West Chester, PA 19380
Fill out the form below to get in touch with one of our attorneys.
Josh represented me for my divorce, and I could not have been more pleased with the outcome and the guidance provided. His calm approach and confidence helped me make it through a really hard time.
Mr. Janis handled my custody case with professionalism and sincerity. I thank him and his office for the help they provided me.
Josh was terrific. Very helpful and made us more comfortable that the issue could be dealt with effectively.
These locations are available by appointment only
Protection from Abuse Order (PFA)
Domestic violence is a hot-button issue both in society and in the courtroom, for the alleged offender and the alleged victim of abuse. While it is of utmost importance to protect true victims of spousal abuse, child abuse, or other forms of domestic violence in Chester County, it is also important to ensure the civil rights of the falsely accused are not violated. It is possible in all cases for the victim to be a true victim of abuse, as well as for the alleged perpetrator to be falsely accused as a part of a bigger-picture scenario such as a vicious child custody battle.
The middle ground in determining the truth of the matter on the civil side is the Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) and the related hearing. If you have been the victim of domestic violence in West Chester or falsely presented a PFA, an experienced Chester County domestic violence lawyer can help you seek the truth, protection, and civil justice you deserve.
The outcome of a Protection from Abuse Order in Pennsylvania can have serious impact on the lives of both the alleged victim and the alleged perpetrator. If you are a victim of domestic violence seeking protection in Chester County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, or Montgomery County or the target of an unwarranted PFA anywhere in the Greater Philadelphia area, contact the experienced team of West Chester family attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices.
Our compassionate family lawyers will guide your case with a steady hand as a team to fight for the best outcome in your Pennsylvania PFA case. Call Ciccarelli Law Offices today at (877) 529-2422 for your free consultation on your Protection from Abuse Order needs in Lancaster, Philadelphia, West Chester, Plymouth Meeting, Kennett Square, Malvern, Springfield, King of Prussia, or Radnor.
Important Domestic Violence Definitions for Pennsylvania PFAs
A Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Order is a restraining order or protective order intended to prevent one family member or household member from causing harm to another family or household member. Generally, this protection is for acts of domestic violence such as domestic assault, sexual assault, harassment, stalking, false imprisonment, or child abuse and can prevent the alleged offender from communicating with or coming within a certain geographic distance of the alleged victim.
Family members and household members in Pennsylvania for the purpose of domestic violence and PFAs are not just limited to your core family. A Protection from Abuse Order can be issued against any of the following current or former family or household members:
Protection from Abuse Proceedings in Chester County
After the abuse victim files a petition for a Protection from Abuse Order, the judge may issue an Ex Parte PFA order that is valid until the restraining order hearing occurs. This has the same effect as a permanent PFA for the time leading up to the hearing, which usually can be up to 10 business days. In either scenario, it is wise for both the alleged abuser and the victim to seek the council of an experienced West Chester family attorney immediately, given the short time frame.
During the hearing for the Protection from Abuse Order, the judge will decide if a PFA is warranted either as a continuance of the ex parte or permanently based on a preponderance of evidence. This is not the same as proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The abuse victim need only prove that he or she is sufficiently threatened for a PFA beyond a 50% probability of truth instead of 100% probability. If the judge decides there is enough evidence to prove preponderance beyond 51%, a Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Order will be issued. If not, the civil case will be dropped.
Consequences of a Chester County Protection from Abuse Order
Once the Pennsylvania PFA is issued, what is required of the defendant will depend on what contingencies the judge specifies in the order. Generally, this involves provisions defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 4954 like:
This can have serious ramifications on the PFA recipient's life, such as having to find and pay for separate living quarters outside of the joint residence, the requirement of paying support to the victim, making family contact difficult, and interfering with child visitation. If the Protection from Abuse Order is a continuance, this may go on for a period up to 18 months. However, it is possible for the judge to issue a permanent Pennsylvania PFA against the defendant. Legal representation from an experienced Chester County family lawyer is recommended to protect the rights and welfare of all parties involved.
Ciccarelli Law Offices | Chester County PFA Family Lawyer
If you are seeking a Protection from Abuse Order to escape a violent home situation or if you have been served with a PFA that is unwarranted, contact the compassionate family law team at Ciccarelli Law Offices. We will fight hard for the preferred outcome of your PFA order case in Philadelphia, Chester County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, or Montgomery County. Call (877) 529-2422 to set up your free initial case consultation with Ciccarelli Law Offices today.