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Domestic violence is considered to be very serious in Pennsylvania and the abuser is not spared. An abusive relationship is a horrible predicament for both the people in the relationship as well as for the children in the household. Pennsylvania offers civil protection to the victim of abuse by Protection from abuse or PFA order. If you have received a PFA order, then surely you are in a tricky situation. You are probably confused and worried about what to do. Getting legal assistance from a Pittsburgh PFA lawyer will be the right idea for you.
At Logue Law Group, we have represented many defendants and successfully got the charges and PFA order dismissed. If you are in a situation like this and wondering what to do, come to us and let us help you.
What is a PFA Order?
In Pennsylvania, the court can issue PFA orders for a broad spectrum of crimes including abuse, assault, sexual assault, threats for bodily injury, serious injury and many other things. The most common causes that get PFA orders are domestic violence. The PFA can be temporary or final.
If the plaintiff of their children is in the position of immediate danger, then they can seek a PFA order from the magisterial district on call judge. This will be effective for twenty-four hours. If the plaintiff needs extended protection, then they can go for the hearing and get ex parte PFA order. While this is also a temporary provision, yet it offers protection to the victim and the minor in danger. For this hearing, the judge assumes the allegations to be true and along with the PFA order, they notify the defendant about the final PFA hearing.
Final PFA Hearing
The final PFA order is more permanent in nature with the validation for three years. As the defendant, you need to appear in court for this hearing as this is your only opportunity to tell your side of the story. Even if the court issues a PFA order, it will pay attention to your evidence and argument and grant you more lenient provisions. Though it is not compulsory to hire a lawyer, yet, an experienced Pittsburgh PFA lawyer will help you protect your right, explain the provisions to you and even help in the dismissal of the order.
Final Protection From Abuse Hearing
During the final hearing, the PFA order is supposed to get dismissed. While you and the plaintiff both can tell your side of the story, the lawyer will get a chance to cross examine the evidence and the witnesses for you. The responsibility of the plaintiff will be to produce the preponderance of the evidence which will determine that the two of you are in a domestic relationship. You both can be the former or current spouse, siblings, parent and child, intimate or dating partner, family members related by blood or marriage.
Relationships like colleagues, classmate or neighbors won’t be qualified for the order. The PFA act defines abuse in the following way:
(1) Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, serious bodily injury, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault or incest with or without a deadly weapon; (2) Placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury; (3) The infliction of false imprisonment pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2903; (4) Physically or sexually abusing minor children, including such terms as defined in Chapter 63; and (5) knowingly engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person, without proper authority, under the circumstances which place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury. (23 Pa. Stat. §6102)
If you have not been convicted for the domestic abuse crime or there is no objective or medical records, it is most likely that the plaintiff will not get the PFA order. This can lead to the dismissal of the PFA order.
Connect With Pittsburgh PFA Lawyer
Come to Logue Law Group and get a chance to dismiss the PFA order against you. Our Pittsburgh PFA lawyer will help you with that. For a free consultation, call us today.