PFA Orders: What to Do and What Not to Do

Receiving a notification that a protection from abuse (PFA) order has been filed against you in Pennsylvania is the beginning of a stressful and difficult process. Unfortunately, if you do not respond appropriately or take the wrong steps in the immediate aftermath of receiving the PFA, it can make life even more difficult in the long run.

What Not to Do After a PFA

Being notified that there is a PFA against you can be shocking. After all, it means that someone is accusing you of domestic violence or being abusive – both serious allegations. Responding impulsively is not only easy, but difficult to avoid. Unfortunately, if you react to a PFA rashly, it can get you into even more trouble.

While there are three different kinds of PFAs – emergency, ex parte, and final orders – they are all types of binding court orders. As a result, violating any one of them is a crime, prosecuted as criminal contempt of a court order. A conviction for violating a PFA can come with up to 6 months of jail time, up to $1,000 in fines, an extension of the PFA, and confiscation of any firearms or weapons you own. Unlike the underlying PFA, a conviction for criminal contempt of a PFA is a crime that will be added to your criminal background.

Not violating the PFA notification, therefore, is crucial. You will need to avoid all contact with the person who filed the PFA. Even reaching out to them and asking why they filed the PFA and what you can do to make things right could violate the terms of the PFA and lead to contempt charges. If you share a house or apartment with the person who filed the PFA, it could also mean finding somewhere to live until everything has been resolved.

What to Do After a PFA

While not contacting the person who filed the PFA is a start, it is not the end. Many PFA orders come with express conditions that you will need to actively satisfy in order to comply with it. Some can prohibit you from obtaining new firearms, or prohibit you from contacting not only the person who filed the PFA, but also their friends, family, relatives, and even your own shared children. Not complying with these provisions can also lead to contempt charges, as well.

Making sure that you comply with the terms of the PFA will only keep things from getting worse, though. To protect your rights and fight against the allegations being thrown at you, you will need an attorney who is dedicated to your defense.

The Best PFA Lawyer in Philadelphia

This is where PFA attorney Joseph D. Lento can help. By representing your rights and interests in court, attorney Lento can vigorously fight for justice on your behalf.

If you have found that there is a PFA against you, call the Lento Law Firm at (215) 535-5353 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and begin your defense against these groundless accusations.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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