When an individual is the subject of domestic violence claims, their life can become incredibly complicated. Criminal charges involving domestic violence can have consequences that reach across several areas of the law, including family law and a person's rights to firearms. One aspect of a person's life that may be affected by domestic violence charges is their living situation. A person's living situation is something that is seldom thought of when domestic violence charges arise, however, a person can potentially face dire consequences when facing domestic violence charges, especially if a PFA order is involved.
A PFA order is a court order against a person, known as the defendant, filed by another individual, known as the plaintiff. PFA stands for protection from abuse, and these orders are filed in alleged domestic violence situations. There are a few different types of PFA orders that a person can file. The first type of PFA order is an emergency PFA order. As the name implies, these PFA orders are issued in situations that are considered emergencies. Emergency PFA orders are issued by an on-call judge, who hears out the plaintiff without any input from a defendant. Another type of PFA order is an "ex parte" PFA order. These are filed on the plaintiff's word alone as well. Both emergency and ex parte PFA orders are meant to last a temporary time period, and the defendant will be notified of the order against them.
The last type of PFA is known as a final PFA order, and it will be set forth at a hearing in front of a judge. A final PFA order can last for several years time and will be based mostly on the terms of the initial ex parte or emergency PFA. Defendants will be able to defend themselves at a hearing for a final PFA with their own individual supporting evidence.
How Can a PFA Affect My Living Situation?
When a person has a PFA filed against them, the consequences can be dire. A PFA order often requires that a defendant avoid a plaintiff, which can potentially mean that partners that lived together must separate. In certain cases, if a defendant is a tenant at an apartment complex, they may have a serious complication. Many times tenants are required to sign an agreement, which may have terms that forbid a person to have criminal charges or a PFA placed against them. This can potentially lead to an eviction, even if the defendant has their name on the lease. In some cases, a defendant that owns their own home may be forced to leave if the PFA mandates it.
Pennsylvania PFA Defense Attorney
When a person faces domestic violence charges or the imposition of a PFA against them, their situation can become particularly complicated. PFA orders can interfere with a person's quality of life and their living situation. This can make a person's life cumbersome and difficult when they merely want to move on with their living situation. An experienced criminal defense attorney can not only defend against a PFA order but may also defend against any ensuing criminal domestic violence charges as well.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges or the filing of a PFA order against them, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.