Protection from Abuse (PFA) Orders
In Pennsylvania, when dealing with cases of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking, the alleged victim can apply for a protective order known as a “Protection from Abuse” (PFA) order. The court can issue a PFA order, either by agreement or after a hearing. If the police question you for allegedly violating a PFA order, it is crucial to take immediate action and seek the assistance of a skilled defense attorney.
A Protection from Abuse order provides legal protection and ensures the safety of individuals who have been subjected to abuse or harassment. It outlines specific restrictions that the accused person must follow, such as maintaining a certain distance from the protected party, refraining from abusive behavior, refraining from any form of contact, and sometimes surrendering firearms or other weapons. Violating any of these provisions can lead to serious consequences.
Related Article: What Is a PFA in Pennsylvania?
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Violating a Protection from Abuse Order in Pennsylvania
A PFA order outlines specific conditions and restrictions designed to protect a victim from further harm or harassment. The specific terms and conditions of a PFA order can vary based on jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case. The court will outline the provisions in the order. The person who the order was entered against is responsible to understand and adhere to these stipulations.
Violating a PFA order means you disregarded or failed to comply with any of the provisions stated within the order. A violation can be as simple as calling or texting the protected party, reaching out via social media, or going to a location that you are specifically required to stay away from, such as your child’s school.
Violating a PFA order in Pennsylvania can have both criminal and civil legal consequences. The potential penalties for breaching a PFA order are as follows:
Criminal penalties under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6114 of Pennsylvania’s Protection from Abuse Act:
- Individuals who violate a PFA order may face a fine ranging from $300 to $1,000.
- They could also be subject to imprisonment for a period of up to six months.
Civil penalties under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6114.1 of Pennsylvania’s Protection from Abuse Act:
- The court can hold someone in civil contempt if it finds them in violation of a PFA order. Civil contempt can result in imprisonment until the individual complies with the order or demonstrates an intent to comply. There is a maximum term of six months.
It is important to recognize that the severity of these penalties may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the violation and the discretion of the court. Additionally, the court has the authority to extend the duration of the PFA order as an additional penalty.
If the police approach you regarding violating a PFA order, you must exercise your right to remain silent. Do not provide any statements or admissions without the presence of your defense attorney. This is because the police and prosecutor can potentially use anything you say during the questioning against you in court.
PFA Defense Lawyers in Pennsylvania Protect Your Rights
It’s in your best interest to have legal representation from the outset to safeguard your rights and navigate the legal process effectively. Retaining an experienced PFA defense lawyer with knowledge in PFA violation cases is critical to success.
The lawyers at Shuttleworth Law P.C. possess the expertise and understanding of the relevant laws and procedures, allowing us to provide you with the best possible defense. We will carefully review the details of the case, assess the evidence against you, and develop a strategic defense strategy tailored to your specific situation.
Get your Free Case Evaluation now by calling 888-529-3486 or by messaging us confidentially online. Our legal team can meet with you in person or via secure video conferencing.