How Much Will a PFA Against Me Cost?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 06, 2020 | 0 Comments

When the court issues a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order against the defendant, the defendant often will be prohibited from contacting the other party and will always be prohibited from harassing, abusing, or harming the other party. However, the order can also direct the defendant to pay out-of-pocket costs to the plaintiff for things related to the abuse. 

All these costs can end up coming to a lot of money, in addition to court fees and legal costs. This is one reason why it can make such a difference to have an experienced PFA defense lawyer on your side. Your attorney can advise you of your options and help reduce the financial burden of a PFA.  

Financial Costs to the Defendant Under a PFA

Under a PFA, the “relief” available includes all the restrictions and limitations for the subject of the order. This includes directing the defendant not to contact the plaintiff, awarding custody, and granting possession of the residence. Among the relief available is to direct the defendant to pay money for the benefit of the plaintiff. Depending on the final PFA order, this can cost the defendant a lot of money. 

Under the Pennsylvania Protection From Abuse Act, 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108(8), the PFA can direct the defendant to pay the plaintiff for reasonable losses suffered as a result of the abuse, including:

  • Medical and dental expenses, 
  • Relocation and moving expenses; 
  • Counseling; 
  • Loss of earnings or support; 
  • Costs of repair or replacement of real or personal property damaged, destroyed, or taken by the defendant; 
  • Other out-of-pocket losses for injuries sustained; and
  • Pay reasonable attorney fees. 

A PFA may also require the defendant to stay out of their home, which could mean having to find a place to stay with limited notice. The defendant may have no option but to find a hotel room for a few weeks or longer, without their clothing or property, all while continuing to go to work to keep their job

Examples of Costs of a PFA

The cost of a PFA will depend on a lot of factors but here are some examples of how much a 30-day PFA could cost the defendant. 

These are just some sample costs. More serious medical, dental, or injury expenses can easily rise into the tens of thousands. Relocation costs for a larger family can also be a big increase in cost. This is all in addition to the possibility of having to pay the plaintiff's reasonable legal costs. 

Talk to your Pennsylvania PFA defense lawyer about your options to make sure you do not get taken advantage of in a PFA hearing. 

Pennsylvania PFA Defense Lawyer

Pennsylvania attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped individuals accused of abuse and stalking avoid a PFA order. Protecting your rights is critical and the Lento Law firm can help. Contact Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.

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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