Effect of Social Media in Pennsylvania PFA Orders

There are no two thoughts on how important electronic communication is today. Most of our fingers are typing on some electronic gadget all time a day. When life is dependent on social media communication, how can you go without it? PFA orders will change your social life forever. When the court forbids you to talk to someone online, the best course of action will be to follow the rules. If you violate the PFA order in Pennsylvania, penalties and punishments will be your fate. When the spectrum of rules and regulations in a PFA order is vast, it is difficult to understand which information is correct or false. Logue Law Group discusses the best course of action that is supposed to be taken when charged with PFA and how to protect your online activity.

What Does a Protection From Abuse Order Signify?

A Protection from Abuse Act was made to protect domestic abuse victims and/or victims of stalking, harassment, threat, etc. The state takes the Act seriously and is strict about the proceedings regarding it. Pennsylvania saw a huge rise in domestic abuse cases and other similar nature crimes in the last 20 years. To curtail these events, the PFA order uses law forces like police, court, etc. to protect all alleged victims.

All PFA orders ensure that the one who files the order will get protection from the law. On the other hand, the restricted party will have to stop communicating or contacting the protected party. If you have been served a PFA order, it is time to hire a Pittsburgh PFA Lawyer. He/She will make sure you understand all the necessary details of the order and do not act against it.

What Are the Criteria to Issue a PFA Order?

Usually, PFA orders are levied against those with whom you have "domestic relationships". At times the court grants a PFA order to a live-in partner too. The main part that you need to understand is anyone with whom you share a close relationship, is capable of filing a PFA order against you. These relationships qualify for a PFA order-

  • Current or former intimate or sexual partners,
  • Current spouse or former spouse,
  • Your parent or child,
  • Same-sex couples,
  • Someone who lived with you as a spouse or currently does,
  • Someone related to you by blood or by marriage,
  • Your brother or sister, or
  • Someone with whom you have a child.

PFA orders cannot be filed by your neighbors, friends, co-workers, house staff, etc. It is exclusively available for those with whom you share a personal, close relation. A person under the age of 18 cannot file a PFA order against you on their own. Instead, their guardians or parents can file it on their behalf. Your Pittsburgh PFA Lawyer will explain the best course of action that you should undertake if a PFA order has been charged against you.

How Does a PFA Order Affect Your Online Activity?

There are many changes that your Pittsburgh Domestic Violence Lawyer will advise you to make in your online activity once a PFA order has been charged. If you have an online blog or any site where you post about your personal life (incidents related to the protected party), you have to take it down. Your defense lawyer will ask you to not make any comments regarding the protected party on their social media or your own. If you are found violating these norms of a PFA order, you will be charged with a violation which will to a hefty fine and even jail time. Sometimes, it has been observed that the alleged accused have forged identities of the other party and themselves and made online posts and/or stories. This act is also regarded as a violation.

You cannot text or email the protected party. If you think that the online communication restriction is not applied to all kinds of electronic communication, you are wrong. If you are found violating the order by communicating in via any electronic services, the court will hold you responsible and take strict charges against you. Sometimes it has been seen that the restricted party has tried to make contact via his/her friends or family. A skilled defense lawyer would advise you against it. Although you won't be held in contempt for this, one would have to tread carefully with the state in PFA order charges.

Does a PFA Order Make Any Changes in Your Social Media Life?

Plenty. It has been observed in many PFA cases in Pennsylvania that the restricted party has contacted the plaintiff aggressively via social media apps thinking it won't be counted as a violation. The state of Pennsylvania is developing and modernizing its protection acts as per the times. Yes, indeed, social media was not considered a violation but more and more protected parties were feeling unsafe, threatened, and harassed through these apps. If you have a PFA order issued against you, hire the services of an experienced Pittsburgh Domestic Violence Lawyer and chalk out plans in which you can use your social media handles. Apps like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat have small groups in which you and the alleged victim may be a part. It is always advised to leave those groups and any common social media chat that both of you share. If you maintain distancing, the court will rule out the possibility of you being a threat and the order will be taken off you.

Your lawyer will always advise you to keep your accounts private on all social media apps. If the plaintiff or his/her friends and family check out your social media posts and finds anything remotely close to a violation of the PFA order, chances are the restriction period will increase and fines will also be applied. Also, under no circumstances should you check out the handles of the restricted party. Curiosity creates temptation but is best to keep all your curious feelings at rest.

PFA orders are a tricky business. Since only close people can file it against you, it becomes a taxing and emotional experience. You need the best guidance during these times to avoid making any violations to the order. Attorney Sean Logue is the best help for you. He has handled similar cases in the past and will protect all your rights and work to minimize penalties and/or punishments. Call him at (412) 612-2210 to get help for you or your loved ones in these trying times.

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