Posts Tagged ‘PFA attorney reading pa’

ENM Law News: Client found “not guilty” of ICC charge

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

While a Protection from Abuse matter in Pennsylvania is a civil matter, a violation of the PFA becomes a criminal charge called Indirect Criminal Contempt (ICC). Defendants in Berks County are scheduled for ICC court and a hearing is held to determine whether the PFA was violated. An ICC charge carries a maximum permissible sentence of 6 months of incarceration and a $1,000 fine. A PFA doesn’t result in a criminal record but a conviction for ICC does and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Attorney McAllister was recently hired to represent an ICC defendant who also had immigration concerns. The non-citizen client was detained by Immigration and was facing a conviction for a deportable offense. Immigration law states that a non-citizen is deportable when convicted of violating a domestic violence protective order. Because of these immigration consequences, the stakes were even higher for this client and he decided to proceed with an ICC hearing.

At the ICC hearing, the Commonwealth argued that the client violated the PFA by calling out to the Plaintiff by her name within minutes of being informed of the no-contact restrictions in the PFA. Attorney McAllister argued that the client did not have proper notice of the order (a requirement for conviction) because he did not have sufficient time to read and understand the PFA order he had just been served with. Attorney McAllister also argued that the contact was de minimus and was not sufficient to be the basis of a violation. The Berks County ICC judge agreed with these arguments and found the client “not guilty” of violating the PFA. Not only did the client avoid a jail sentence and fine, he also avoided being deported based on an ICC conviction.

If you’ve been charged with violating a PFA in Berks County, contact our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at 610-373-5128 or

Spotlight Issue: Expunging PFA’s

Monday, August 28th, 2017

What can you do to remove a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) from your record? Your ability to expunge the PFA depends on how far in the process your case proceeded. Our attorneys are very familiar with the steps necessary to successfully expunge Berks County PFA’s. First, here is a summary of the Berks County PFA process:

- a plaintiff files a petition requesting a PFA

- an ex parte (just plaintiff and judge) petition hearing is held at which time the plaintiff gives details about the alleged abuse that has occurred the judge decides if there is immediate danger and grants a Temporary PFA if he or she finds that there is

- a Final PFA hearing is scheduled within 10 days of the petition hearing – at the final hearing the Plaintiff has to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that abuse (as defined by statute) occurred

- if a judge finds that abuse did occur, he or she can enter a Final PFA for up to 3 years and can include relief such as eviction, prohibition of contact, temporary custody provisions and a prohibition on possessing firearms

So, can you remove a PFA from your record? Well, the answer is pretty straightforward if your case never got to the Final PFA hearing. If a Temporary PFA was not granted at the petition hearing, or if your Temporary PFA was dismissed before the Final PFA hearing then the law is pretty clear that any mention of the case can be removed from most databases. This is also true if your case proceeded to a Final PFA hearing and the judge found that no abuse occurred and dismissed the PFA. A Final PFA entered by agreement or after a hearing is much more difficult to expunge and the court must employ a balancing test to determine when expungement is appropriate.

Many people don’t take advantage of the expungement process for PFA’s, but the only way to ensure that a non-final PFA doesn’t have a negative impact in the future is to completely remove it from your record. If a PFA was filed against you in Berks County and later dismissed, make sure that it doesn’t come back to haunt you unexpectedly. Call our Reading, PA PFA expungement attorneys to start the expungement process today at 610-372-5128 or email us at

Simple Assault Case Dismissed in District Court

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Attorney Nevins represented an individual charged in connection with allegations of domestic assault today in a Berks County district court. Attorney Nevins was able to secure a dismissal of the criminal charges at his client’s initial court hearing. Charges of Simple Assault carry a possible maximum penalty of two years incarceration and a $5,000 fine.支架水池

If you or a loved one are facing assault charges in Berks County, PA you need an experienced attorney you can trust. The attorneys at ENM Law are skilled trial advocates with an impressive track record of success. Call today for a free initial consultation.

Not Guilty Verdict in PFA Violation Case

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Attorney Elizabeth Ebner won a not guilty verdict yesterday for a client who had been charged with violating a Protection From Abuse order in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The client was facing up to 6 months in prison if convicted of the offense. The case had been scheduled for a special date and time by a Common Pleas Judge due to the nature and circumstances of the situation. Ultimately, Attorney Ebner had her client fully exonerated following a contentions court proceeding.

In Pennsylvania alleged violations of a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order result in the filing of Indirect Criminal Contempt (ICC) charges. Most typically these violations stem from an alleged violation of the “no contact” provision of the PFA. Fortunately, those facing such allegations are entitled to their day in court.

The Attorneys of Ebner, Nevins & McAllister have a strong track record of success in representing individuals accused of criminal acts in Berks County, PA. We continue to offer free initial consultations in all criminal cases as well as PFA and PFA violation cases. Call today to schedule your appointment.

All Charges Dismissed at Berks County Preliminary Hearing

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Attorney Dan Nevins won a dismissal of all criminal charges filed against a client following an alleged domestic incident in Berks County, PA. The client had been charged with Simple Assault, Terroristic Threats and Harassment. It was alleged that he threatened his brother’s girlfriend with a knife during an argument at the family home.

Following the preliminary hearing the District Judge ruled that the Commonwealth failed to meet its burden and dismissed each count.

The attorneys of Ebner, Nevins & McAllister have a demonstrated track record of successfully defending individuals charged with every type of criminal offense.  Allegations of domestic abuse must be taken very seriously – by both the alleged victim and the accused.  Protect your rights by scheduling a free initial consultation today.

PFA Order Dismissed in Reading, PA Case

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Yesterday I represented a client facing a protection from abuse order in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. His mother-in-law had sought this order and a had alleged that my client had made various verbal threats to her over the telephone during a dispute. Unfortunately, my client and his mother-in-law have previously been invovled in custody litigation and it is my belief that this influenced her decision to seek relief in the form of a PFA.

Fortunately, however, for my client we were able to have the PFA dismissed following a much contested hearing in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas.

The PFA act in Pennsylvania is a very important protection available to those who have been placed in danger due to the acts of spouses, paramours or family members. It is also quite a serious matter to face a PFA as a Defendant. You could be facing restictions of freedom, eviction, loss of a right to a firearm, custody implications and more. It is important to seek the services of an attorney experienced in fighting for personal right. Call our firm today to schedule a free consultation.

2 Year Protection Order Granted Following Hearing in Berks County PFA Case

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Today I represented a plaintiff in a Protection From Abuse Case in Reading, PA. My client alleged that his spouse had threatened him with physical harm on numerous occasions and consequently he feared for his safety. His spouse denied the allegations and the matter proceeded to a Hearing.

Ultimately, there was a finding of abuse and a 2 year PFA order was granted. My client can rest assurred that if his estranged spouse contacts or attempts to continue her threats in any way over the next 2 years, then she will be arrested.

The PFA act in Pennsylvania provides protection for victims of abuse and domestic violence. It applies equally to both men and women, children and adults. If you or a loved one is seeking legal advice regarding a PFA in Berks County please call our office for a free consultation.

PFA Dismissed following hearing in Berks County Court of Common Pleas

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Yesterday I (Attorney Dan Nevins) represented a client facing Protection From Abuse (PFA) petition. The allegations involved a domestic altercation which took place at a crowded nightclub in Reading, PA. According to the Plaintiff’s narrative in the Temporary PFA, my client approached her, grabbed her around the neck and slapped her twice on the face. To support her claim, Plaintiff intended to use an independent witness who was was a dance instructor at the club.

My client denies laying a hand on his spouse. He does not deny encountering her at the club where he had gone to shoot pool with his father. To support our position we were able to present the testimony of the club’s security guard who witnessed the whole thingcheap bounce house for sale.

During the hearing we were able to impeach the credibility of the Plaintiff’s “independent” witness. As it turned out she was Plaintiff’s salsa instructor who was sitting at a table drinking beer with Plaintiff and two other male instructors when this allegedly happened. My true independent witness confirmed he that he knew neither my client nor the Plaintiff. He went on to state that he watched the entire encounter and my client did not lay a hand on her. Moreover, he would have kicked my client, or any other, out of the club if there was any physical violence.   I do owe a special thanks to client’s brother for tracking down this witness and bringing him into court on short notice.

In the end, the Judge dismissed the PFA after hearing all the testimony.