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Protection from Abuse PFA

Protection from Abuse (PFA) in Wilkes-Barre and surrounding areas

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, your attorney might recommend a protection from abuse order (PFA). In Pennsylvania, you are protected under the Protection From Abuse Act. Its purpose is to provide victims with the legal services they need. Because you might have to go to court if you are filing for custody of your child(ren) and/or filing for divorce, you will have legal services available to you.


Here’s what you need to know about protection from abuse orders and how a protection from abuse attorney can help.

Requesting a PFA Order

Order and Hiring a Protection From Abuse Attorney 

A protection from abuse order can protect you from a person that is violent to you and/or your child(ren). When it’s set up, the abuser is restricted from contacting you and/or your child(ren) making it similar to a restraining order. There are certain rules the abuser has to adhere to.


These include:


  • They have to hand over all their guns to the police

  • They have to leave/vacate the home they share with you

  • They may have to pay child support and cover any financial losses you have

  • They have to stay a specific distance from your home, school and place of employment

  • They cannot come in contact with you and/or your child(ren)


If the abuser violates any of the rules, they can be arrested and charged with an Indirect Criminal Contempt Complaint. The abuser can be imprisoned for up to six months and fined for up to $1,000.

What is a Protection Form Abuse (PFA) Order?


Maybe you searched online for “What is a PFA order?” PFA orders can protect you if you were the victim of domestic abuse. Domestic violence or abuse is if you are in a relationship with someone that is threatening and/or harming you and/or your child(ren). It can be verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and/or economical.


Types of domestic abuse include:


  • Assault, battery and bodily harm

  • Threatening bodily harm

  • Violence to cause fear, show domination and/or control

  • Incest, rape and molestation

  • Harassing and/or stalking

How to Request a Protection From Abuse Order


As the victim, you pay no fees to the court for PFA orders. When the case is finished, a judge might charge the abuser expenses and court fees. One of the best ways to set up a PFA order is to work with an abuse attorney. When you hire a protection from abuse attorney, they can help you request the PFA order in court as there are different types.


These include:


An Emergency PFA Order


  • The abuser doesn’t have to be present

  • These last until the next business day


If an immediate PFA order is needed and it’s after-hours, on a holiday or over the weekend, the police can request an emergency PFA. There are two ways to do this. You can go to a police station and request one. The other way is if you were abused and call emergency services. When officers arrive, you can request an emergency PFA order. Do this if your life and/or that of your child(ren) is in jeopardy.


If you’re in danger, a judge can immediately approve the emergency PFA. This prevents your abuser from coming in contact with you and your child(ren). The abuser is served papers by a police officer or another person and has to go before a judge the next business day.  


A Temporary PFA Order


  • The abuser doesn’t have to be present

  • These last 10 business days


Another type of PFA order is a temporary version. The abuser doesn’t have to be present in court for this type of PFA order to be set up. A temporary PFA order is set up until your hearing is scheduled for a permanent PFA order.


The time frame for a permanent PFA order is typically in 10 business days. The abuser is served papers by a police officer or anyone over the age of 18 giving them the date for the permanent PFA hearing.

A Permanent PFA Order


  • The abuser has to be present

  • These last up to 3 years


The other type of PFA order is a permanent one. Permanent PFA orders are final and last for the time frame established in court. They last for up to thirty-six months.


For this type of PFA order, both you and your abuser have to appear in court. And, that’s why it’s important to have an experienced PFA attorney to represent you. Your abuser may have legal representation with them.


The judge will hear from both parties before rendering his or her decision. When the judge finalizes the permanent PFA, its included in the Pennsylvania State Police Registry. You can file a certified copy in another state if you move or relocate.

When is comes to our kids...

undoubtedly, there are many aspects to a legal battle that can be stressful and confusing.

Hire the Most Experienced Protection Abuse Attorney

While it can be an emotionally trying time separating from a violent abuser, the Law Offices of Matthew Kelly Associates are here to help. We can help you get protection from domestic violence and your calls are always confidential and the advice is FREE. Let’s find the best way to protect you and your family. Contact us at (570) 405-8710 today!

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