Contesting a Pennsylvania PFA order: Get a criminal defense lawyer
People often have the hardest time accepting that a close family member, spouse, or ex, has filed a PFA against them. If you have been served with a PFA in Pennsylvania, you need to follow that cautiously because the consequences can be severe. When you receive the protection from abuse order, make sure that you read all the details. It would mention the date and time of the hearing, where you get the chance to argue why the temporary PFA should be dismissed. To get started, you should hire a Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer without further delay. Below is an overview of the key things and hiring a reliable attorney.
Take your PFA order seriously
The PFA order may ask you to give your firearms and guns to the police, and because you cannot be in contact with the accuser, you may have to move out of your home. In some circumstances, a PFA may even jeopardize your child custody arrangements. Not to forget, there could be other consequences. You could be ousted from your job and may have a hard time finding housing. If the accuser has misrepresented facts or lied to get the order, this could leave a question mark on your character forever. A permanent PFA in Pennsylvania will show up in background checks, not just in the state but across the country.
Find the right lawyer
Not all criminal defense attorneys take up PFA matters, and you need someone who is available, experienced, and readily willing to work on the case. You have less than two weeks until the final hearing, and your attorney needs to work on your defense right away. Ask the attorney about their common strategies for such cases and how often they manage to get temporary PFAs dismissed. Also, don’t shy away from checking references. As client privacy is a concern, many law firms may not offer direct references, but you can always find testimonials online.
At the final hearing
You need to be personally present to present your defense at the final hearing. You can bring evidence to prove your side, but talk to your lawyer in detail because the evidence should be admissible and relevant. You can also bring character witnesses to the hearing, and they need to be there in person.
Remember that a Pennsylvania PFA order is a civil matter, but violating the order allows the police to press criminal charges against you.