When domestic violence is a factor in the breakdown of a marriage or any relationship, the Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act and Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation (PSVI) Act can help protect the victims of abuse and sexual violence.
Located down the street from the Luzerne County Courthouse, the family law firm of Junker Shotto LLC, helps children and adults get protection from abuse. Our attorneys also help individuals accused of domestic violence defend themselves.
Under the PFA, a court can issue an order that restricts an abuser’s access to their victims. It prohibits the abuser from being in the victim’s presence, or otherwise trying to stalk or contact them. An order of this type is commonly known as a “PFA.” The court can issue a PFA in reaction to evidence of physical or sexual abuse, as well as stalking.
If approved by the judge, a Final PFA Order can last up to three years. This is preceded by a Temporary PFA Order, which is enacted after someone files for a PFA and lasts seven to 10 days, until the court can hold a hearing. You have the right to be represented at this hearing by an attorney, though one will not be provided for you. Violations of a PFA, if granted, can lead to up to 6 months incarceration or a $1,000 fine. With so much at stake, we strongly advise you to contact us instead of trying to deal with the PFA process by yourself.
Under the PSVI, there are two types of orders that a court may issue: a Sexual Violence Protection Order (SVP) and a Protection from Intimidation Order (PFI). An experienced family law attorney can help you determine which is the right option for you based on your situation.
For parents, a PFA, SVP or PFI can protect a child from an abusive co-parent — or wrongfully strip a mother or father of his or her ability to help raise his or her children. The connections between a child custody dispute and a PFA/SVP/PFI require that your attorney be thoroughly familiar with both areas of the law.
Contact us as soon as possible at 570-820-9800 to learn more about PFAs, SVPs, PFIs and your rights. You can also fill out our online informational form.