Pittsburgh Protection Order Lawyer
Domestic violence, sexual violence, and intimidation are situations that are terrifying for those that encounter them. Whether the offender is someone you know or a stranger, the consequence to your health and life can be devastating. These situations can also be overwhelming if you’ve been wrongly accused of violence. Protection orders provide a necessary civil recourse for people who are truly being victimized, but they can have seriously negative influence on all areas of your life if you are being accused and you’ve done nothing wrong.
“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.”
Types of Protection Orders
If you are in a difficult or dangerous situation and need a protection order, you may be confused about all of the options. There are different kinds of protection orders, each with specific requirements.
We can help with all of the following:
Protection from Abuse (PFA) orders provide an avenue to obtain protection in situations that can be dangerous. Our Pittsburgh protection from abuse lawyers can help you file the necessary legal documents and put forth evidence that will achieve protection for you and your loved ones.
Protection from Sexual Violence (PFSV)
If you’ve been sexually victimized by someone you don’t know, a protection from sexual violence order may be necessary. We can help you seek protection and find safety.
Protection from Intimidation (PFI)
If you know a child who is facing harassment and intimidation from an adult, you may need to file a protection from intimidation order on their behalf. We can help you obtain the necessary court protections to enable you to provide a safe and secure environment for the child.
Obtaining a Protection Order in Pennsylvania
Civil protection orders may be obtained through a common pleas court in your county. The process involves specific paperwork as well as the presentation of evidence. Each county has a different process; however, there are some common steps:
1. Submit a petition to your local county courthouse. A petition for a protection order can be obtained from the court or from your attorney. The petition will ask you (the plaintiff) to name the alleged abuser (the defendant) and explain what happened as well as any other information that supports why you need protection.
2. Meet with the judge. A judge will review your petition and ask additional questions. The alleged abuser is not usually present for this initial meeting. The judge may grant or deny a temporary protection order based on the information provided and a final hearing will be scheduled.
3. Notify the alleged abuser. The local sheriff’s office will deliver a copy of the petition, any temporary protection order, and notice of upcoming hearings to the alleged abuser. You do not have to take actions for this step to be completed.
4. Attend the final hearing. You and the alleged abuser will attend a hearing in front of a judge. You must present evidence regarding the alleged abuse and the alleged abuser will have an opportunity to defend themselves.
Obtaining a protection order can be an emotional process. You must write what happened to you as well as explain it to a judge. It can be difficult to get through the process alone. A Pittsburgh protection order lawyer can help you. In addition to completing the necessary paperwork, we will gather evidence and present it to the judge. You must attend hearings, but we can handle the legal issues while you focus on physical and emotional recovery.
Defending Against a Protection Order
If you were served with a protection order petition, you may be confused. You may be unsure of what steps to take and how to defend yourself against false allegations. Whether you are being accused of domestic violence, sexual abuse, or harassment, you need representation through the protection order process.
Many people don’t know they’ve been accused of abuse until they receive documents from the court. You may be accused of committing violence and receive a petition for an order for any of the following:
- Protection from Abuse – PFA orders may be obtained by intimate partners and family members who accuse someone of domestic violence. They are often used as leverage in divorce and child support cases.
- Protection from Sexual Violence – PFSV orders may be sought by someone who claims to have been sexually victimized by someone they do not know or who is not a member of their family. Wrongful accusations may involve false statements or misidentification.
- Protection from Intimidation – PFI orders may be obtained by children facing harassment from adults. There may be a misunderstanding or the child may be making false statements.
If you are facing a possible civil protection order against you, you may also have to deal with criminal charges. Violence can result in jail time as well as steep fines. Your employer or school may find out, and you may face other unexpected consequences. If you’ve been accused of violence, seek the help of a Pittsburgh family lawyer right away.