. Simple assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree with penalties of up to two years in prison and a $2,000 fine.
  • Aggravated domestic assault — If the injuries are serious, the charge is elevated. A conviction could result in up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
  • Child abuse — An assault on a child could result in five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
  • Endangering the welfare of a child — Negligent or reckless behavior that presents a risk to the child’s health or safety is a first-degree misdemeanor leading to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
  • Stalking — A person who repeatedly follows or communicates with a person in a manner that is unwanted and causes emotional stress and fear of injury commits a first-degree misdemeanor, which could result in five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

When you retain my criminal defense services, I fight aggressively to protect your rights and secure the best result possible. In certain cases, when the facts are adverse to my clients, I can negotiate entry into diversion programs that help alleged abusers overcome substance abuse and anger issues.

Hearing representation for persons targeted in restraining orders

If you are named as the target of a restraining order, formally called a protection from abuse (PFA) order, your liberty is in jeopardy. Authorities can confiscate your firearms, you can be removed from your place of residence, denied access to your children, and, wherever you are, at virtually any time, if the protected person happens to appear, you can be subjected to public humiliation. Moreover, you can go to jail for violating an order and face up to $1,000 in fines.

Fortunately, you have a right to due process, which includes the right to confront your accuser. In Pennsylvania, you are entitled to a hearing within 10 days of the issuance of a PFA order, where your accuser must show by a preponderance of the evidence that you engaged in conduct that justifies a protective order. When you retain my services, I accompany you to court, and we go prepared to fight.

Contact an aggressive trial lawyer in Somerset, PA

A domestic violence conviction can have severe consequences. For aggressive defense representation, trust Matthew R. Zatko, Attorney at Law. Call 814-483-7075 or contact me online to schedule a consultation. I serve clients throughout Somerset County, Bedford County, Cambria County, and Indiana County.