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Key Details About Protection from Abuse Order in Pennsylvania

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A protection from abuse order is meant to prevent abuse from happening. In Pennsylvania, an adult, called the plaintiff, can seek a PFA order against a household member. If you are the accused in a PFA, the local sheriff or a police officer will serve the PFA, and you are required to read it immediately. The order may prevent you from contacting the plaintiff or may even require you to move out of the house if you share it with them. You have the right to defend yourself, and it is necessary that you hire a protection from abuse attorney in PA. Here are some key details that you need to know.

The basics

Typically, the accuser or the plaintiff will file a temporary PFA against you, which is also called a temporary PFA. There will be a hearing scheduled within the next ten days, and this is your chance to present your defense. You can bring witnesses to the court and show evidence to prove your side. When you get a PFA, check for important details such as the date and time of the hearing, if the PFA will impact current child custody arrangements, and if you are required to hand over your firearms to the police.

Who can file a protection from abuse order?

In Pennsylvania, only household members can file a protection from abuse order. Minors cannot petition to get a PFA unless they are emancipated. Family members or household members may refer to spouses, live-in partners, ex-spouses, parents, in-laws, and former intimate partners. Also, if you were romantically involved with someone in the past, they can petition for a PFA, no matter how brief the relationship was.  

Things to avoid when served with a PFA

Firstly, abide by everything in the PFA. You may feel that some of the details in the PFA are unjustified or unfair, but you are required to follow the instructions. If you fail to do so, the police can press additional charges for violating a PFA. Because PFAs involve people who were once closely related, the situation may get worse between the parties. You may feel frustrated and wronged, but don’t make hasty decisions.

Call a lawyer

Don’t let the temporary PFA become a permanent one. Talk to an experienced attorney and discuss what they can do for your case. Don’t shy away from discussing the facts, even if you have done a few wrong things.