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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 31788
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My son had a pfa filed against him and is to show up at a hearing

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My son had a pfa filed against him and is to show up at a hearing on Thursday. They live together had a fight on Nov 23rd and she filed the pfa November 30th. They were both drinking and my son wanted to leave the relationship (he has been trying to get out of it for weeks and she keeps threatening suicide) and the fight ended up with her getting a knife & threatening him, he tried to take the knife off her & got cut a couple places and finally he had to use physical force to stop her. There were no cops called and no witnesses to this fight. That next day I went and picked him up & brought him back to stay with me while he finds a job & a place to stay around our area. He has no intention of going back to that area nor does he have any intention of communicating with her again. He does not have a job or a means of transportation(without me or his stepdad taking him) to the hearing. Does he really need to attend the hearing? My understanding is that the hearing is to see if the temporary pfa will be made permanent. If he has no intention of going to that area again, does it matter if the pfa is permanent? What's the plusses & minuses to attending the hearing?
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Criminal Law litigation attorney. Thanks for the question.

If your son received a subpoena to appear, that is a court order directing him to be there, so he would have to go. If he didn't appear, the court could issue a bench warrant for his arrest.

If he didn't receive a subpoena to appear, if he doesn't go, the court will just default him, which means that the relief requested by the other side would be granted.

He should appear in either case, but is must appear if he's been subpoenaed.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I appreciate your response but still have additional questions. The paperwork was delivered by the local sheriff and says "notice of hearing and order". Is that a subpoena? I still don't understand the reason for attending the hearing if this isn't a subpoena. If he has no intention to go back to that area again, what difference does the pfa make? Does this show up on his police record? and can it be dismissed if he shows up and explains to them he has moved out of the area with no intention of returning? Will it cost him anything either way?

If it doesn't say subpoena on the document, then it's not a subpoena.

If it's not a subpoena, he does not have to appear, but it's always better to go than to just miss a court date - - but if he doesn't want to, that's up to him. If he doesn't go, the pfa will be made permanent, but it shouldn't affect him if he's moving/moved away.

The pfa should not show up on a background check because it's not a crime, it's a punishment or penalty for some other act.

Also, it is possible that the judge would life the pfa IF your son appeared and testified that he was moving away and had no intention to return to the area. Whether or not this happens is up to the judge.