York Protection from Abuse Lawyers (PFA)

PFAs, SVPOs and PFIOs Throughout Central Pennsylvania, Including York, Shrewsbury & Mt Wolf

PFA in York

Protection From Abuse orders protect people who have specific kinds of relationships with their abusers.

What is a Protection from Abuse or PFA?

A Protection from Abuse (PFA) is a specialized civil restraining order available to people who have certain kinds of relationships with one another. These orders are meant to provide protection in case of domestic violence. The order requires the abuser to stop the abuse and may place additional requirements on his behavior. Frequently the abuser is required to move from a joint home and to cease communicating with the victim. PFAs are available to both women and men who suffer from domestic violence in Pennsylvania. Our York Protection from Abuse (PFA) lawyers can assist you in either obtaining or defending against a PFA. Contact us for assistance.

Who Can Obtain a Protection from Abuse Order?

Only people who have a specific kind of relationship may obtain PFAs. The law requires the following kind of relationships:

  • Related by marriage (spouse, in-law or other legal relationship)
  • Related by blood
  • Current or past romantic partners

If you do not have the kind of relationship which makes you qualified for a PFA, you can check and see if you are covered under the Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation Act (explained below.) And, of course, if you have been the victim of a crime, please call the police for help.

What Types of PFAs are There in Pennsylvania?

There are three types of PFAs. They all offer protection at varying speeds and for varying periods of time.

Emergency Order

An emergency order provides protection when the courts are closed. If the judge believes you are in immediate and serious danger, she may grant you a Protection from Abuse order. This order lasts only until the next business day at which point you will seek the next kind of order.

Ex parte Temporary

An ex parte temporary PFA is one that is provided when you or your children are in danger of further abuse and require immediate protection. This order is based on information you provide to the judge, without any input from the abuser. A future hearing is scheduled, normally within the next two weeks, to determine if the order should become permanent.


A final PFA is granted after both you and the accused are able to explain what is happening. Your York PFA lawyer will present evidence to either prove or disprove that abuse is occurring. These orders are set to last a specific period of time, up to three years. The order can be extended if necessary

What is a Protection from Sexual Violence or Intimidation?

SVP and PFI in York

A PFI order is appropriate when an adult is harassing or stalking a minor. An SVP order is for victims of sexual violence, regardless of age.

The Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation Act is a new law in Pennsylvania. PSVI does not replace the Protection From Abuse Act, but rather adds a new form of protection for those who are threatened, but do not have the kind of relationship required. As noted, in order to obtain a PFA, you needed to be related or in a romantic relationship with the accused party. Now, there are two additional categories for protection. They are:

  • SVPOs – Sexual Violence Protection Orders for people who are victims of sexual violence. These orders are for both adults and minors.
  • PFIOs – Protection from Intimidation Orders for victims who are under the age of 18 and have been targeted for intimidation by someone who is an adult.

This law provides for no contact orders which prevent the aggressor from communicating with or going near the victim. As with PFAs, this act is civil in nature, not criminal. The district attorney of the appropriate county makes the determination whether to file criminal charges in addition to the civil protections provided to the victim under this Act. Those who are protected under the PFA Act should file for a PFA.

A circumstance under which an SVPO might be appropriate would include sexual assault by a coworker. A child might file for a PFIO when he is being harassed or stalked by an adult friend.


It is crucial to be honest when seeking a PFA, SVPO or PFIO. The person seeking relief under these Acts may be committing a crime if he or she knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer or the court. Misuse of any of these orders can be a serious offense.

How do I Get a PFA, SVP or PFI?

In order to obtain a Protection from Abuse order, you need to file with the Court of Common Pleas – Family Division in your county. In York, you may find details on the York County Protection from Abuse Information Center website. For a SVPO or PFIO, you file with the prothonotary in your jurisdiction.

What York Lawyer Can Help Me With a Protection Order?

Our PFA, SVPO and PFIO attorneys in York PA can assist you with your application or your defense, if you are unjustly accused. Contact us at 717-846-8846 for assistance.



York PFA, SVPOs and PFIO Attorneys
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York PFA, SVPOs and PFIO Attorneys
What are Protection from Abuse orders (PFAs), SVPOs and PFIOs in or around York Pennsylvania? How can you get one or defend against one and what do they mean?
Hoffmeyer & Semmelman
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