Posts Tagged ‘PFA violation lawyer Berks County’

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 info@enmlaw.com.

ENM Law News: Indirect Criminal Contempt win

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

A client came to our office looking for assistance with an Indirect Criminal Contempt (ICC) charge for violating a Protection from Abuse order (PFA). Attorney McAllister found out that the offer from the District Attorney’s office was for a jail sentence of 3-6 months. Attorney McAllister and the client decided to proceed with a hearing. An ICC hearing is essentially a small trial in front of a judge. The District Attorney has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant violated the PFA by proving 4 elements:

- that the PFA was sufficiently definite, clear and specific to properly notify the defendant about what conduct was prohibited
- that the defendant knew about the PFA
- that the alleged act was volitional
- that the defendant acted with wrongful intent

The PFA plaintiff and our client both testified at the hearing and Attorney McAllister argued that the District Attorney did not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. He specifically argued that his client did not act with wrongful intent. The judge agreed with Attorney McAllister’s argument and dismissed the charge against our client.

If you’ve been charged with violating a PFA in Berks County, do not attend the hearing on your own. Contact our experienced criminal law attorneys in Reading, PA at 610-372-5128 or info@enmlaw.com.