What to Do, and What Not to Do, When Served With a PFA Order

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jul 04, 2022 | 0 Comments

A press report tells the sad story of a Pennsylvania man arrested after he allegedly violated a protection from abuse (PFA) order. The story recounts an extreme version of what not to do when served with a PFA order. The report states that rather than comply with the order by staying away from the woman who got the order, the PFA defendant entered the woman's home at night while the woman slept. The woman awoke with the PFA defendant standing over her bed. Arguments between the two ensued over the course of hours, during which the PFA defendant allegedly made veiled death threats, destroyed and set fire to personal property, and physically abused the woman. The event ended with the woman's flight from the home and the defendant's arrest after the woman's ten-year-old son intervened in the woman's defense. Court records show criminal charges pending against the PFA defendant for terroristic threats, stalking, harassment, and criminal mischief.

What Not to Do When Served With a PFA Order

Courts enforce PFA orders with contempt proceedings and criminal charges. If, as the above case alleges, the PFA defendant commits other crimes when violating a PFA order, authorities may charge those crimes, too. The PFA order may be fair or unfair, just or unjust. It won't matter to the court when the court decides the contempt charges against the PFA defendant. PFA defendants must comply with PFA orders, no matter whether the PFA defendant could later successfully challenge the PFA order at a hearing. Don't violate any term of any PFA order, whether that order is a temporary or permanent order. And don't commit any other crimes or wrongs out of frustration at facing an unjust, embarrassing, and harmful PFA order. Don't make yourself the subject of the next sad press story.

What to Do Instead When Served With a PFA Order

Instead of acting violently or recklessly in emotional response to an unfair PFA order, get the skilled and experienced attorney representation you need to promptly challenge, overturn, or modify the order at a proper court hearing. Courts issue temporary PFA orders, having only heard the plaintiff's side of the story. Just because you face a temporary PFA order doesn't mean that the court is already biased against you. The court may promptly dismiss or properly modify the temporary PFA order when, within a few days of the initial order, you have your fair chance to contest it at a full hearing.

Retain Premier PFA Defense Representation

Your best move when served with a temporary PFA order is to retain Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm for your aggressive and effective defense. You will need winning representation at your upcoming permanent PFA order hearing. And if you've already suffered an unjust permanent PFA order, consult Attorney Lento and his expert team about getting relief from that order. Call 888-535-3686 for a consultation now or use the online service.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than 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.

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