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Role of Facebook Evidence in PFA Violation Charges

Logue Law Group Team

In Pennsylvania, there is no separate charge for Domestic Abuse. However, it falls under the same category as other criminal charges of stalking, harassment, etc. The state of Pennsylvania saw a disturbing rise in incidents of domestic abuse in the last 30 years. The rules and regulations have been made stricter so that protection can be guaranteed to all who are facing similar charges. If someone has been charged with a PFA order (Protection from Abuse Act), he/she will have to maintain no contact with the protected party. Other repercussions may also follow which are leaving the protected party’s residence (if both parties are staying together), paying spousal and/or child support, etc.

The main focus of a PFA Order is prohibiting contact of both parties to establish safety and security. This no-contact is often confused with in-person contact. But if you are trying to contact your spouse or partner via social media apps like Facebook, you can still be charged for violation. When it comes to PFA and the broad spectrum that it embraces, it gets confusing for anyone who is being charged, to remain well-informed. If you have incorrect or half information, about the case, it might lead to unwanted complexities in your case. Logue Law Group will aid you in these situations. We have assembled all information related to PFA Orders and the role of Facebook in this article.

Relationship Between Facebook and PFA Orders

Whenever a PFA No-contact order is talked of, it is always assumed that no-contact applies to only physical contact. But, that is not true. The state of Pennsylvania has documented many cases where the restricted party has tried to threaten and create fear in the mind of the victim via social media. The state wants to avoid all these security and safety breaches and thereby has incorporated no-contact via social media clauses in PFA Orders.

May restricted parties remain misinformed and confused, why is it is a good idea to hire the services of a trusted Pittsburgh PFA Lawyer. He/She will be able to guide you throughout the process of the case and advice you on what to do during a proceeding.

You can take the example of a man in Pittsburgh who was charged with violation of PFA Order when he liked his partner’s Facebook photo. Since the boundaries are established in social media no contact, it is always safe to hire a defense attorney who will make the proceeding easy.

Can Facebook Evidences Be Used in PFA Contempt Hearings?

Yes. Pennsylvania has seen several cases where a restricted party has been found guilty of violating a PFA Order via Facebook. The protected party may claim that the alleged accused has tried to threaten, scare or harass him/her via social media texting. If Facebook messages are shown in the courts, as evidence in these cases, it will be held as a violation.

Sometimes, spouses and/or partners may try to establish contact with their respective partners via social media as it is ‘safe’ in their opinion. But, sadly they will be held contempt if these messages were to be presented in court. For example, a man in West Virginia served nine months in jail with a $300 penalty for contacting his ex-wife via Facebook. Whenever a PFA order has been issued against you, the first call should be made to a skilled Pittsburgh PFA Lawyer. A person does not make mistakes when he/she is well-informed about the provisions of a PFA Order by a trusted defense attorney.

How Do Defense Lawyers Defend Facebook Use in PFA Violation Cases?

Several defenses can be presented by experienced Pittsburgh Domestic Violence Lawyer presents in court to minimize or exempt the restricted party’s penalties and/or punishments. Since the spectrum of social media, no contact is not secured with strong boundaries, there are ways in which a restricted person can be defended in court successfully-

The Intention of the Alleged Accused

If you have hired the services of a skilled Pittsburgh Domestic Violence Lawyer like Sean Logue, he will raise reasonable doubt in the court when the prosecutor brings out Facebook as a shred of evidence. If the restricted party has shared an invitation, liked a picture, or sent a friend request, it can be construed as accidental. The defense attorney will make sure that the court gets substantial proof that your messages or any kind of Facebook use did not have any harmful or negative intent towards the alleged victim. To testify the intent of the restricted party, an expert on Facebook function and use can be called to court.

Automated Functions in Facebook Can Be a Defense

What many people do not know about social media and apps like Facebook is that it generates automated functions like inviting a person, generating posts, requests, and other forms of communication. It may look like the restricted party’s attempt to contact the protected party, but in fact, it is Facebook performing automatic functions. When such a situation occurs, your defense lawyer will only need to present your denial at court along with a Facebook expert’s testimony to exempt you from violation charges of a PFA Order.

Third-party Use of Facebook

Many cases have come before the courts in which the restricted parties were exempted from penalties and punishments because third parties had sent Facebook texts to the protected party. What is this third-party use? Third parties are usually family members and friends trying to solve domestic issues between two spouses when one of them is facing a PFA Order. If your defense lawyer claims that it wasn’t the restricted party in person trying to establish contact but a particular family member or friend, the court would not see the case as a violation of the PFA Order.

PFA Violation charges can be avoided when you have an expert defense lawyer like Sean Logue on board. He has handled and defended many such cases where Facebook use was the reason for violation of the PFA Order. These social media no contact violent charges can only be successfully exempted with careful preparation, understanding of social media apps, and a deep understanding of the state laws. Sean Logue has many feathers on his cap for defensive many restricted parties in Pittsburgh and West Virginia. He can be contacted at 844.PITT.DUI for expert guidance on defense cases.

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