So you had a tiff with your significant other and now you are subject to a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order. You’ve been told you can’t go home, you can’t see your kids, can’t get your things. You are probably scared, not sure what the next steps are and wondering what is going to happen to you now that you don’t have anywhere to go.
A PFA may at first glance seem like a minor inconvenience but there are some major ramifications that come along with a PFA. Not only are you out of your house with no belongings, but you can’t see your kids and it seems like there is nothing you can do about it. On top of that, when a PFA is issued, your employer may be notified as well. There is nothing worse than getting your messy personal life mixed up with work.
Being the subject of a PFA also strips you of some of your constitutional rights – namely your 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms. If you are the subject of an active PFA, even if it is only temporary in nature, you are prohibited both under Pennsylvania and Federal Law from purchasing, owning, transferring or possessing firearms. That means if you are a gun owner, you have to relinquish the guns that you currently have and until the PFA is gone, you can’t get them back.
What happens when a PFA is issued? The initial order is temporary and issued by a court based on a petition filed by the complaining party. The person who is the subject of the PFA is not present nor allowed to present their side of the story before the temporary PFA is issued. At the time the temporary PFA is issued, a hearing date will be scheduled for a final hearing. The hearing usually takes place within 10 days of the temporary order. The temporary order is fully in effect until the date of the final hearing. At the final hearing, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. The complaining party also has the right to have an attorney. There are two possible outcomes. Either the parties agree on the terms of the order regarding what the conditions will be and the final order is issued without a hearing; or a hearing will be held and the terms of the final order will be determined by the judge. Having an attorney by your side is important to make sure that your rights are protected.
Being subjected to a PFA is a trying time. You are suffering from discord in your relationship and now you have the burden of dealing with this PFA through the court system as well. It’s incredibly important that you get a knowledgeable, experienced and skilled attorney on your side to help you fight this battle. You don’t have to go it alone. Call (717) 657-3900 today. We will fight for you.