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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4488
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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How do I get a bogus PFA off my record and can I sue for slander

Customer Question

How do I get a bogus PFA off my record and can I sue for slander because it can affect my employment career?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 8 years ago.
Can you explain a little more about what led up to the charge and what happened to the charge in court?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

What led up to the bogus PFA charge:

(Firstly, thank you for responding to my question and requesting more information to clarify the circumstaces for you.)

I was domestically assaulted on a recent Wednesday.

He came home from an early morning part time work shift in a bad mood. I made a comment and he surprised me with a sudden attack. He had never physically assaulted me before.

He is a large man, 6'4'', 250 lbs. He body slammed me repeatedly many times over into the refrigerator and then into the wall, causing primarily the back of my head to suffer repeated impact-I'm estimating maybe 35 times or so all together.

I suffer closed head trauma, brain injury, whiplash-type neck injury, concussion, post-concussion syndrome, PTS syndrome, torn rotor cuff in the shoulder from this man's physical attack. Already had fibromyalgia and a couple other conditions which are exacerbated.

He is coldly unremorseful.

Because of the brain trauma and swelling following the assault I had been mentally "loopy" and extremely fatigued as well as in a lot of pain. I was pretty out of it. But I knew enough to know I was hurt and should get medical assessment, but also knew I would have difficulty driving to take care of business.

The next day, Thursday, I tried to get medical attention by walking to a local med-care pavilion but they had changed to a private practice and did not take walk-ins, also tried to see a local internal specialist, but had to wait for an appointment, and internist's medical office referred me to the hospital emergency room.

Friday morning I did attempt driving and received medical assessment from two separate sources which includes CAT scan, MRI and XRay, and includes outpatient hospital services. The injuries and the cause have been documented by 4 medically related practices, the state police, and the various victim help agencies/orgs.

Following the medical assessments I reported the assault to the state police and pressed charges. I was mentally fuzzy and misunderstood that I could also still file a PFA against him. I thought that it could only be either/or with the assault charges and the PFA. So I did not file a PFA for a week after his arrest, until after the victim advocates set me straight on my legal options. Of course the PFA against him is solid as it is already established that he hurt me through the assault charge.

As I have found out in increments since that time, this was not his first assault on a woman. And not his second either. And he somehow has his certain savvy about these kinds of legal procedures and criminal goings on. He has past expongements, archived convictions in other counties, and current conections with other criminals. I'm finding out more and more all the time.

He saw an opportunity to fabricate a PFA claim against me and did so. Even though a rather poor one, incredibly it still served the purpose of harassing me at a critical life threatening time, putting me in further physical jeopardy in my early injured condition-an act that I consider to be a continuation of the original assault. Because he has one of two of his public notary offices within the same small town located adjunct to his house where we resided together for a year and a half, he was able to use having a business in the house and the vague rumor of a gun allegedly purchased by me, (I have never owned a gun), to have me evicted from the house, basically into the street, when my ability to function was severely compromised. I had a clean record,--the only legal trouble I have seen in my past is related to parking tickets and speeding tickets. Nothing else.

The PFA has been reviewed by a couple of different local attorneys on my behalf, and the consensus is that it really shouldn't be a PFA because there's nothing there. Not only is it an assault on me because both he and I know that it is made up of a bunch of fabrications that I am completely innocent of, but even though he went to the trouble to do all of that fabricating, even then he doesn't make any claim that I ever really did anything to anyone, or even really claim any actual solid threat to do anything to anyone in the undetermined future. Everything is his speculation about what he thinks might occur.

As I have mentioned before, I work in an educational environment and the impact of having a PFA on my record could have devastating effects to my current job as well as to my future career for which I have been training by continuuing my education for two years now.

I believe his jeopardizing my present job and my future may be intentional.

Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 8 years ago.

If the PFA is dismissed, you have the right to petition the court to expunge it from your record. It has to be dismissed before you can file for expungement, however.

As to the lawsuit, if the PFA is dismissed, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit for malicious prosecution, meaning proceedings were brought against you without a legitimate basis. I'd suggest you consult a local civil attorney about whether it would be worth your while to pursue such a lawsuit.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

JD, Thank you for your answer.


A couple further questions please : Do the grounds for malicious prosecution vary from state to state?, and how strong of a case do you estimate I have to file a lawsuit for malicious prosecution?. What criteria determines whether it is worth pursuing?

Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 8 years ago.
A malicious prosecution case in Pennsylvania requires the plantiff to prove a plaintiff must prove that the defendant (1) instituted the proceedings, (2) without probable cause, (3) with actual malice, and (4) that the proceedings terminated in favor of the plaintiff. Actual malice means that the defendant knew that the proceedings were unfounded. If the case terminates in your favor, I imagine you have a relatively strong case.

The criteria that a lawyer would consider in determining whether a case is worth pursuing generally includes the time the lawsuit will take, the likelihood of recovery and how much, and how strong the evidence is supporting the plaintiff's case.