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Curcillo & Maclay Blog

By 7016248033 31 Jul, 2017

Question: Who can file for a PFA Order?

Answer: Your spouse; your boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other; any person with whom you have had sexual or intimate relations; the parent of your child(ren); your parent(s); or any person(s) related to you by blood or through marriage.

Solution: If a PFA has been filed against you and the person seeking the PFA does not fall within one of the categories indicated above, ask the judge to dismiss the PFA action because the plaintiff has failed to file against an appropriate party under the Protection from Abuse Act.

 

Question: If I am a defendant to a PFA action, what are the possible consequences that could result if a final order is granted by the judge?

Answer: If you are an avid hunter or a proud gun owner, you may be required to relinquish any existing firearms or weapons that you currently possess, and could be prohibited from owning, possessing, or using any firearms or weapons in the future. Additionally, if you and the other party live together and both parties jointly own the residence or both names are on the lease, the court has the authority to order exclusive possession of the residence to the plaintiff, regardless of whether the defendant has been or is responsible for making the payments. Even if the defendant is the sole owner of the residence or the only individual named the lease, the court can order the defendant to vacate the residence and permit the plaintiff to reside in the defendant’s residence. Alternatively, the judge could allow the defendant to stay in the residence but require the defendant to pay for other suitable housing for the plaintiff. Furthermore, the court has the authority to grant the plaintiff temporary custody of the parties’ child(ren) and/or require the defendant to undergo supervised visitation. The judge could even prohibit the defendant from speaking to or seeing his/her own children. Additionally, the judge could require a defendant to pay monetary support to the plaintiff and award the plaintiff restitution for any injuries or damages that were sustained during the PFA incident(s).

                                             

Question: What could happen if law enforcement finds out that my significant other and I have been talking and/or spending time together in violation of the PFA court order?

Answer: The police can charge you, as the defendant, with contempt, regardless of whether or not your significant other consented to the contact and communication. Even if the plaintiff tells the officer that he/she initiated the contact with you and wants the PFA Order dismissed, the police can still file contempt charges against you and a judge could find you in contempt. If you are found in contempt, you could face jail time in addition to monetary fines.

Legally, the PFA Order issued by the judge is a legal document, meaning that only a judge can alter or change any of the conditions or restrictions contained within the order.   The parties themselves cannot change or alter the PFA Order unless they file a petition to modify the PFA Order and ask the Judge to change the conditions or restrictions in the existing PFA Order.

Solution. Either party, plaintiff or defendant, should file a Modification Order requesting that the PFA be modified to allow contact and communication or request that the PFA be dismissed entirely.

 

Question: Are there any consequences if the plaintiff lied to the police or victim witness in order to obtain a PFA?

Answer: Yes. The primary goal of a PFA is safety and the main purpose of a PFA is to protect a plaintiff who has been or is currently being abused, threatened, or harassed by a defendant. The plaintiff typically is in danger and/or in fear of his/her life. Sometimes, a plaintiff will use the PFA process in a manner in which it was not intended; such as, by attempting to gain leverage in a divorce proceeding by filing for a PFA in an effort to get the other party evicted from the parties’ marital residence. Other times, a plaintiff might file for a PFA to gain custody of the parties’ children instead of going through the legal process of filing for custody by initiating a custody complaint.   If a Plaintiff lies to officers and reports an incident or facts that never occurred, the plaintiff could be charged with False Reports. Under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4906, a person who knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer with the intent to implicate another under this chapter commits an offense relating to false reports to law enforcement authorities.

Solution: If a defendant alleges that a plaintiff made false allegations against him/her in order to obtain a PFA Order for a purpose other than what the PFA Act was intended, the defendant should contact an attorney immediately to discuss contesting the PFA and taking the matter to a hearing. The defendant should also discuss with his/her attorney how he/she can prove to law enforcement authorities that the statements given to the officers at the initial incident were false and intentionally made to falsely implicate the defendant.

 

 

 

If you have any questions about the Protection from Abuse process or wish to protect yourself , your children , your residence , your firearms , and your finances , please contact our office at (717) 651-9100.

 

By 7016248033 31 Jul, 2017

At Curcillo & Maclay, we believe that no one should face a lifetime of consequences for a mistake they may have made. When you or a loved one have been convicted of a crime, your record remains for the rest of your life. This can prevent employment and educational opportunities, as well as label you into the future. When you have repented for your crime and moved on with your life, you should not be forced to carry this burden as well. If you are wondering if your Pennsylvania criminal record may be expunged, our law firm may be able to help! Our blog explains when a criminal record can be expunged and how you can make this happen.

Can My Conviction Be Sealed?

Expungement refers to the legal process of sealing arrest and conviction records, meaning that it does not need to be disclosed to employers, landlords, or the general public. The only people that may be able to see the record is law enforcement, and this can be used in connection with any additional arrests that may be made.

If you were accused but not convicted of a crime, you may simply ask the court to expunge the arrest record. If you were convicted, you need to know if your crime is eligible for expungement.

Crimes that can be expunged in Pennsylvania include:

  • Offenses resolved through an Accelerative Rehabilitative Disposition program except for sex crimes against a minor;
  • Purchase, consumption, or possession of alcohol offenses for those over the age of 21 with successful completion of sentencing terms;
  • Summary offenses that occurred at least five years before with no additional criminal proceedings; or
  • Crimes that have occurred before you were 70 years of age and over 10 years have passed since any criminal proceedings have been brought against you.

Wondering if you may be eligible for a record expungement? Consult with a Harrisburg criminal attorney at our firm in a free consultation! We can help you determine if you are able to have your record expunged and file the proper paperwork to bring to court on your behalf.

By 7016248033 31 Jul, 2017

In a recent Chambersburg Civil Case, the Court of Common Pleas allowed a party to force an opponent to disclose a Plaintiff’s Facebook username and password. The court said the material on social networking sites is discoverable in a civil case. The ruling determined that no social media privacy privilege exists, and that Plaintiff’s information was not protected by the Stored Communications Act.

( Largent v. Reed, Franklin CountyCourt of Common Pleas)

By 7016248033 31 Jul, 2017

According to a recent report, there are thousands of job seekers throughout the U.S. who are missing out on opportunities because of inaccurate background check information used by hiring companies. The Huffington Post reports that consumer advocates want to give job hunters a chance to gain access to the information their prospective employers are viewing so they can catch any errors. Read the Huffington Post story here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/background-check-companies_n_1417180.html?ref=business


Curcillo & Maclay Blog

By 7016248033 31 Jul, 2017

Question: Who can file for a PFA Order?

Answer: Your spouse; your boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other; any person with whom you have had sexual or intimate relations; the parent of your child(ren); your parent(s); or any person(s) related to you by blood or through marriage.

Solution: If a PFA has been filed against you and the person seeking the PFA does not fall within one of the categories indicated above, ask the judge to dismiss the PFA action because the plaintiff has failed to file against an appropriate party under the Protection from Abuse Act.

 

Question: If I am a defendant to a PFA action, what are the possible consequences that could result if a final order is granted by the judge?

Answer: If you are an avid hunter or a proud gun owner, you may be required to relinquish any existing firearms or weapons that you currently possess, and could be prohibited from owning, possessing, or using any firearms or weapons in the future. Additionally, if you and the other party live together and both parties jointly own the residence or both names are on the lease, the court has the authority to order exclusive possession of the residence to the plaintiff, regardless of whether the defendant has been or is responsible for making the payments. Even if the defendant is the sole owner of the residence or the only individual named the lease, the court can order the defendant to vacate the residence and permit the plaintiff to reside in the defendant’s residence. Alternatively, the judge could allow the defendant to stay in the residence but require the defendant to pay for other suitable housing for the plaintiff. Furthermore, the court has the authority to grant the plaintiff temporary custody of the parties’ child(ren) and/or require the defendant to undergo supervised visitation. The judge could even prohibit the defendant from speaking to or seeing his/her own children. Additionally, the judge could require a defendant to pay monetary support to the plaintiff and award the plaintiff restitution for any injuries or damages that were sustained during the PFA incident(s).

                                             

Question: What could happen if law enforcement finds out that my significant other and I have been talking and/or spending time together in violation of the PFA court order?

Answer: The police can charge you, as the defendant, with contempt, regardless of whether or not your significant other consented to the contact and communication. Even if the plaintiff tells the officer that he/she initiated the contact with you and wants the PFA Order dismissed, the police can still file contempt charges against you and a judge could find you in contempt. If you are found in contempt, you could face jail time in addition to monetary fines.

Legally, the PFA Order issued by the judge is a legal document, meaning that only a judge can alter or change any of the conditions or restrictions contained within the order.   The parties themselves cannot change or alter the PFA Order unless they file a petition to modify the PFA Order and ask the Judge to change the conditions or restrictions in the existing PFA Order.

Solution. Either party, plaintiff or defendant, should file a Modification Order requesting that the PFA be modified to allow contact and communication or request that the PFA be dismissed entirely.

 

Question: Are there any consequences if the plaintiff lied to the police or victim witness in order to obtain a PFA?

Answer: Yes. The primary goal of a PFA is safety and the main purpose of a PFA is to protect a plaintiff who has been or is currently being abused, threatened, or harassed by a defendant. The plaintiff typically is in danger and/or in fear of his/her life. Sometimes, a plaintiff will use the PFA process in a manner in which it was not intended; such as, by attempting to gain leverage in a divorce proceeding by filing for a PFA in an effort to get the other party evicted from the parties’ marital residence. Other times, a plaintiff might file for a PFA to gain custody of the parties’ children instead of going through the legal process of filing for custody by initiating a custody complaint.   If a Plaintiff lies to officers and reports an incident or facts that never occurred, the plaintiff could be charged with False Reports. Under 18 Pa.C.S. § 4906, a person who knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer with the intent to implicate another under this chapter commits an offense relating to false reports to law enforcement authorities.

Solution: If a defendant alleges that a plaintiff made false allegations against him/her in order to obtain a PFA Order for a purpose other than what the PFA Act was intended, the defendant should contact an attorney immediately to discuss contesting the PFA and taking the matter to a hearing. The defendant should also discuss with his/her attorney how he/she can prove to law enforcement authorities that the statements given to the officers at the initial incident were false and intentionally made to falsely implicate the defendant.

 

 

 

If you have any questions about the Protection from Abuse process or wish to protect yourself , your children , your residence , your firearms , and your finances , please contact our office at (717) 651-9100.

 

By 7016248033 31 Jul, 2017

At Curcillo & Maclay, we believe that no one should face a lifetime of consequences for a mistake they may have made. When you or a loved one have been convicted of a crime, your record remains for the rest of your life. This can prevent employment and educational opportunities, as well as label you into the future. When you have repented for your crime and moved on with your life, you should not be forced to carry this burden as well. If you are wondering if your Pennsylvania criminal record may be expunged, our law firm may be able to help! Our blog explains when a criminal record can be expunged and how you can make this happen.

Can My Conviction Be Sealed?

Expungement refers to the legal process of sealing arrest and conviction records, meaning that it does not need to be disclosed to employers, landlords, or the general public. The only people that may be able to see the record is law enforcement, and this can be used in connection with any additional arrests that may be made.

If you were accused but not convicted of a crime, you may simply ask the court to expunge the arrest record. If you were convicted, you need to know if your crime is eligible for expungement.

Crimes that can be expunged in Pennsylvania include:

  • Offenses resolved through an Accelerative Rehabilitative Disposition program except for sex crimes against a minor;
  • Purchase, consumption, or possession of alcohol offenses for those over the age of 21 with successful completion of sentencing terms;
  • Summary offenses that occurred at least five years before with no additional criminal proceedings; or
  • Crimes that have occurred before you were 70 years of age and over 10 years have passed since any criminal proceedings have been brought against you.

Wondering if you may be eligible for a record expungement? Consult with a Harrisburg criminal attorney at our firm in a free consultation! We can help you determine if you are able to have your record expunged and file the proper paperwork to bring to court on your behalf.

By 7016248033 31 Jul, 2017

In a recent Chambersburg Civil Case, the Court of Common Pleas allowed a party to force an opponent to disclose a Plaintiff’s Facebook username and password. The court said the material on social networking sites is discoverable in a civil case. The ruling determined that no social media privacy privilege exists, and that Plaintiff’s information was not protected by the Stored Communications Act.

( Largent v. Reed, Franklin CountyCourt of Common Pleas)

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