Protection from Abuse Order in Pittsburgh

Pennsylvania offers legal protection to victims of physical and mental abuse as a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order. Enforced by the court system, a PFA can provide protection for you and your children.

The law firm of Joseph Horowitz believes that nobody should have to deal with abuse. If you have questions regarding Protection from Abuse orders, or you want to file as soon as possible, contact our office in Pittsburgh to get started with a consultation. We care about our clients and their safety, and will help you every step of the way until your protection is finalized in the court of law.

Additionally, Joseph Horowitz believes nobody should be falsely accused of abuse. If you need to defend yourself against a Protection for Abuse petition, contact our office as soon as possible to begin a consultation. A Protection From Abuse Order can have devastating consequences and can be very difficult, if not impossible, to overturn once they have been decided. Nobody should attend a Protection from Abuse Hearing without proper representation. If you have been served with a temporary PFA, please contact our office immediately to protect your rights in this very important proceeding. Your custody rights and your freedom can be lost for years if you proceed without counsel.

What are the requirements for obtaining a PFA?

To be able to submit a Protection from Abuse order, the individual must be an adult filing on behalf of him/herself, or on behalf of a minor. The individual filing the PFA must have a close relationship with the abuser, such as a spouse, bloodline relationship, or as a current or previous romantic partner.

Abuse classified by law includes, but is not limited to:

  • Causing or intent to cause physical harm
  • Rape, or other kinds of sexual assault
  • Abuse (physical/sexual) of children
  • Intentional endangerment
  • Stalking

Types of protection

Some of the types of legal protection offered by a Protection from Abuse order include:

  • Require the abuse to stop
  • The abuser is evicted from the victim’s residence
  • Order child custody and establish visitation rights
  • Require the abuser to surrender all weapons, including firearms, knives, and ammunition
  • Require the abuser to stay away from victim’s and/or child’s place of employment, residence, and/or school
  • Require the abuser to pay restitution for lost assets as a result of the abuse

The judge may also issue any other orders that help prevent further abuse, with or without a hearing involving the abuser. Protection can be established in as little as 10 hours, and when finalized, be effective for 10 days up to 36 months. Extensions may be applied if the judge feels that it will continue to protect the victim.

Violation of a PFA

If the abuser were to violate a Protection from Abuse order, the police should be notified immediately, as a PFA is legal protection upheld by the court of law. The abuser can be charged with contempt and be jailed up to six months and/or face a fine of up to $1,000 for the first offense.