PFA Orders And Careers In Law Enforcement in Pennsylvania

Domestic violence accusations can be difficult matters for any individual. These accusations are particularly difficult for individuals who seek to obtain a career in law enforcement or those who are already in law enforcement positions. When a person in law enforcement faces domestic violence charges, their status as a law enforcement professional may be jeopardized. The situation can become even more complex if a person has a PFA order filed against them.

What Is A PFA Order?

A PFA order is a special court order that is commonly used instances of domestic violence. PFA stands for "protection from abuse." These orders are filed by a "plaintiff" and act against a "defendant." There are a few different types of PFA orders that may be filed. The quickest to obtain is an emergency PFA order. These are enacted by an on-call judge for a temporary time period if the judge believes that there is a domestic violence emergency based on the situation. An emergency PFA is filed without the defendant being present, however, the defendant will be notified that a PFA has been filed against them. A plaintiff may also file for an "ex parte" PFA order, which can be filed without a defendant present for the filing. Both ex parte and emergency PFA orders will only last a temporary time.

In either case, a defendant will be notified of a court date for a hearing to argue for a final PFA order. A final PFA order can last several years time, and be incredibly restrictive on a person's quality of life. These orders are decided upon by a judge. A defendant can present their own arguments to defend their interests in the matter. Even if a PFA is passed against a defendant, the judge will consider the defendant's input when setting the terms of the order.

How Can A PFA Order Filed Against Me Affect My Law Enforcement Career?

If a person has a career in law enforcement or is currently seeking to gain a career in law enforcement, a PFA filed against them can be damaging to their career. A person in a law enforcement position may have their status as an officer of the law placed under review if they are the subject of a PFA order. Officers of the law are required to hold themselves to a higher standard, and a PFA filed against them may constitute evidence of professional misconduct, which can result in unpaid leave, suspension, or even termination. Many times, the filing of a PFA order is also followed by criminal domestic violence charges, as well. This can drastically affect a person's career in law enforcement, and their life in general.

Pennsylvania PFA Defense Attorney

When a person faces a PFA order filed against them, their situation can become extremely complicated. This is especially the case for a person who may be subject to consequences of professional misconduct, such as a law enforcement officer. A final PFA places a person in constant danger of violating a court order when they are just trying to live their life as usual. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help a person defend against the PFA at a final PFA hearing.

If you or a loved one is facing a PFA or domestic violence charges, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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