RESTRAINING ORDER DEFENSE ATTORNEY IN LEMOYNE
A restraining order is issued to someone by a court. It orders that person to refrain entirely from contact with another particular person or persons. If you are named in a restraining order, seek legal help at once, and contact Lemoyne domestic violence defense attorney R. Davis Younts.
Exactly what are restraining orders? How do they work in Pennsylvania? If you’re the subject of a restraining order, how can a lawyer help you? If you’ll keep reading, those questions are about to be answered.
A Pennsylvania restraining order can be temporary or permanent. Alleged victims of domestic abuse in Pennsylvania may seek a temporary Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order – a temporary restraining order – to keep an alleged abuser away.
WHAT CAN A TEMPORARY PFA ORDER ACCOMPLISH?
If a temporary PFA Order is issued with your name on it, you may not contact the person who obtained it from the court. A temporary PFA Order can:
- order you out of your residence if you share it with the person who sought the order
- keep you from your home, school, or workplace
- give the person who sought the order temporary custody of your children
- keep you from possessing a firearm
If you receive a temporary PFA Order, read it thoroughly. Any violation of a temporary PFA Order is a criminal offense that may be penalized with six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
HOW SHOULD YOU RESPOND TO A TEMPORARY PFA ORDER?
Temporary PFA orders – also called “stay away” orders – stay in effect for up to a year or until the matter is resolved. A stay away order does not create a criminal record. If you are served with a temporary PFA Order, you must:
- Take the PFA Order seriously.
- Appear as scheduled at a permanent PFA hearing.
- Retain the help of an experienced defense attorney.
What you must not do if you are served with a PFA Order is have any contact whatsoever with your accuser. This means no personal contact, text messages, phone calls, letters, or emails.
WHAT HAPPENS AT A PFA HEARING?
If you receive a temporary PFA Order, a hearing will be scheduled to determine if you committed an act of abuse under Pennsylvania law. If the court finds that you did commit an act of abuse, it may issue a “permanent” PFA Order that stays in effect for three years or more.
Because a PFA hearing is not a criminal proceeding, “beyond a reasonable doubt” is a principle that won’t apply. An accuser needs only to prove that it’s “more likely than not” that you acted abusively. A permanent PFA order can take away:
- your right to live in your own home
- custody of your children and even your right to visitation
- your right to possess or own a firearm
WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU VIOLATE A PFA ORDER?
A permanent PFA order may also appear in a background check when you seek employment. However, the most dire consequence of a permanent PFA order is this:
Any accusation that you have violated a permanent PFA order, even a false accusation, could trigger a contempt of court charge against you – a charge punishable upon conviction with up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000.
If you have been served with any restraining order in Pennsylvania, promptly seek the counsel of an attorney to protect your family and your rights. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a “cooling off” period and alleviate the need for a permanent PFA hearing.
Alternatively, your attorney may be able to persuade the judge at a permanent PFA hearing that you did not commit abuse and that there is no need for a permanent restraining order.
Your attorney may also be able to determine if a PFA Order was obtained fraudulently for some purpose other than protection – such as gaining an advantage in a divorce proceeding.
PUT ATTORNEY R. DAVIS YOUNTS TO WORK FOR YOU
Contacting Lemoyne domestic violence defense attorney R. Davis Younts is the first step you should take if you are served with a restraining order. He’s been a prosecutor as well as a defense attorney, and he’s practiced law in Pennsylvania for eighteen years. His background is extensive.
Attorney R. Davis Younts has also been a JAG (Judge Advocate General) and a Senior Defense Counsel in the United States Air Force. He is committed to winning justice for the accused in military, federal, and Pennsylvania state courts.
If you are served with a PFA order – or if you face a criminal domestic violence charge – call attorney R. Davis Younts at (833) 739-5291 or (717) 612-4840. His law offices are in Lemoyne at 26 North Ninth Street. If you are facing any domestic abuse accusation, you must have a good lawyer’s help.