PFA Defense in Luzerne County

A protection from abuse (PFA) order is a formal civil action that may be implemented for the safety of a victim of abuse. They are commonly referred to as restraining orders in other jurisdictions. In 2018, Luzerne County data shows that 638 PFAs were processed. Pennsylvania law allows for these petitions to be made without any fees required`.

Adjacent County Comparison: Protections From Abuse (2018)

Luzerne

638

Wyoming

494

Lackawanna

765

Columbia

246

A petition for a PFA may be filed by an alleged victim of abuse caused by a member of their household or family. This may include a current or former sexual (intimate) partner or someone they have a child with. Luzerne County has a Protection From Abuse Office located on the second floor of the Luzerne County Courthouse. The Sheriff's Office enforces PFA orders and will arrest and charge those who do not comply with indirect criminal contempt.

Understanding Acts of Abuse

Acts of abuse may include any intentional attempt or act that result in bodily injury. These may include acts of incest, rape, or sexual assault. The act may be committed by an abuser when they create an environment where the victim feels they are at risk of bodily injury. Abuse may also be committed when the victim is subjected to false imprisonment.

Conditions of Relief in a PFA

The court may use some discretion when establishing the conditions that an abuser must adhere to in a PFA including:

  • That no further acts of abuse are committed
  • That the abuser be evicted from the residence and not return
  • Orders that relate to the custody or visitation of minor children
  • Prohibiting the abuser from having any direct or indirect contact or from committing acts such as stalking or harassment
  • Prohibiting the abuser from visiting a victim's school or place of employment
  • That the abuser be prohibited from ownership or possession of firearms
  • The abuser may be ordered to pay for any losses that resulted from the abuse

Do I Need an Attorney for an Upcoming PFA Hearing?

Those who have been alleged to have committed acts of abuse may be the subject of a temporary protection order. These are deemed as temporary because a court hearing will be conducted within 10 days. The hearings may involve presenting evidence, testimony from witnesses, and other important activity. It is critical to retain seasoned legal representation to protect your best interests.

Violations of PFA Provisions

When there is reasonable cause to believe that the subject of a PFA has committed a violation they may be arrested. The violation(s) are considered to be criminal acts of contempt that can have significant penalties. Law enforcement statewide has access to a central registry that contains the details of all PFAs that exist.

Pennsylvania Lawyer Represents Clients in Protection from Abuse Order Hearings

Have you been served with a temporary PFA order? Attorney Joseph D. Lento has the experience to effectively represent you in the upcoming hearing. For a case consultation, contact the office today at (888) 535-3686.

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