Violating a PFA

When a Protection From Abuse order is issued, at any level, violators of the order can be prosecuted with criminal charges. While every situation in a family is different, when it comes to domestic violence and PFA orders, Pennsylvania takes a very firm stance. At times someone may not even be aware that they are violating the terms of the PFA. The consequences of a PFA violation can mean fines, jail time, and a possible criminal record. A conviction, or even just an arrest, can make it difficult to seek out new employment, education, or even just a place to live. These are far-reaching and harsh consequences for a situation that may just be a misunderstanding between household members.

Penalties For Violating A PFA Order

Pennsylvania does not have an actual crime for violating a PFA order, instead, the charge of "indirect criminal contempt of court" will be used as the punishment for violating a PFA order. Contempt of court is entirely different than a normal criminal charge. Instead, these charges are presented and decided upon by a judge, rather than being settled in a jury trial or through a plea bargaining phase. Defendants are permitted the representation of an attorney, however, and in these situations, an attorney is far preferable to the alternative.

A criminal conviction for criminal contempt of court can be punished by up to 6 months of jail time, and fines between $300 and $1000. In addition, there will now be a criminal conviction on the defendant's record. Criminal convictions can affect more than just a person's record. PFA violations can also interfere with other matters of Family Law that a defendant may be engaged in

How A PFA Violation Can Affect Other Matters Of Family Law

Oftentimes, if a person is engaged in other matters of Family Law when they are charged with violating a PFA order, the situation can become incredibly complicated. If a person is found to have violated a PFA order, custody battles, and separation agreements can be thrown into disarray. Criminal charges or convictions may result in limited custody, or no custody whatsoever. On top of this, if a person is facing criminal domestic violence charges in addition to their PFA violation, this matter may come up against them in court for those charges.

When dealing with a PFA violation it is imperative that a person immediately gets in touch with an attorney on what the best manner of proceeding is. An attorney highly experienced in criminal defense can ensure that a defendant's rights are protected when it comes down to negotiating and resolving charges in a courtroom. There is little to be gained from attempting to handle the matter alone, as a judge is likely to consider charges much more harshly than a prosecutor or a jury.

If you or a loved one is facing PFA violation charges contact our Family Law Team today.

Contact a skilled Family Law Team Today!

The LLF Law Firm 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. Our Family Law Team will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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