PFA AND CONTEMPT DEFENSE
WHAT IS A PFA?
In Pennsylvania, a "restraining order" is formally called a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order. If you are served with a temporary PFA, your first call should be to the Zuckerman Law Firm LLC at 412-447-5580 for a free, confidential consultation.
If you are served with a temporary PFA order, a final hearing will be scheduled in family court to determine whether or not you committed an act of "abuse" under Pennsylvania Law. Your accuser only needs to prove his/her case by a preponderance of the evidence, or that it's more likely than not (i.e. 50.1%) that you committed an act of abuse. This is a much lower burden of proof than what is required to convict you of a crime of violence in criminal court.
The accuser does not have to pursue criminal charges against you to succeed in obtaining a PFA. In fact, you don't have to lay a finger on your accuser to be stuck with a final PFA, which can last for up to three (3) years.
HOW A PFA CAN RUIN YOUR FUTURE
Your accuser may make false accusations against you to get the upper hand in divorce and custody battles, or to get revenge for something that occurred during your relationship. A final PFA can strip you of the following:
- Access to Your Home: If the accuser lives in your house, you may not be permitted to return to the home.
- Access to your Kids: You may lose custody and visitation rights if a final PFA order is entered.
- Your Job: a PFA order can be discovered in background checks, making it difficult to keep your existing job or find a new job.
- Your 2nd Amendment Rights: a PFA order can prevent you from owning or possessing firearms.
- Your Freedom: All it takes is one false accusation after the entry of a PFA for you to face contempt charges, which carry up to 6-months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
HOW ZUCKERMAN LAW FIRM CAN HELP
The odds are stacked against you if you decide to represent yourself. Your accuser likely has access to a free, experienced family law attorney who performs pro bono services. As the accused, you will not have access to the same legal services and resources, and will be pushed into taking a deal that is not in your best interest.
Don't blindly accept a PFA out of desperation. The Zuckerman Law Firm LLC fights to protect its clients from the devastating consequences of a final PFA. We make sure the other side knows that we're ready to fight the allegations if they refuse to negotiate.
For a free, confidential consultation, call Zuckerman Law Firm 24/7 at 412-447-5580. Weekend and evening appointments are available upon request.