The right to bear arms is granted to every person in the United States of America. While this right is guaranteed, there are certain circumstances where a person's rights to firearm ownership may be stripped away from them. When a person owns firearms and is accused of an act of domestic violence, they may have a PFA filed against them, which can endanger their rights to a firearm.
What is a PFA Order?
A PFA order is a court order that is often filed in a situation involving domestic violence charges. PFA orders, or protection from abuse orders, are court orders that restrict certain actions of the subject of the order, the defendant. The person who files the PFA order will be known as the plaintiff. There are a few different types of PFA orders that a defendant may be subjected to. One of the most common types is an emergency PFA order. An emergency PFA order will be issued at the discretion of an on-call judge who will decide whether or not the situation constitutes the filing of an emergency PFA order. The emergency PFA order will only last a temporary amount of time, and a defendant will be notified that there is a court order against them. Another type of PFA a person may have filed against them is an "ex parte" PFA order. these orders are filed without the presence of a defendant, and similarly only serve for a temporary time period.
In either case, a defendant will be notified that a PFA has been filed against them. Emergency and ex parte PFA orders will become "final" PFA orders after a hearing has been held in front of a judge. These hearings will take place at the local court of common pleas, and will be decided upon by a judge. A defendant will be able to present arguments and evidence against the plaintiff. The judge will consider all viewpoints, arguments, and evidence presented at the hearing and make a decision on whether or not to impose a PFA order, and what the terms of the final PFA order will be.
How Can a PFA Order Affect My Rights To Firearms?
Although it is a right granted by the Second Amendment for a person to be able to own a firearm, this right can be impacted once criminal charges are involved. While a PFA order may not always restrict a person from owning firearms, however, sometimes the terms of a PFA may demand that a person relinquishes their firearms. In addition to this, PFA orders are most often filed in conjunction with domestic violence charges. Many times a person who is charged with a domestic violence-related crime must also surrender their firearms to authorities until the charges are resolved.
Pennsylvania Defense Attorney
PFA orders can be a significant source of difficulty in anyone's life, but particularly a person who owns firearms. Having to surrender or give up firearms means not only surrendering your own home's protection, but also a collection you may have built up over the years. A PFA should not have to interfere with your constitutional rights to own a firearm. An experienced attorney can help defend your rights to a firearm in court when a PFA is endangering them. In addition, if domestic violence charges follow, an attorney can also provide a strong defense as well.
If you or a loved one is facing domestic violence charges, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.