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Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, & Montgomery Counties. Anywhere in Pennsylvania, Lawyer – Protection From Abuse, Domestic Violence, Restraining Order.

Douglas P. Earl, Esquire will represent you in a Protection From Abuse Petition or defend you against a Protection From Abuse Petition in Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, Chester County, anywhere in Pennsylvania. Mr. Earl has traveled the state.

What is Abuse?

State law defines abuse as:

  • Attempting or causing physical injury
  • Placing another in fear of bodily injury
  • Sexual assault
  • False imprisonment
  • Stalking

What Protection Does The Law Offer?

The law permits a court to issue a Protection From Abuse Order (PFA) directing the defendant to:

  • Bot abuse, threaten, harass or stalk
  • Stay away from the victim’s residence, even if it is also the abuser’s residence
  • Stay away from the victim, including at school or work
  • Turn over weapons to the police

The order can also include:

  • Temporary child custody
  • Temporary child support
  • Payments to the victims for losses
  • Plaintiff’s counsel fees

How Long Does a PFA Last?

A PFA can be issued for up to 36 months. The PFA can sometimes be extended for additional time after a petition is filed and a hearing held as described above (for example, if there has been additional abuse after the order was entered).

Who Is Eligible For a PFA Order?

A PFA Order is available to anyone abused by a:

  • Current or former spouse
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Current or former sexual or intimate partner, including same sex partners, such as a boyfriend/girlfriend or father/mother of your children
  • Others related by blood marriage

Helping you make informed, intelligent decisions during difficult times
Over the course of more than 30 years of legal practice, Philadelphia restraining order lawyer Douglas P. Earl has handled more than a thousand cases involving protection from abuse orders (PFAs). Whether you are the survivor of domestic violence or have been accused of domestic abuse, you can trust him to protect you and your rights.

At the Law Office of Douglas Earl LLC, we are in family court nearly every day of the week and have handled cases like yours many times over. We will do what it takes to help you through these difficult proceedings.

Beware that a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order or Restraining Order is often used to gain an advantage in Custody proceedings and/or also to have exclusive possession of a residence.

Beware that your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner may file a Petition for a Protection From Abuse Order or Restraining Order and the police may also arrest you for assault.  If so you have to deal with your  spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner and being arrested. Douglas P. Earl can help you and be with you every step of the way.


October 30, 2023: M.N.W. vs. D.G.M., Protection from Abuse – Douglas P. Earl, Esquire represents D.G.M. against a Protection from Abuse Petition filed by his ex-live in girlfriend M.N.W. Judge dismisses PFA petition. M.N.W. claimed that D.G.M. assaulted and intimidated her. She testified that she was afraid of D.G.M. Douglas P. Earl, Esquire was ready with a strong cross examination and defense. Ex-girlfriend had their six year old daughter testify. Two sisters of D.G.M. testified. One sister testified that she was on the phone with D.G.M. and overheard an argument but no threats or violence. The second sister testified that the six year old child of M.N.W. and D.G.M. went to her house after the argument for dinner and the child was fine.

W.C. vs. C.M. Mr. Earl defends a father against abuse allegations against him by his mother-in-law. Mother-in-law claimed the father threatened to burn her house down and have ‘people’ deal with her. Mr. Earl exposed the truth in his defense. The case was dismissed.

V.C vs. R.C: Mr. Earl defends adult daughter against allegations of abuse in a Protection From Abuse case brought by adult Mother. Case was dismissed. Adult Mother was represented by attorney from Senior Law Center. Mother accused client of threatening her numerous times. Case had to go to court three times because the Court did not call the case for a hearing the first two times it was before a Judge. The Court claimed it had a crowded docket. Mother claimed she was in fear. Mr. Earl cross examined Mother that her actions did not show this.

-Mr. Earl defends a police officer who is accused by her sister of hitting her over the head with a beer bottle and after the incident, threatening to go to her house. Defense of self-defense, Judge dismisses the Protection From Abuse Petition against the police officer.

-Mr. Earl defends an ex-husband accused of abuse and stalking be ex-wife. Case is resolved with the dismissal after a period of no further problems.

-Mr. Earl defends a man accused of threatening to send family members to the residence of his ex-girlfriend to assault her. Ex-girlfriend brings text message of threat to court. Case was dismissed.

-Mr. Earl represents a medical student in obtaining a Protection From Abuse Order against an ex-boyfriend.

– Douglas P. Earl, Esquire defends a father who is accused by his ex-wife of abusing their 15 year old daughter. Mr. Earl prepares the father and his girlfriend for the abuse hearing. He prepares the cross-examination questions of the 15 year old daughter. Father was trying to discipline his daughter over graphic posts on social media and sexting. Case against Father was dismissed after a full hearing.

– Douglas P. Earl, Esquire represented husband in Protection From Abuse case T.M vs. A.M PFA Case No. 1806V7922. Case dismissed. Client accused of threatening wife with a gun.

– Douglas P. Earl, Esquire represented wife in Protection From Abuse case S.D vs. J.D Case No. 1909V7240. Client granted final three year Protection From Abuse Order. Husband banged on window frightening wife.

What is a Protection from Abuse Order?

A Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order is the same thing as a restraining order. Under the Protection from Abuse Act, you have the right to go to court and ask a judge to grant a PFA order, which can set limits on the contact that the person who committed the acts of abuse can have with the person who requests the order. A PFA is a civil order, not a criminal order. The violation of a PFA is a criminal matter and could be addressed by the police and/or the District Attorney’s Office. The court order may include any of the following:

Stopping the abuser from further acts of abuse;
Evicting the abuser from your household;
Keeping the abuser from going to your home, school, or job;
Giving you or the other parent temporary custody of, or temporary visitation, with your child or children

Filing a Protection From Abuse Order

If you are the victim of domestic abuse, your safety is our number one priority. We have filed countless protection from abuse orders for survivors of family violence, such as spousal abuse or child abuse.
We will help you obtain a restraining order/PFA to prevent your spouse from coming in contact with you or your children. We represent clients who need temporary PFAs during divorce proceedings and individuals who need something more permanent.

Defending Against Protection From Abuse Orders

If your spouse or significant other has filed — or has threatened to file — a PFA, a lot is at stake. You may face eviction from your home and time in jail. You may be separated from your children and your name may be put on a registry, creating a social stigma that is difficult to shake. All of this could happen, even if you are the innocent victim of false allegations or a spouse’s attempt to gain an edge in child custody.

The best defense against these serious allegations is an experienced Pennsylvania PFA defense lawyer. Douglas P. Earl is not only a family law attorney — he is also a criminal lawyer who understands both the civil and criminal implications of these domestic violence cases. He will investigate your case and work hard to prove that the allegations are false or otherwise unwarranted.

Douglas P. Earl is in court on a daily basis. He will prepare you. He will go over the allegations.  Preparation includes going over direct examination, cross examination, witnesses, possible outcomes.  There are two parts to a Protection From Abuse Petition. The first part is the claim about the most recent incident of claimed abuse.  The second part is about allegations of past abuse.

We’re Here When You Need Us

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help people in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania.
Contact an experienced Philadelphia restraining order lawyers today.


Contact Me Now For A Free Consultation

Phone: (215) 627-5970.  Telephone is answered 24 hours a day.  Available all hours when there is an emergency.