PFA Lawyers in Western
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Get Tough.
A temporary PFA Order can become "permanent" following a hearing. If this happens, the "permanent" Order can have immediate consequences and a long term impact on your life. The court can restrict your contact from the petitioner, your children, order you make restitution for the the "abuse," and enter other punishment against you. Moreover, a permanent order gets filed on the civil docket; it looks like a criminal conviction in that it establishes proof that you have threatened or hurt someone. The civil docket is a matter of public record for the world to see free of charge online in many counties. Hence, your employer or anyone else viewing the public docket will see that a hearing took place and a finding was made that you are an abuser. This information can be viewed on the docket long after the PFA expires.

Your PFA Hearing.
The hearing is a critical stage for you. At the hearing, everything you say can be used against you. Likewise, if you consent to the permanent PFA, it is like having a hearing and losing. When considering any "deal" offered at your PFA hearing, you need to know exactly how a permant PFA order will jeopardize your interests in the future. On the other hand, in many cases, a settlement agreement is the only realistic option given how much you have to lose at a hearing.

Get Prepared.
Your lawyer will prepare you to testify at your hearing. Your lawyer will also balance the long term harm that your testimony can create for you in the future. Your attorney will also advise you whether to consider a deal and how hard to push back for a better deal to compromise the PFA claim and spare you a hearing. If the hearing does go forward, as mentioned, your lawyer get your prepared. Your lawyer will also know how to cross examine each witness who testifies against you.

Consequences of Doing Nothing.
The PFA can last up to three years. As you may know, it can prevent you from having a firearm. Further, if you lose in court, you may be precluded from relitigating the issues raised at your PFA hearing, such as your alleged violence and/or the threats you allegedly made. This kind of evidence and testimony can seriously impact your rights in other cases and the court at the PFA hearing (or another judge down the road) can look at the testimony from the PFA hearing and enter an order adverse to you in the areas of custody, support, and any case where your testimony is needed and your character is an issue.

Experience Pays.
Prior to entering private practice, Attorney Todd W. Elliott clerked for a judge in Beaver County. There, it was Mr. Elliott's job to screen all new PFA claims. Mr. Elliott made the threshold decision whether a temporary PFA would be issued. Mr. Elliott then entered private practice for over ten years and is uniquely qualified to help you with your PFA (protection from abuse) case and/or an appeal to the superior court if necessary although, that said, the key time to defend against a PFA is a the hearing on whether the temporary order will become permaent.

Rely on Our Skill...And Fair Pricing.
Relying on experienced counsel will actually save you time and money in the long run. Why pay thousands of dollars for a defense when you can have an experienced lawyer for a fraction of the cost? Give us a call and we will can discus our very reasonable flat fee rates.

412.780.0008

Serving Allegheny, Beaver, and Washington Counties.

412.780.0008
all rights reserved Todd W. Elliott 2012
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THE RISKS: What Can You Lose?

Under the PFA Act, a court has broad power to order remedies to prevent "abuse" and to correct financial hardship on a party who allegedly suffered abuse.

The Act also allows the courts to enter a custody/visitation order, make you pay child support, make you give up your weapons, and a host of other servere penalties. It is therefore advisable that you talk to your attorney about your overall strategy and whether you will try to "beat" a PFA.

If you go to court and lose, you risk the court ordering all the above penalties, plus you risk creating a transcript of testimony about your alleged tendencies as an "abuser," which can haunt you for years or decades into the future.

It often pays to work things out through an agreement, but you should be reluctant to consent to any type of PFA order unless your attorney helps draft the terms of the agreement and advises you that consent is the most realistic option.
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