A protection from abuse order, also called a PFA, is issued to stop the abuse. Anyone you share or have shared a domestic relationship with can get a PFA against you in Pennsylvania, and it comes into force right from the moment it is issued. Once you receive the PFA, you should contact a dependable attorney to work on your case. Reputed-rated firms like Lento Law Firm have qualified lawyers who would be happy to assist you before you go for the hearing. In this post, we are discussing emergency PFAs, temporary PFAs, and permanent PFAs.
I have been served with a PFA order. What’s next?
What you have received is a temporary or emergency PFA. Do not panic. You should abide by the PFA, no matter what your story may be. Keep in mind that protection from abuse orders are civil matters, but if you violate any of the aspects, you could be arrested. Any violation will only impact your case adversely. Also, make sure that you don’t ask your friends or family members to contact the plaintiff. A hearing date would be scheduled within ten days, and that’s when you get to tell your story to the court.
What is an emergency PFA?
An emergency PFA is typically issued at night or when the regular courts are closed. The plaintiff, or the accuser, must have valid grounds to get an emergency PFA, and they must also explain why they cannot wait for the court to open. These emergency PFAs are usually valid for a short period or until the court opens. The accuser, however, can consider getting a temporary PFA. As far as protection is concerned, emergency orders are the same as temporary PFA orders.
What Is a Temporary PFA Order?
A temporary PFA order is issued to prevent further abuse and is valid until the date of the final hearing. The order may require you to move out of the house and even surrender your firearms to the police. A temporary PFA order is issued after an ex-parte hearing, which means that the judge is issuing the order based on what the accuser has to say. The final hearing is typically scheduled within ten days, and you will get your chance to defend your case. The judge can either dismiss the existing order or issue a permanent PFA order.
Should you hire an attorney?
Yes, absolutely. Pennsylvania takes domestic violence and cases of abuse very seriously. While PFAs are a civil matter, there could be criminal charges for cases that also involve domestic abuse. Make sure that you hire an attorney because if you don’t present evidence and argue why the temporary PFA should be dismissed, you may have to deal with a permanent PFA. Permanent PFAs remain on record for the rest of your life and can be found in background checks across the country. It is not something that would just impact whether you get to meet your spouse or children. It is about your life moving ahead, and you need to seek legal help and advice from the right source.
Work honestly with your attorney
A skilled attorney can use the right strategies to get the PFA dismissed, and you can rely on your attorney to appeal further if the court issues a permanent PFA. Your lawyer is key to making the right decisions without acting in haste. Always remember that your attorney needs to know every aspect in detail, even if you were wrong to an extent. That allows them to come up with strategies that will help defend the PFA.
Check websites like Nolo and Avvo to find reliable lawyers for your case or just trust Google for suggestions.