PFA Lawyers in Western
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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
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
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.
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.
Serving Allegheny, Beaver, and Washington Counties.
all rights reserved Todd W. Elliott 2012
THE RISKS: What
Can You Lose?
Under the PFA Act, a
court has broad
power to order
remedies to prevent
"abuse" and to
hardship on a party
The Act also allows
the courts to enter a
order, make you pay
child support, make
you give up your
weapons, and a host
of other servere
penalties. It is
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
plus you risk creating
a transcript of
testimony about your
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
claims in PA
Abuse Act claims
We draft binding
Knowledge. Compassion. Value.
425 First Avenue
Level #1 and #2
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
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