Domestic violence charges often lead to a person facing serious consequences across several different areas of the law. Domestic violence charges can affect a person's career, aspects of any custody or divorce proceedings, and their day to day life. One particularly difficult circumstance that a person may be placed under is having a PFA order filed against them. These orders can be intrusive and damaging to their quality of life.
PFA Orders in Pennsylvania
A PFA order, or protection from abuse order, is a court order that establishes rules between two parties involved in a domestic violence incident. The person who files a PFA will be known as "plaintiff" while the individual who has the PFA filed against them will be known as the "defendant." There are several types of PFA orders that a plaintiff may file. The first of which is an emergency PFA order. As the name implies, these are filed under emergency circumstances. They must be approved by an on call judge who has deemed the situation an emergency. These orders may have harsher terms due to the nature of their circumstances. Another type of PFA that a plaintiff may file is known as an "ex parte" PFA order. These are file without the presence or input of the defendant, however, a plaintiff must go to court to do so. In either of these cases, these orders are meant to last a temporary time, until a final PFA can be settled at a hearing.
A final PFA order is meant to last for a longer period of time, typically a few years, and will have its terms set by a judge. These terms can range from mild to severe, depending on a person's ability to defend against the plaintiff's claims at a hearing.
How Can I Defend Against a PFA Order Pending Against Me?
When a person faces a PFA order, they will have to attend a hearing in court to decide upon whether or not the PFA will be finalized, and what the terms of the order will be if it is finalized. There are a number of ways a person may defend against a PFA order they are facing. Primarily, a defendant must show evidence and make proper arguments against the terms of the PFA, and against the PFA itself. Even if a PFA is still issued, a defendant's statements in court will be considered by a judge and may affect the final outcome of the matter. Judges will consider all input from a defendant at a hearing so it is important to make use of strong evidence.
Pennsylvania PFA Defense Attorney
When a person is facing a PFA order or domestic violence charges, their situation can become complex, confusing, and difficult to deal with. They may find that certain aspects of their life are hindered by a PFA, and they are unable to enjoy the rights they once had. An experienced attorney can help defend against both the domestic violence charges as well as the PFA order.