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Lifting a Restraining Order

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Getting a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order or Restraining Order Lifted in Delco, PA

If you were served with a Restraining Order, also known as a PFA Order, or Protection from Abuse Order, in Delaware County, PA, time is of the essence.

Get a free consultation from an experienced PFA defense attorney BEFORE the hearing, which is where a Final PFA Order is issued, if the accuser wins his/her petition.

Call Attorney Wana Saadzoi today for a free legal case evaluation if you were served a PFA Order or Restraining Order in Delaware County, PA – 610-566-5956.

Attorney Saadzoi is a successful Pennsylvania criminal lawyer, who will aggressively fight for your PFA order to be lifted or expunged. She can also defend you against any criminal charges you may also be facing.

Find full information on Title 42, CHAPTER 62 of the Pennsylvania Code – A Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation.

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Can a PFA Order be Lifted in Delaware County, PA?

In Delaware County, a temporary PFA is ordered by a Court of Common Pleas Judge until a hearing is scheduled, usually within five to ten days.  A District Justice may also issue an Emergency PFA Order or an Ex Parte PFA Order, which is also temporary. The defendant does not need to be present for the Emergency or Ex Parte PFA Order to be issued.

A hearing will then be scheduled. The hearing is where the Final PFA Order will be issued if the accuser wins the petition for the Restraining Order.

A final PFA Order can be ordered for several years, with terms set by the judge. If a Final PFA Order or Permanent PFA Order is issued, it cannot be expunged.

You do not need to be proven guilty of a crime, or even charged with a crime, for a Final PFA Order to be issued. You should speak with an attorney BEFORE the hearing, to best prepare a solid defense.

Many people will accept a PFA Order because it is the easiest thing to do at the time, without thinking through the long-term restrictions and limits to freedom. A violation of a PFA can lead to an arrest with criminal charges and jail time.

Contact an attorney as soon as possible if you have been issued a PFA Order to see how they may be able to assist you at the hearing, get the PFA Order lifted or the PFA Order expunged, and prepare a good defense against the accusations.

Just because you have been accused, does not mean that you are guilty or will be found guilty. You have rights – and it is always worth fighting for them.

Proof from the Alleged Victim in a PFA Hearing

To be issued a Permanent or Final PFA Order, the alleged victim will have to prove to the court some form of abuse or threat of abuse occurred.

Types of abuse generally include the following:

  • Sexual abuse;
  • Physical abuse;
  • Intimidation of abuse;
  • Physical restraint against a person’s will.

Title 23 of the Pennsylvania Code defines “abuse” as the following:

(1)  Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury, serious bodily injury, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault or incest with or without a deadly weapon.

(2)  Placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

(3)  The infliction of false imprisonment pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 2903 (relating to false imprisonment). 

(4)  Physically or sexually abusing minor children, including such terms as defined in Chapter 63 (relating to child protective services).

(5)  Knowingly engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person, without proper authority, under circumstances that place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury. The definition of this paragraph applies only to proceedings commenced under this title and is inapplicable to any criminal prosecutions commenced under Title 18 (relating to crimes and offenses).

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Consequences of a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order

Regardless of your innocence or why you were issued a PFA Order or Restraining Order, it will severely limit your freedom and basic rights. A PFA Order can show up in public records, so anytime someone does a background check, they will see this on your record.

The following are a few rights a Final PFA Order can take from you:

  • Parental Rights: You may lose custody of your children and/or visitation rights.
  • The Right of Access to Your Home: You may not be permitted to return to your home, even to pick up your belongings, if the accuser lives in your home. You may be left homeless.
  • Firearm Rights: A judge may order your firearms to be taken from you or prevent you from obtaining a firearm.
  • Difficulty Finding Employment: A PFA Order may appear on a criminal background check when applying for jobs.

Violation of a PFA Order in Pennsylvania

If you violate the PFA Order in any manner, such as sending an innocent text message, you can receive up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Even if the accusations are false, a violation can result in arrest and a hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing, a judge will determine whether you are in criminal contempt of the PFA Order.

A violation could also penalize you by extending the PFA Order by up to three more years.

Any type of violation can mean going to jail – this could be an innocent text message, a phone call, or even a social media post or message.

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Call Today for a Free Legal Case Evaluation

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How a PFA Lawyer May Help Lift or Expunge a PFA Order

At Saadzoi Law, we will defend your rights and your innocence at the hearing and try to have the PFA Order expunged or lifted. We will work with you to prepare an aggressive defense.

If you feel you were falsely accused, you need an experienced attorney who will work hard and diligently to defend your rights. You need a lawyer who understands the process and who can articulate and present a clear argument of why the PFA Order should be lifted or expunged.

A qualified and experienced PFA Defense Attorney who understands the court process and proceedings can gather evidence on your behalf. This evidence will work to build a strong defense that clearly demonstrates that no abuse or threat of abuse was committed.

Attorney Wana Saadzoi has years of experience in successfully representing people in PFA hearings. Attorney Saadzoi is a tough criminal lawyer in Media, PA who is experienced in winning these types of cases, as well as sexual assault charges.

Call 610-566-5956 to schedule a free legal case evaluation. 

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