Protections From Abuse and Burglary in Pennsylvania

If someone has been abused by a family member or intimate partner in Pennsylvania, then he or she can see a Protection from Abuse order. The Protection from Abuse Act, initially passed in 1990 in the state of Pennsylvania, authorizes these orders.

If a judge grants a protection from abuse order, then the defendant in the order can be prohibited from doing many things, such as having contact or seeing the person who accused them of abuse. These are serious court orders that can result in incarceration if there are violations. If you have legal questions, then make that you speak with an experienced lawyer who can help you understand the law.

Protection From Abuse Orders Explained

In Pennsylvania, if someone alleges that he or she has been physically or sexually abused by a family member or someone they have a domestic relationship with, then he or she can seek court protection through a protection from abuse order. These orders are a type of restraining order that can result in the alleged abuser getting arrested and criminally prosecuted for any violations of the order. Protection from abuse orders are enforceable anywhere in the state and country.

Who Can Petition for a Protection From Abuse Order?

A protection from abuse order is a court order that seeks to protect someone safe from abuse from someone else with who they have a domestic relationship. To petition for a protection from abuse order, you must be in a qualifying domestic relationship with the accused. This relationship is described under Pennsylvania law as one that is either a family relationship or a romantic relationship of some kind. Domestic relationships include spouses, dating partners, and relatives that live together. Petitioners must be at least 18 years old, and if the petitioner is younger than 18, then an adult must petition on their behalf.

What Types of Allegations Can Result in a Protection From Abuse?

If someone wants a protection from abuse order, then he or she must petition for one in the local family court. Protection from abuse petitions must include a detailed explanation of the facts and circumstances alleged, such as the date, time, and location of the alleged incident. Protection from abuse orders can be authorized for the following allegations:

  • Assault
  • Stalking
  • Sexual assault
  • Threats of assault
  • Physical or sexual abuse of a minor child
  • False imprisonment

Other specific allegations not considered abuse under Pennsylvania law, such as mental or emotional abuse, and arguments regarding custody issues relating to children the parties share. If the court finds that a protection from abuse order is necessary to protect the petitioner from future harm, then the judge will authorize one.

Burglary Explained

In Pennsylvania, Burglary is defined under the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes at Title 18, Section 3502. Burglary involves someone entering a building or occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime once inside. An individual is guilty of burglary regardless if someone else is inside the building. There are three main defenses to burglary, which include:

  • The building was abandoned
  • The area was open to the public
  • The accused had license or privilege to enter the area

Burglary is a felony charge that can be charged as either a first-degree offense or a second-degree offense in Pennsylvania that can result in prison time and fines imposed by the court. If the burglary was intended to cause a bodily injury to someone inside, then the charge can be enhanced to a first-degree offense. A conviction for a first-degree felony in Pennsylvania can result in up to 20 years in prison, while a conviction for a second-degree felony can result in up to 10 years in prison.

What Can Happen From a Burglary Accusation?

A burglary accusation on its own cannot result in a protection from abuse order unless the victim is someone protected by state protection from abuse laws. A burglary can also result in a violation of a protection from abuse order, depending on who the alleged victim is. Burglary can be a part of other related criminal charges that can result in a protection from abuse, such as assault or false imprisonment. If, during the commission of a burglary, other crimes such as assault or false imprisonment are alleged, then a protection from abuse can be authorized. If a protection from abuse is already in place, then a burglary can be a violation if the victim is the person protected in the protection from abuse, or the place that is burglarized is forbidden for the defendant to go by court order. Protections from abuse are civil orders that can result in criminal sanctions if there are violations.

How An Attorney Can Help

If someone is seeking a protection from abuse order against you, then it is critical to understand what can happen going forward. If a protection from abuse is authorized by the court, then you can be prevented from seeing or speaking to loved ones, and you can be forced out of your home. If you have an active protection from abuse order against you, then you can potentially cancel it if the court agrees. Make sure that you have experienced legal help on your side in any of these scenarios. If you have legal questions, then call us at the Lento Law Firm today so we can help!

Contact the Lento Law Firm Today

If you have questions about protection from abuse orders and how they can affect your daily life, then it is essential that you speak to an experienced attorney. It is important to understand the protection from abuse process to effectively prepare and defend your protection from abuse order case. To learn why the Lento Law Firm is the right choice, call toll-free at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.

Contact a Family Law Attorney Today!

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has unparalleled experience practicing Family Law in Pennsylvania. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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