It is not uncommon for fighting couples to have a change of mind after things cool down. Arguments that are really heated at the time may seem trivial a day later (and after the effects of alcohol have worn off). However, when an argument leads to a domestic violence call, it can be much more difficult to patch things up after.
After a domestic violence call, the court may issue a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, which is supposed to protect the alleged victim from further harm from the offender. Unfortunately, these emergency protection orders may not take in all the facts. An emergency order or ex parte temporary PFA can be issued without the defendant even getting a chance to respond to the allegations. This puts the burden on the defendant to challenge the PFA before he or she can reconcile with their partner.
Getting a Call from the Person With the Restraining Order?
After a PFA is issued, the defendant may be prohibited from a number of actions, including:
- Do not contact the other person,
- Do not contact the other person's family members,
- Do not go to the other person's home or place of business, and
- Stay a certain distance away from the other person.
If you are subject to these kinds of restrictions as part of a PFA, do not break them or you could end up under arrest. Violating a PFA can result in Contempt of PFA Order charges. Under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 23 § 6114, violating the PFA may lead to:
- Fine of up to $1,000
- Up to six months in jail
- Extension of PFA order
- Confiscation of any weapons, firearms, or ammunition used or threatened to be used in violation of PFA or prior incidents of abuse
The alleged victim in the PFA may be trying to contact you, to reconcile, to get back together, or to talk things out. It can be tempting to respond, so that you can move on after a fight and clear things up. However, it is not the victim who decides whether the PFA should be enforced, it is the law.
In reality, many people with a PFA get back together while the PFA is still in place. However, it still puts the defendant in a precarious position. If a family member calls the police, the defendant can end up under arrest, even if the alleged victim did not have a problem with the contact. Additionally, if the alleged victim gets upset about something else, a quick call to the police can lead to an arrest even if the defendant did not do anything.
Challenge the PFA Hearing Before Resuming Contact
Before trying to get back together, even if your ex is calling you and sending you messages, you need to take care of the PFA. Defending against a PFA order pending against you will allow you to resume your normal life without the worry that the police can arrest you for being in the wrong place or talking to the wrong person.
There are a number of ways to defend against a PFA order. The defendant must show evidence and make clear arguments against the terms of the PFA, and against the PFA itself. This may include showing that the victim or witnesses made false claims to the police, made false statements in support of the PFA, or there was other evidence to clear the defendant of any wrongdoing.
Pennsylvania Attorney to Defend Against a PFA
Pennsylvania attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped defend against PFA orders to avoid criminal charges and allow clients to get their lives back to normal. Having your voice heard in this challenging time is critical and the Lento Law firm can help. Contact Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.