Protection From Abuse (PFA) Attorney in York PA

Richard Robinson

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While other states have restraining orders, Pennsylvania issues Protection from Abuse (PFA) orders for domestic violence issues between family or household members. A PFA order is very similar to a restraining order in other states in that it provides certain protections for abused parties so that the abuser can no longer pose a risk of harm. These protections include no contact orders, awards of exclusive possession of a residence or temporary child custody schedules. PFA orders are serious and can have long lasting effects on a defendant’s ability to be employed or own a firearm.

If you think you could benefit from the safety of a PFA, or if you feel that you have been wrongfully accused, contact a Protection From Abuse attorney in the York, PA, offices of MPL Law. Our team can help you seek or defend a PFA action.

Understanding the PFA Process

PFAs are filed pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Protection From Abuse Act, (Title 23, Section 6101 et. seq.). A temporary PFA is typically entered without the defendant present and an evidentiary hearing must occur within ten (10) days. At the hearing, both parties will get a chance to present evidence, and the defendant will have the opportunity to enter a defense.

A defendant can also choose to enter into a consent order. If this happens, there’s no hearing and no admission of guilt. Instead, the defendant agrees to have limited or no contact with the plaintiff for a specific term. Although sometimes better than a legal finding of abuse, a consent order does have some legal consequences, which is why it is important for defendants to speak to speak to a PFA attorney in York, PA before taking this step.

Who Can File a PFA Petition?

The PFA is designed to protect victims from romantic partners, spouses, household members or family. An individual can file against any of these parties if they are abuse and pose a threat to the individual’s safety or the safety of an individual’s children.

What Constitutes as Abuse?

Pennsylvania defines abuse as physical or sexual abuse, incest and false imprisonment. Pennsylvania also considers abuse as situations where the plaintiff is placed in circumstances where they have a “reasonable fear of immediate serious bodily injury” — that means verbal threats and intimidation can also count as abuse. If you’re not sure if you qualify for a PFA, contact a PFA lawyer to help you review your options.

Consequences of a PFA

After a PFA, the defendant’s child custody, firearms rights and other privileges could be affected. They may even be limited in where they can go and where they can live. If they violate a PFA, they’re in indirect criminal contempt and may be brought before a judge. Some could even face incarceration.

A PFA is a serious legal matter, so if you have had one filed against you, contact a protection from abuse defense attorney to protect your rights.

How Can MPL Law Help?

Contact the Protection From Abuse lawyers at the York, PA, offices of MPL Law if you’ve been accused of abuse and have a PFA issued against you. Our attorneys can meet with you in a consultation to consider plans of action.