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Consequences of a PFA Order

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

People who have been subjected to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from a spouse, romantic partner, or a family member are entitled the right to put an end to their suffering by protecting themselves. A crucial step in doing so is to get a protection from abuse (PFA) order. PFA orders are civil court actions intended to deter abuse, or the fear of abuse, towards an individual and/or children. The terms of this order are customized to a victim's specific needs and circumstances. Some PFA orders are incredibly strict, while others have very few terms, the restrictiveness of a person's order depends on the circumstances.

The effectiveness of PFA orders can't be questioned, as they are honored more than half the time. However, concerns about their potential abuse are valid. Due to the nature of domestic violence, sex crimes, and other actions that may prompt a PFA order, the process of serving one is relatively easy. As a result, this process has become a breeding ground for false or exaggerated claims. If, based on these erroneous claims, the courts feel compelled to act on behalf of an alleged victim, a defendant will be subjected to the unwarranted consequences of a PFA order.

The enforcement of a PFA order on improper grounds can have a detrimental impact on a defendant. Innocent people have endured severe repercussions that have disrupted their lives, destroyed their personal relationships, and forced them to live with a debilitating social stigma. Here are some of the consequences of a PFA order that are especially damaging if a defendant is innocent:

Eviction from your home

For defendants who live with an alleged victim, a PFA order can force you to completely uproot your life. Most, if not all PFAs have terms that require defendants to keep out of the close vicinity of an alleged victim. In orders involving cohabitating parties, the defendant is always the one forced to move out. These distance restrictions can affect a defendant's relationship with their kids, and put them in a tough situation if they don't have anywhere else go.

Sexual offender registry

Depending on the circumstances, a PFA may solidify the decision to place your name on a sex offender registry. When this occurs, a person's name is put on an openly accessible list detailing their name, picture, address, age and other identifiable information. This is a method of safeguarding the public, especially children, from being victimized by sexual offenders. The amount of time your name is placed on this registry depends on the offense committed. Some people's names will remain on this register for their entire lifetime.

Loss of rights

If a judge feels it necessary, a defendant may be ordered to forfeit their right to bear arms. All firearms owned by a defendant will be turned into law enforcement for the duration of an order. The average order expires after approximately three years.

Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney

Being falsely accused of abuse is a difficult issue to deal with. To weed out the false accusations, defendants are granted an opportunity to request a hearing to claim their innocence. In this hearing, however, the stakes are high. Individuals who attend a hearing and lose will have to live with the record of abuse that will be available to anyone with access to public records. It can inhibit opportunities for employment, government aid, involvement in certain organizations, the continuation of your education and more.

If you're in this situation, you need the help of a knowledgeable attorney. Joseph D. Lento has a decade of experience helping people who have in your shoes overcome fabricated and exaggerated claims in a hearing. He can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience fighting for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, as well as New Jersey. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being.

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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.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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