Friday, June 03, 2011

PFA - contempt - multiple contempts - sentence of > 6 months proper

Hill v. Randolph - Pa. Super. - June 1, 2011

Defendant was convicted of two counts of indirect criminal contempt for violations of a PFA order, arising out of a single incident. One contempt involved entry into plaintiff's home; the other involved his physical abuse of her. The trial court found defendant guilty and sentenced him to 6 months imprisonment on each contempt charge, for a total imprisonment of one year.

The court rejected defendant's challenges to an aggregate sentence of more than 6 months, the maximum sentence for a PFA violation, stating "We infer nothing in the PFA Act1 to bar prosecution of multiple ICC charges arising from different violations of the same order, nor are double jeopardy or trial-by-jury rights implicated in the facts before us. Accordingly, we affirm."