Have you just been served with a protection from abuse (PFA) order? You're probably feeling stressed and anxious about what the order means and how to comply – especially if you live with the accuser. Joseph Lento wants to help you through this time, so here's what to do the moment you're served with a PFA.
How Do Protection From Abuse Orders Work?
A PFA is a court order designed to stop someone from abusing another person. If someone files a PFA against you, the order sets out specific things you can't do, such as contacting the accuser. Unfortunately, you may be ordered to leave the shared home – even if you own the property.
PFA orders begin as temporary. When you're served with a PFA, the paperwork will include a final hearing date, which is usually in around ten days. The hearing date is your chance to defend yourself and show why the PFA should be dismissed. But in the meantime, you must comply with the PFA's terms, even if this means vacating your home.
What Happens if I'm Served With a PFA?
A PFA takes effect from the moment you receive it. If the order states that you must leave the family home, you should leave immediately – here are some tips for managing this highly stressful situation.
- Stay calm. Read the order right away so you know what you can and can't do.
- Do not contact your accuser. If they attempt to contact you, do not respond.
- If you're at home when you receive the PFA, you may have the chance to pack some belongings, but you must be off the property by the time the accuser arrives home. It's crucial you move quickly, or you risk accidentally violating the PFA – prioritize essential items such as your wallet and phone.
- If you can't return home to pack your belongings, try not to panic. Carefully consider your financial situation and concentrate on finding alternate accommodation. This could mean reaching out to friends and family or paying for temporary accommodation if you can afford it.
- Even if you're evicted, you must still pay your mortgage or rent, so consider these costs when deciding what you can afford to spend on accommodation.
As soon as you receive a PFA, retain a criminal defense attorney who can represent you at the final PFA hearing.
How the Lento Law Firm Can Help With Your PFA
Is someone you live with filing a PFA against you? Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Violating a PFA can be a criminal offense, but an attorney can ensure you understand what the order means and how to comply with it.
The Lento Law Firm can evaluate your case and determine the best way to challenge a PFA. To hire attorney Joseph D. Lento and his expert team, contact the Lento Law Firm online or call today on 888.535.3686.