Has a girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, or domestic partner falsely accused you of abuse under the Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Act (PFA)? Fortunately, you may be eligible for expungement of your PFA records. An expungement will remove your PFA records and court files from public records. As an experienced Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Expungement lawyer, I can help you navigate the PFA expungement process and ensure your record is cleared.
Restore Your Reputation with a PFA Expungement
People with a PFA record should consider applying for expungement if they want to restore their reputation or rebuild their lives. I will verify that each agency expunges your record. I can complete the expungement process quickly and easily. Contact me at (215) 752-5282 to learn more about your options and start rebuilding your life.
A PA PFA Record Can be Expunged in the Following Cases:
- When an Emergency PFA has expired
- When the Plaintiff withdraws an Emergency PFA
- When a Temporary PFA has expired
- When the Plaintiff revokes a Temporary PFA
- When the court dismissed the PFA Petition after the Plaintiff failed to appear for the PFA hearing
- When the court dismissed the PFA Petition after the Plaintiff and Defendant were unable to attend the PFA hearing
- When the judge dismissed the PFA Petition after a PFA Final Hearing
The Extreme Consequences of a False Domestic Abuse Claim
The police do not need to file criminal charges to investigate a report of domestic abuse accusation. Unfortunately, a false allegation of domestic abuse can have negative consequences, even if the accuser is never arrested or charged.
False abuse claims in a PFA Petition can cause embarrassment, damage relationships, and interfere with future opportunities. Pennsylvania PFA expungement law allows individuals falsely accused of domestic abuse a chance to rebuild their lives.
False Claims of Abuse Can Damage Your Future
Unfortunately, some domestic partners fabricate, exaggerate, or embellish abuse allegations to retaliate against a former intimate partner or spouse. Significantly, once the court orders a temporary or permanent PFA, a PFA judge may consider the previous PFA order if the Plaintiff files a subsequent PFA against the same person. Also, a family court judge can use a parent’s PFA record as evidence against them in a custody matter.
A False PFA Accusation Can Make It Hard to Find Employment
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 2 million Americans have become unemployed since the COVID-19 shutdown began in March 2020. Unfortunately, economists predict an economic recession due to inflation, energy shortages, and higher interest rates. Because of this, it is even more critical for you to take steps to get your PFA records expunged.
A PFA Record may Appear on Employer Background Checks
Most employers conduct background checks on job applicants to identify individuals who may pose a threat to others or become liabilities to the company. Someone with a PFA record may have trouble finding a job in a field that involves contact with children or the elderly.
A PFA Record Will Make It Difficult to find in Work in Law Enforcement, Healthcare, and Specialized Professions
Unfortunately, a PFA history may prevent an otherwise qualified person from obtaining a job in law enforcement, healthcare, and employment fields requiring a security clearance. In addition, healthcare jobs, law enforcement positions and financial employment are some of the most satisfying and lucrative types of work available today.
Regrettably, most people do not realize that a record of their PFA can appear on a background check long after the petition is dismissed, withdrawn or expired. Under these difficult conditions, you will find it challenging to find a job if a domestic partner has filed an unsubstantiated of domestic abuse under the PFA Act.
A PFA History Can Make It Difficult to Find Housing
In many states, an accusation of domestic abuse can make it hard to find housing even when the claim is false. As a result, many landlords will not hire or rent to someone with any history of domestic abuse. A fraudulent PFA claim can make it challenging to get your life back on track, even when you are innocent.
Bucks County PFA Expungement Lawyer
I have over a decade of experience assisting individuals with PFA expungement in Bucks County, Montgomery County, and the surrounding Pennsylvania counties. I can determine whether you are eligible for PFA record expungement. Contact me at (215) 752-5282 for a free initial consultation or fill out the confidential contact form for an immediate response.
Who Maintains a Registry of PFA Records?
The Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Act (PFAA) created a statewide registry of PFA records. The records in this registry include temporary PFA Orders, Final PFA Orders, PFA Consent agreements, and Registered Foreign Protection Orders.
PFA records may also exist within:
- The Pennsylvania State Police,
- Local police departments,
- County sheriff’s departments,
- County district attorney
- County clerk of courts.
These records include PFA Petitions, court docket entries, and all incident reports related to the case.
How Does a PFA get Expunged?
The PFA expungement process typically begins when a petitioner files a PFA Expungement Petition in the Family Court Prothonotary in the county where the Plaintiff filed the PFA. The petitioner must provide a copy of the PFA Expungement Petition to the Plaintiff by certified mail.
In some cases, the court will schedule a hearing on the petition. However, in most cases, if the request for expungement faces no opposition, the court will issue an Order for Expungement of the PFA records without a formal hearing.
What is the Current PFA Expungement Law?
In 2002, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that an individual is entitled to expunge PFA records if the PFA proceedings did not move beyond the temporary order phase. However, the court also ruled that expungement is not permitted once the case the PFA judge issues a final order at the final hearing.
An individual is entitled to expungement of PFA records under Pennsylvania law when the PFA does not become a permanent order. Fortunately, many cases never result in a permanent PFA Order and are therefore eligible for expungement.
What Types of PFA Records Get Expunged?
Once the court approves a PFA Expungement Order, the prothonotary of the domestic relations department will send a certified copy of the order to any agency maintaining records of the PFA, including:
- Pennsylvania State Police Protection from Abuse Database
- Domestic Relations Prothonotary
- County Sheriff
- County Clerk of Courts
- Local Police Department
- Pennsylvania State Police
- County District Attorney
In most counties, the clerk of courts office will serve each agency with a copy of the expungement order. Those agencies will provide written confirmation that your PFA records have been destroyed.
Contact a Pennsylvania PFA Expungement Attorney
Don’t let a PFA record destroy your reputation and limit your employment opportunities. Contact me if you have a record for a dismissed, withdrawn, or expired PFA case in Bucks County, Montgomery County, Delaware County, Chester County, or the surrounding Pennsylvania Counties. Phone lines are open 24 hours a day at (215) 752-5282. Contact me for a free initial consultation or fill out the confidential contact form for an immediate response.