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Get Help – Before It’s Too Late
If served with a temporary PFA (short from Protection From Abuse Act Order), you have options before it becomes “permanent” (three years) and goes on your permanent records. We offer a free consultation and flat fee representation for a PFA.
An Appeal Would be Futile
We get a call at least once a month from a different person who, unfortunately, waited too long to call us, went to the “permanent” PFA hearing alone and lost (sometimes losing custody and/or having to pay additional support over and above the no-contact order). After a hearing takes place on the permanent PFA, there’s little we can do. The damage is already done (read more below).
Knowledge is Power
You have a lot to lose if you are facing a temporary PFA Order scheduled to become “permanent” at an upcoming hearing.
If you go to the hearing and lose, the order against you stays on the civil docket and it can haunt you like a criminal conviction, given that many civil dockets can be searched online for free by employers and other looking for your “abusive” or “dangerous” tendencies. An agreed upon PFA order short of a hearing can have the same impact on your record and your life. Plus, if you go to the hearing and lose, then you may be precluded from re-litigation the issues decided at your hearing, such as your credibility, your tendency to abuse, your actions, etc. In other words, you may be stuck with a judicial finding that you are violent, a stalker, or both.
Get Good Advice Early
Your lawyer in PA will tell you exactly how the permanent PFA Order can and will interfere with your life for many years to come. Your attorney can also evaluate any deal offered to you and tell you whether it would make sense to go to court. Some “deals” are just as bad as losing in court. Your lawyer can also negotiate the best deal to fully protect your interests.
Get Prepared For Court
If no deal is possible, you need to get prepared for a hearing to either beat the PFA or limit its duration and scope. You need to know how to testify persuasively in terms of how you carry yourself and speak to the court. Anything you say can be used against you. You need to tell the truth, of course, but your lawyer can tell you how to limit in your testimony in a way that is both ethical and beneficial to your case.
You need a Pittsburgh PA lawyer who has handled many PFA cases and can tell you from experience why you might want to settle the matter short of a hearing on all issues. We have handle PFA matters on both sides. We represented the person who was abused and people who allegedly caused the abuse so we can give you a complete perspective on every PFA issue you will face.
Benefit From Our Insight
We look forward to helping you with your PFA (protection from abuse act) matter in Pittsburgh, Beaver County, or Washington County. We look forward to helping you with your PFA (protection from abuse act) matter in Pittsburgh, Beaver County, or Washington County.
Rely on Our Skill
In every dispute, our attorneys use skill to cross examine the opposing party and her witnesses. We remain available to evaluate any deal offered to you by the other side and we can negotiate for an even better deal. If you are inclined to compromise the PFA short of a hearing, you need the best possible agreement that takes into account the big picture of your case: your need to stay separated from each other, the risk of harm to each other, your needs to maintain some level of contact if you have children together, future use the joint residence (if any), and issues of child custody. Otherwise, it makes most sense to just go to court and fight the claims against you. If your case requires a hearing, we will use our experience to present the facts in the light most favorable to you and maximize your chances for victory.
Experience With Complexity. Some PFA cases are simple; others are more involved. Your attorney can explain the difference. One obvious complexity involves child custody or cohabitation issues intertwined with the PFA. Also adding complexity are criminal charges filed at the same time as the PFA. Likewise, and can be resolved through a no contact order. Other cases are more complex and involve the seizure of weapons from the Defendant.
Get Answers, for Starters
You need answers to you questions about the process. Give our Pittsburgh lawyers a call today about your PFA defense and we will give you a FREE evaluation of your case.
Know the Risks
Under the PFA Act, a court has broad power to order remedies to prevent “abuse” and to correct financial hardship on a party who allegedly suffered abuse.
The Act also allows the courts to enter a custody/visitation order, make you pay child support, make you give up your weapons, and a host of other severe penalties. It is therefore advisable that you talk to your attorney about your overall strategy and whether you will try to “beat” a PFA.
If you go to court and lose, you risk the court ordering all the above penalties, plus you risk creating a transcript of testimony about your alleged tendencies as an “abuser,” which can haunt you for years or decades into the future.
It often pays to work things out through an agreement, but you should be reluctant to consent to any type of PFA order unless your attorney helps draft the terms of the agreement and advises you that consent is the most realistic option.
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