When a person faces domestic violence accusations, their life can become incredibly complicated. Domestic violence charges can have a strong impact across multiple areas of the law, and the consequences are not limited to the field of criminal law. Domestic violence accusations can impact a person's arrangements for custody, separation, or other aspects of family law. For a workforce professional, domestic violence charges can be even more complex, as they may affect their standing with a state licensing organization. In addition to this, a professional that has a PFA order filed against them may face complications with their career.
What is a PFA Order?
A PFA order is a court order that restricts certain activities of a person who has been accused fo domestic violence. The order is filed by the plaintiff, against the alleged perpetrator of the violence, who will be known as the defendant. There are a few different types of PFA orders. The first is an emergency PFA order. An emergency PFA order is issued in emergencies by an on-call judge, as the name implies. The judge will decide whether or not the situation warrants an emergency action. These orders last a temporary time period, however, they can carry serious consequences. Similarly, a plaintiff may also file an "ex parte" PFA order. Ex parte PFA orders are made without the presence of the defendant and are set up only on the word of the plaintiff. If either of these are filed against a defendant, they will be notified and a court date will be set for a final PFA hearing.
These hearings will take place in front of a judge. At a hearing, a defendant may present their arguments and evidence against imposing a PFA order against them. A finalized PFA order can potentially last for years and can be incredibly intrusive on a person's life. For a person who holds a professional license, it can be drastically impactful on their career.
Can a PFA Order Affect My Ability To Practice Medicine In Pennsylvania?
While a state authority may not have immediate grounds to revoke a doctor's medical license simply on the grounds that they have a PFA order against them, it can place a person in a difficult situation. For a licensed doctor, accusations of domestic violence may constitute a professional misconduct investigation, which could potentially lead to a suspension of their practice, and may even cost them their license. For a medical student, when applying for a license, disclosing any PFA orders, arrests, charges, and similar events can potentially lead to being denied licensure.
Pennsylvania Defense Attorney
PFA orders can be the cause of difficulty and stress for a person's career. PFA orders can restrict a person's whereabouts and places them in consistent danger of violating the order, which can become a prosecutable offense. These situations endanger a person's ability to hold a professional license within the state of Pennsylvania. A defense attorney can help. An experienced attorney can not only defend against any charges a person can face, but can also help them in court against defending against a PFA order. Even if a final PFA is ordered, a judge will consider a person's defensive arguments when setting up the terms.
If you or a loved one is facing a PFA order, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.