Domestic violence charges often arise from complicated circumstances. When a person faces domestic violence charges they will most likely be placed in a difficult situation. Domestic violence charges can complicate a person's status across several areas of the law, including criminal law and family law. Criminal charges of any nature can potentially affect a person's standing with their employer, however, domestic violence charges can be particularly damaging to a person's reputation and rights. This is especially the case if a PFA order is filed against them.
PFA Orders in Pennsylvania
A PFA order is a special type of court order issued in situations where a domestic violence incident is believed to have occurred. PFA orders, or protection from abuse orders, are meant to serve as a means for a victim of domestic violence to have protection from an alleged abuser. There are a few different types of PFA orders that a person may encounter. The first type is an emergency PFA order. As the name implies, in situations deemed as emergencies, a plaintiff will contact an on call judge to issue these orders against a defendant. The judge has discretion over whether or not to issue the PFA, as well as what its terms will be. A plaintiff may also file an "ex parte" PFA order against the defendant. These orders are filed at the court, however, much like an emergency PFA order, the defendant will not be present to defend themselves.
In either case, a defendant that has a PFA order filed against them will be notified of the order, and a hearing date will be set for a final PFA order. At these hearings, a defendant will be able to present counter arguments and evidence to support their case. Even if a final PFA order is set, a defendant will be able to influence the judge's decision on what the terms of a final PFA order will be through their arguments.
How Can a PFA Order Affect my Standing With my Employer?
When a person has a PFA filed against them, it can affect their life in many unexpected ways. One such way impact is on a person's employment. While it is not technically a crime for a person to have a PFA order filed against them, certain employers will wish to know if any legal actions are pending against them. This is especially the case for jobs that require state certification, such as those in the legal, medical or other professional fields. Even if a person does not require a state certification, the restrictions placed on a defendant from the PFA are likely to interfere with where a person may be, and what times they may be there.
Pennsylvania Defense Attorney
When a person has a PFA order filed against them, their life may undergo serious and drastic changes that can interfere with their ability to function as normal. In addition to infringing on a person's rights, a PFA places a defendant in constant danger of committing a crime by violating a PFA order. This can be exacerbated if a defendant has other charges associated with domestic violence filed against them.