Protection from Abuse (PFA)/Protection from Harassment (PFH)
Do you believe that a protection from abuse order was wrongly filed against you? Are you seeking to protect yourself from abuse or harassment? We are highly experienced in representing both victims of abuse and defendants in protection from abuse and protection from harassment cases. We will advocate on your behalf and seek to protect your rights and your immediate and future interests.
No matter the specifics of your case, you have the right to defend yourself against violence or pursue a defense against the wrongful claim of abuse.
Maine law enables victims of domestic or dating abuse, sexual assault, stalking, or other forms of harassment to obtain both short-term emergency protection and, after hearing, long-term protection. These laws also enable persons accused of abuse or harassment to defend themselves and to ask the court to modify or vacate any order against them.
There are two types of laws that govern protection orders: Protection from abuse (PFA) laws protect individuals and/or their children from abuse by a family or household member. Protection from harassment (PFH) laws protect individuals and/or their children and businesses from harassment by an individual the person you are seeking protection from does not have to be a family or household member.
Additionally, the period of time that an order of protection or restraining order lasts is different in every state. In Maine, a final order of protection may last up to two years in an abuse case and one year in a harassment case. If you wish to have your order of protection extended, you may request an additional hearing thirty days before the expiration date of your current order of protection.
For many attorneys these cases can be difficult to manage as being outside of their practice area, and also because they happen very quickly–usually in a matter of weeks. They can commence with a temporary order already approved by a judge which prohibits and makes criminal direct or indirect contact with the other party and, frequently, exclude a client from his or her home and prohibit a parent from seeing his or her children.
The entry of this initial order also frequently occurs without a client’s knowledge and without the opportunity to respond, requiring an experienced, prompt, and focused response by counsel.