A protection from abuse order, or PFA, can bring comfort to those in situations where abuse, harassment, threats, or violence is involved. Sometimes called a restraining order, these temporary orders can help keep you safe when you feel threatened. Our York, Pa., family law attorneys can help you learn if a PFA is right for your situation.
The protect from abuse act allows for temporary protection from abuse if you are in fear of bodily harm. If someone is physically assaulted or threatened, that’s when they can file a petition for a PFA.
You can file for a PFA at the Court of Common Pleas in the York County Judicial Center if the person you want to get a restraining order for is a:
spouse or ex-spouse;
a current or former sexual partner;
your parent or child;
or a certain other blood relatives.
If you need an emergency PFA after 5 p.m., call 911. You will be connected with a duty justice who can give you more information on what to do next. The emergency PFA is good until the end of the next business day. If you believe you want a temporary PFA at that time, you’ll need to go to the courthouse and expect to spend about two hours being interviewed and filling out the paperwork.
If you have the current address of the abuser, he or she will get a copy of the petition within 24 hours. If a judge issues a Permanent PFA during a hearing, the restrictions can be in place for up to three years.
A PFA can order the alleged abuser to any of the following:
stop abusing you or your children;
stay away from where you live;
stay away from you, whether you’re at home, school or work;
stop harassing or stalking you;
turn over any weapons that might have been used to threaten you;
or pay for financial losses you might have suffered because of abuse.
A PFA is a civil filing, not a criminal charge. It only becomes a criminal case if the protection order is violated. If the accused is found guilty of violating the PFA, he or she could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If an abuser travels over state lines and violates the PFA, that person could face federal charges.
If you are seeking a PFA: The experts at Korey Leslie Attorney-at-Law can help you draft a petition for a PFA and successfully represent you to obtain a Permanent PFA to provide you peace of mind and comfort during this difficult time.
If a PFA has been filed against you: A defense attorney can help protect your rights by fighting to make sure you don’t lose custody of your children or lose the right to enter your home.
It can be tough to understand how a PFA applies to you and your individual situation. Consult a Central PA family law attorney who can help you fight for and understand your rights. Call to learn how the experts at Korey Leslie Attorney-at-Law can help represent you.