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Pittsburgh PFA (Protection from Abuse) Lawyer

PFA (protection from abuse) Orders are meant to help those who fear domestic abuse. However, the situation could become complex very quickly with numerous forms to complete and evidence that must be presented. Whether you are seeking protection or find yourself being falsely accused, you need a Pittsburgh PFA (protection from abuse) lawyer to help you navigate the legal process.

Our Pittsburgh PFA (protection from abuse) lawyers at Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC have years of experience helping people handle domestic violence situations. Call (412) 471-5100 to find out how we can help you.

Understanding Abuse

Domestic violence is a term used to describe acts of abuse that are committed by certain people, such as family and household members. However, domestic violence can be committed by a range of individuals who are related to the victim in some way. A Protection from Abuse (PFA) order in Pennsylvania can provide protection from any of the following individuals:

  • A person who lives in the victim’s home
  • A family member, such as a parent, sibling, or child
  • An intimate or sexual partner
  • Someone the victim had a child with in the past

A PFA in Pennsylvania is a legal decree issued by a judge. In most cases, this order forbids all contact. This means that the alleged assailant is forbidden from contacting the victim at their home, school, workplace, or place of business. The person being accused of domestic abuse is not allowed to contact the victim through a third party, such as a friend or family member. In most circumstances, a judge will also forbid the accuser from making contact with the accused. These orders can last for up to three years.

Seeking PFA (protection from abuse)

According to the guidelines outlined in the Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse (PFA) Act, those who fear domestic abuse from a family member, spouse or ex-spouse, or a household member have the right to seek protection for themselves or their minor children. You may obtain a protection order for child victims, as well as adult victims. If you plan on obtaining a protection order through the PFA Act, there are a number of resources at your disposal.

PFA Orders for Children

When children are the victims of abuse, they need the help of adults to seek a protection order. We can assist you in obtaining the necessary protection that you need for a minor child who is in a difficult or dangerous situation.

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Temporary PFA Orders

If you need a protection order immediately or you need more time before your protection order hearing, you may seek a temporary PFA order. We can help you consider your options and do what is best for you and your loved ones.

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PFA Advocates

PFA advocates help victims navigate the protection order process. Our Pittsburgh PFA lawyers can join with them to form a solid team for your case.

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“I work with clients every day who need help with complex legal issues. I want to create a bridge between the law and their goals.”

Piccirilli PFA meeting

How to Obtain a PFA Order

The process for obtaining a PFA order in Pennsylvania usually begins with filling out and submitting a petition with a court of law. PFA advocates can be instrumental during this step, providing key insights related to what should and should not be included. Once this document has been submitted, a court hearing will be immediately scheduled. In fact, the law requires that a hearing for a protection order take place within 10 days of the petition being turned in.

At the hearing, both sides will be allowed to make their case. The accuser is tasked with convincing a judge that domestic abuse is taking place, while the accused is allowed an opportunity to defend themselves. These proceedings are civil in nature, but they do resemble a criminal trial. If a protection order is eventually issued by a judge, the victim may even choose to move forward with criminal charges. If the judge is convinced that abuse is taking place, they will finalize a protection order. This order offers protection throughout the United States, and is not bound to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Defending Against PFAs

PFAs serve a vital purpose in society; however, false accusations are not uncommon. If you find yourself defending against a PFA, you may face serious consequences, even criminal charges. Our Pittsburgh PFA defense lawyers will listen to your side of the story and help you through this complicated situation.

Your spouse may falsely accuse you of abuse if you are going through a divorce or child custody battle in an attempt to influence the court’s decisions. They may say you are at fault for the divorce to obtain more assets or spousal support. Your child custody or visitation may be put in jeopardy with such an accusation. It’s important that you obtain a lawyer who will stand up for your rights if you’re being falsely accused of abuse.

If you are accused of domestic abuse, you will have to face a judge at a civil hearing and you may even have to endure a criminal trial. Your Pittsburgh PFA defense attorney can present evidence that you did not commit domestic violence and a PFA order should not be issued against you. Find out more about defending against a PFA Order.