Can Someone Get a PFA Against Me if We Hooked Up on Tinder?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Mar 16, 2023 | 0 Comments

Many people in Pennsylvania use Tinder and other online dating apps to find romantic partners for casual sexual relationships. However, as with any romantic relationship, things can sometimes get out of hand, or people may have vastly different ideas about what the relationship should be. If the relationship turns abusive or one partner harasses, stalks, or intimidates the other, the victim may seek to obtain a protective order against them.

If you were involved with someone you met on Tinder and things didn't go so well, or if the other person feels you are harassing them or stalking them, for instance, you may be concerned whether the person can obtain a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order against you. It's important to understand Pennsylvania's laws regarding PFA orders and other protection orders, so you know whether your situation applies, and you should reach out to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately if a partner has obtained or is trying to obtain a protection order against you.

Must Be a Qualifying Intimate Relationship

Pennsylvania courts usually only issue PFA orders in situations of domestic violence or abuse, and the person seeking the protection order must have a qualifying intimate relationship with the accused, who could be any of the following:

  • A family member
  • A current or former spouse
  • A current or former member of the household
  • A current or former boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Someone with whom the victim had a child

In some cases, you can get a PFA against a current or former sexual partner, even if the relationship was short-term. In most cases, you can only get a PFA where some form of abuse occurred. However, the law broadly defines abuse, and it can include attempting to sexually abuse someone or placing them in reasonable fear for their life and safety.

Even if the court does not regard the relationship as a qualifying intimate relationship or no abuse occurred, someone can get a protection order against you for other violations, such as any of the following

  • Criminal harassment – You harassed the person either verbally or physically, or threatened the person, or used harsh, derogatory language toward them.
  • Stalking – You followed the person around, and your actions caused them to have a reasonable fear for their safety or emotional distress.
  • Invasion of privacy – You unlawfully invaded the person's privacy by taking nude photos of them without their permission or knowledge, for instance, or you illicitly obtained their personal information and published or disseminated the photos or information through electronic and physical means.

Pennsylvania also allows victims to obtain sexual violence or intimidation restraining orders in certain circumstances.

Get Help from an Experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney

Pennsylvania's laws regarding protection orders are broad and can include numerous scenarios, but you likely have options for defending yourself. The facts and circumstances of your case will determine your defense strategy, and you need to consult an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney for help right away.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has many years of experience representing clients in Pennsylvania who have protection orders against them. He can evaluate your case, advise you of your options, and represent you during all proceedings to help you get the best outcome possible.

Call the Lento Law Firm Family Law Team today at 888-535-3686 or contact us online for a confidential consultation.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than 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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