Worried about the consequences of a PFA? Check these details
You have been served with a protection from abuse (PFA) order in Pennsylvania and are now wondering if your life will ever be normal again. While PFAs are a civil matter, the police have the right to arrest you if you violate a PFA order. If your case also involves charges like domestic violence, the consequences can be severe. Immediately after you receive the order, your first step should be to contact a reliable criminal defense lawyer. Top-rated names like Lento Law Firm have experienced attorneys who can guide you through the process.
Your temporary PFA will mention the date and time of the final hearing. Before you appear in the courthouse, make sure that you adhere to everything that the order asks you to. This typically includes stringent no-contact rules, and you may have to hand over your guns to the police. Also, if you share the house with the accuser, you may have to move out. The hearing is your chance to present your defense. The burden of proof is on the accuser, though. They are required to prove why they want the temporary PFA to be converted into a permanent one.
Things to do after getting a PFA
It is okay to feel emotional and angry when served with a PFA, but this is not the time to act recklessly. Take the following steps instead –
- Contact a criminal defense attorney with credible experience in handling PFA matters. They can help you find more details for your defense and determine what evidence would be admissible in court.
- Adhere to the no-contact rules. Don’t be tempted to “talk it out” with the accuser. You should not respond if they try to contact you, and more importantly, ensure that you don’t let anyone else contact them on your behalf.
- Maintain your calm. Even as you arrive at the courthouse, the no-contact rules apply. However, you have the right to ask questions and talk at the hearing. Make sure that you ask the attorney about the dos and don’ts during the hearing.
Defending a temporary PFA is absolutely important. If the court issues a permanent PFA, you may have to deal with other consequences, and the outcome will appear in your background checks across the country. A permanent PFA remains on your records for your entire life, and it only makes sense that you work hard to present your side at the final hearing.
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