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Served with a Protection from Abuse Order? Know Your Rights and Defense Yourself

A Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) is a no-contact order that protects abuse victims. If you have been served a PFA, this could mean you won’t be allowed to see your children, return to your house, or retrieve your belongings. 

Under Pennsylvania law, it is illegal for any person to threaten, stalk, abuse, or harass another person. If a person thinks they are a victim of these offenses, they can request a PFA to restrict the offender from contacting them. A judge can grant the order temporarily without a full hearing. For a PFA order to become permanent, a hearing before a judge should be held. If you have been served with a temporary PFA order, consult a Pennsylvania protection from abuse defense lawyer to understand your rights and your hearing’s possible outcomes. Your attorney can advise you and give you legal representation to ensure you achieve the outcome you desire. 

What to Expect When You Are Served

If you are served with a PFA, you may spend at least one night in jail. A hearing may be scheduled within ten business days to let you present your side of the story in court. At this point, you should have obtained legal assistance to ensure a law expert will fight for your rights and freedom. When a judge grants a final PFA at the hearing, it could impact your life for up to 3 years. The hearing will determine your rights to visit your children, your rights to your home, and child support. 

Often, a person could file a PFA out of anger, spite, or revenge. Sometimes, it is filed to take control of a custody battle. A great attorney knows that innocent people can be falsely accused and gives you solid representation. 

What Happens When a PFA Order is Violated?

Violating a part of a PFA order can put you under arrest. Violations of the order can include any form of physical contact such as phone calls, texts, and emails. No matter what your email contains, sending one is still a violation of the order. If you violate a PFA order, you can be in contempt of court and placed in jail for up to 6 months. Also, you may have to pay a fine of up to $1, 000. 

Domestic abuse allegations are not easy to prove and it takes an experienced lawyer to organize the facts and look for a resolution. Your attorney will create an appropriate strategy to defend you. 

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