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Kayla M. Zizzi

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What happens if you are charged with a violation of a Protection from Abuse Order in Pennsylvania?

Kayla M. Zizzi, Esq., (717) 221-7970, kzizzi@tuckerlaw.com

In Pennsylvania, a defendant faces Indirect Criminal Contempt (“ICC”) if he or she is found in violation of a temporary or final Protection from Abuse (“PFA”) Order. Pennsylvania statute 23 Pa.C.S. Section 6113 is the controlling authority for an ICC. The most common violation of a PFA is contact with the plaintiff either in person or through electronic communications. Although an ICC is a criminal matter with a high burden of proof, its procedure is different from that of a general criminal charge. When faced with an ICC, the defendant is not entitled to a Preliminary Hearing in front of a Magisterial District Judge first. Rather, the defendant is scheduled for a hearing in front of a Court of Common Pleas Judge. A defendant is entitled to a hearing or may accept a negotiated plea. Yes, a plaintiff can request that the ICC is withdrawn after informing the District Attorney’s Office. However, it is vital that a defendant facing an ICC makes no further contact with the plaintiff to avoid potential intimidation charges and further violations of the current PFA Order. The punishments for an ICC range from monetary fines to a maximum six months in jail or probation. If you receive criminal charges for a violation of a PFA, you should immediately contact an attorney. For more information on PFA Orders, contact Kayla Zizzi at 717-221-7970 or at kzizzi@tuckerlaw.com.

May 28, 2024

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