Protection From Abuse

Obtaining, Extending Or Enforcing Protective Orders

If you have been subjected to domestic assault, threats of violence, or stalking behavior, you can file for a protection from abuse (PFA) order. The procedure for PFAs varies from county to county. Please contact us for a consultation and we can assist you in discovering the process for your particular situation.

Haller & Imbarlina, P.C., handles protection from abuse orders and other family law matters in Butler County and surrounding communities. Call our Cranberry Township law office at 724-935-0820.

What Actions Qualify For Protection From Abuse?

Under Pennsylvania's Protection From Abuse Act, a protective order may be issued by the court for:

  • Attempting to or intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury, serious bodily injury, rape, spousal sexual assault or involuntarily deviate sexual intercourse with or without a deadly weapon
  • Placing another in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury
  • False imprisonment, as defined under the crimes code
  • Physically or sexually abusing minor children
  • Knowingly engaging in a course of conduct repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person, under circumstances which place the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury

The act does not cover emotional abuse or verbal abuse.

How Does The Process Work?

You can go to the courthouse to obtain a temporary order for protection from abuse. A temporary order may also be issued when police are called to a domestic violence incident. These orders are issued ex parte by a judge, without any input from the accused person.

Within a week or two, a hearing is held on whether to continue the PFA, from three months up to a year. The alleged abuser can challenge the need for the protective order or argue for fewer restrictions. PFAs commonly go hand in hand with divorce proceedings and may specifically address child custody arrangements and visitation or communication with children.

Do You Need Emergency Protection?
If you have been threatened or assaulted, contact your local police department immediately. Domestic abuse resources are available through the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence by calling 800-932-4632 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For emergencies, contact the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 (SAFE).

You have rights if you are a victim of domestic violence or if you fear for your safety and your children. We have helped hundreds of families over the past 25-plus years to cope with these issues. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your options for protection.