Philadelphia Victim Protection From Abuse (PFA) Lawyer
Victims of domestic violence (DV) need legal protection from abusive spouses or family members as soon as possible. A Philadelphia victim Protection From Abuse (PFA) lawyer at Shuttleworth Law will get a PFA order issued on your behalf and provide you with the safety and security you need.
Pennsylvania issues PFAs if there is an act of abuse such as by a family member placing you in “imminent fear of immediate bodily harm or injury.” Shuttleworth Law has extensive knowledge of this standard and its application to your situation. We are familiar with statutes and case law that govern domestic violence matters so that you get the outcome you need.
“You deserve to feel safe in your own home. I take that right very seriously. If a family member or partner is abusing you, call me ASAP. I will do everything in my power to make it stop.”
Protect Yourself From Abusive Family and Household Members
The purpose of a PFA is to protect you from your abuser. There are various types of protective orders available in Pennsylvania. However, the most common type is a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order.
A Philadelphia victim PFA lawyer at Shuttleworth Law can help you get an order against:
- Current or ex-spouse
- Someone living with you
- Adult siblings, parents, children, or relatives
- Parent of your child
- Intimate partner
You should not have to endure abuse or violence in your home. PA laws protect your rights in this situation. Shuttleworth Law can also help you handle abusive individuals living outside of your home under the Protection from Sexual Violence and Intimidation (PSVI) Act.
Shuttleworth Law Explains How the Law Applies to Your Situation
PFAs can be entered for up to three years with various consequences to the offender if they commit an act of abuse under 23 Pa.C.S. §6102. They can also award you temporary possession of a marital residence and the custody of shared children.
You can get a PFA if your case meets one of the following definitions of abuse:
- Attempting to cause bodily injury with or without a deadly weapon;
- Placing another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
- False imprisonment
- Physical abuse of minor-aged children
This law requires you to prove your case by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning that you must have enough proof to show that you are more likely than not suffering from abuse.
Important Note: You must also prove that an act of abuse happened. A judge will not issue a PFA based on events that might happen in the future.
The Pennsylvania PFA Process: What You Should Know
While a PFA does count as a criminal case, it turns into one if your abuser violates the Order. The Philadelphia victim PFA lawyer at Shuttleworth Law will initiate the PFA process by taking the following steps:
- Step 1. We file a petition with the Court of Common Pleas ASAP: Our firm will draft the necessary petition, including statements of fact satisfying the legal requirement to get a PFA.
- Step 2. We Get and Enforce the Temporary PFA: The court will enter a temporary PFA based on the facts.
- Step 3. We will represent you at your first hearing or consent decree: Within ten business days, you will have the opportunity to present your case, and your abuser has the chance to defend against your allegations. However, they may also decide to enter into an agreement rather than have a hearing. This is where they agree to have no or limited contact with you for a set period.
- Step 4. Get the Victim PFA. A judge will rule on your request and how long the PFA will remain in effect. The judge usually grants the request if an alleged abuser is not present at the hearing. However, a judge will also deny your request if you do not sufficiently prove your case.
The outcome of a PFA Order in Pennsylvania can seriously impact the lives of both the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator. A Philadelphia victim PFA lawyer on our legal team will take the time to understand your situation while helping you manage what to expect.
Your Abuser Will Have Limited Rights Under a PFA
Your Philadelphia victim PFA lawyer could argue that the judge should issue an order for:
- No abuse, harassment, or stalking of the victim
- Removal of the abuser from a shared home
- Granting possession of a shared home
- Providing you with housing
- Victim financial support
- Firearms use and ownership
- Victim restitution
Your home should be the safest place in the world. Shuttleworth Law can help you push back against your detractors so that you and other family members stay safe.
A Philadelphia Victim PFA Lawyer Will Shield You From Domestic Violence
If you are under the threat of domestic violence, it is crucial to understand that you have legal options and do not have to put up with abuse. We will represent you through all stages of the legal process, getting the Order extended if necessary. Our founder, Brad V. Shuttleworth, Esq., will work tirelessly to ensure that you are out of harm’s way.
FAQs: Pennsylvania Victim Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders
Do not leave yourself vulnerable to abusive household members when you have legal rights. Stand up for yourself and request a PFA order from the court to legally protect yourself from future physical harm. While our legal team can explain how laws apply to your situation specifically, it is normal to have more immediate general legal questions now.
Our Philadelphia victim Protection from Abuse lawyers have answered some of your most frequently asked questions (FAQs) below:
What qualifies for a PFA in PA?
You can get a PFA Order in PA if your current or former family member, domestic partner, spouse, romantic partner, or sexual partner is attempting to cause bodily injury, putting you in fear of severe bodily injury, engaging in acts of false imprisonment, or committing acts of physical abuse against minor-aged children per 23 Pa.C.S. § 6102. If it is safe to do so, document the abuse, see a doctor about any injuries, and reach out to a lawyer about getting an emergency PFA.
Who pays for a PFA in PA?
The respondent may have to pay for a PFA in PA if the judge signs the order. They could ask the abuser to pay for legal costs and filing fees. Not all counties enforce this, so your attorney will help you determine if reimbursement is possible in your case.
Can the plaintiff violate a PFA in PA?
There are no plaintiffs in Pennsylvania PFA matters. Instead, the person requesting the order is the petitioner, and the alleged abuser is the respondent. Petitioners should never contact their abusers after getting a PFA Order, but they technically cannot violate an order that is not against them.
How many types of PFA orders are available in Pennsylvania?
There are three types of PFA orders available in Pennsylvania. They include emergency, temporary ex parte, and final PFA orders. An attorney can help you determine which PFA order is appropriate for your situation and when they come about during the proceedings.