When you first got into a relationship with your significant other, you never imagined you might one day have to file a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order – or that one might be filed against you.
A PFA is a court order issued by a judge that provides protection from someone who has abused you in the past. Partners, spouses, children, parents, or other household members can all request this kind of relief when necessary.
If you've been served with a PFA, you're likely hurt, confused, and maybe even a little angry. Being accused of abuse is a serious matter. You're already dealing with the stress of your family situation deteriorating. And given that this is a court order, you may wonder if you have any confidentiality or privacy protections to keep your employer, friends, or extended family from learning about the PFA.
Your PFA is Discoverable
If a PFA has been issued against you, your name will be added to the Pennsylvania Police Database, where it can be accessed by law enforcement and court officers. PFA orders will not show up if your current employer, potential employer, school, licensing board, creditor or any other interested party performs a criminal history background check.
While no one outside of law enforcement has access to the Police Database, a determined searcher can still find your PFA by going through court records.
PFA information is usually listed in civil case files for the issuing court. Given that most civil courts have searchable online databases, any interested party with the case number or names of the people involved could discover the PFA's existence. Most details of the case likely will not be readily available, but someone looking for more information can petition the court to get it. It's harder to uncover a PFA than other types of criminal complaints but, generally speaking, it is possible. This is the reason it's so important to fight an unjust PFA before it is ever issued.
Protecting Your Rights – and Your Future
When it comes to PFA orders, someone who wants to do the work to uncover them, can. If you're worried that the request for or the issuance of a PFA may negatively impact your life, it's important to seek skilled representation. Joseph D. Lento and the Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Team have great experience in dealing with PFAs. They can help you navigate the PFA process – and help you fight it.
Joseph D. Lento and The Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team stand ready to protect your rights in the face of a requested PFA order. We will help you build a strong defense against any allegations – and work with you to protect and preserve your future. Call the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 to discuss your case or contact us online.