Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Monthly Archives: August 2013

ARD Requirements in Allegheny County

200488043-001The Allegheny County ARD Probation Program was designed to supervise the first-time, non-violent offender who has been given a second chance at having a clean criminal record. Participants in the ARD Program are expected to serve a term of supervision lasting from six month to two years. Conditions of supervision depend on the charged offense and may require the offender to complete one or more of the following:

  • DUI classes
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Community service
  • Domestic abuse classes
  • Anger management classes
  • Retail theft classes
  • Mental health treatment
  • Restitution
  • Court costs

To learn if you qualify for ARD in Allegheny County, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Pittsburgh Dad Loses Child Custody Due to PFA

86505316Rick (not his real name) never spent a single night away from his 4-year-old daughter until his wife got a temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) order against him. The PFA evicted Rick from his home and restricted him from having any contact with his child until the PFA hearing some two weeks away.

Rick’s wife got the PFA on grounds that he threatened her during an argument and hit her once several years ago. Rick says these things never happened.

Rick’s wife did not include their child as a protected party on the PFA. Rick is not accused of ever harming or threatening to harm his little girl. Still, the court took Rick’s daughter away by denying him any custodial or visitation rights until the hearing.

Rick figures that his wife filed the PFA to gain leverage in their imminent divorce and child custody battle. Emotionally devastated, Rick continues to wait for his day in court.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong representation in all family law matters. For a free consultation, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

What Happens If You Don’t Pay Child Support?

Little girl wearing sundress holding flowersChild support payments in Pennsylvania continue until a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. If you owe child support but do not pay it, there are several enforcement measures that may be taken against you, including:

  • Your wages may be withheld
  • Your federal and state income tax refunds may be taken
  • Your bank or credit union may be ordered to turn over your financial assets
  • Major credit bureaus may be alerted
  • The following licenses may be suspended, denied, or not renewed:
    • Driver’s license
    • Commercial driver’s license
    • Professional or occupational license
    • Fishing license
    • Hunting license
  • Your passport may be denied or not renewed
  • Your lottery winnings may be taken
  • Your name may be published in the newspaper
  • Your overdue support may become a lien against all real estate that you own in Pennsylvania
  • You may be fined or imprisoned for up to two years

To speak with an Allegheny County family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Spivak Law Firm Frees Allegheny County Prisoner

71044902In a dramatic turn, Spivak Law Firm recently helped free an inmate from Allegheny County Jail so that he can be with his newborn son while awaiting his next court date.

Back in 2011, Frank (not his real name) got three years of probation for stealing and writing bad checks. Last November, he was arrested for failing to report to his probation officer. Eight months later, he was still waiting for a hearing when his Mother called us asking for help.

“Frank’s son is about to be born,” she told us. “Could you please try to get him out of jail?”

We filed a petition with Frank’s judge to lift his detainer. Additionally, we called the judge’s chambers and Frank’s probation officer to argue for his release. Several days later, we received a court order by fax with the heading: “Release of Prisoner.”

Frank is now home with his baby and happy to be out of jail while awaiting his probation violation hearing in the fall.

“My son is thrilled!” Frank’s mother wrote us. “Thank you for your hard work!”

Spivak Law Firm provides strong representation for people facing criminal charges. To speak with a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Celebrities and Restraining Orders

Musician Jack White has become the latest in a long list of celebrities to receive a restraining order.

White is engaged in an ongoing child custody battle with his ex-wife who has accused him of sending her harassing emails and texts. Best known as the singer and guitarist for the Grammy Award-winning band The White Stripes, White is barred from having any contact with his children until his hearing date, which remains several weeks away.

In Pennsylvania, restraining orders are known as Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders. The PFA law permits alleged victims of domestic violence to obtain a court order secretly without giving any notice to the defendant, who may be evicted from the home and restricted from seeing his or her children until the PFA hearing usually scheduled within ten days.

In recent years, restraining orders have been granted against musicians Chris Brown, M.I.A., and Courtney Love, as well as actors Mel Gibson, Terrence Howard, and Randy Quaid. Numerous athletes have also received restraining orders, particularly NFL players such as Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens, Randy Moss of the New England Patriots, Shannon Sharpe of the Denver Broncos, Titus Young of the Detroit Lions, and Mike Logan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

In California, actors and actres
ses commonly use restraining orders to protect themselves against stalkers. Such actors have included: Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Justin Timberlake, Ryan Seacrest, Tyra Banks, Audrina Partridge, Alyson Hannigan, Jeff Goldblum, and Eva Mendes.

In Pennsylvania, by contrast, a person cannot receive a PFA order against a stranger. Rather, the PFA law states that any person can get a PFA against a spouse, a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, a parent, a child, the parent of his or her child, a former sexual or intimate partner, or any family member related by blood or marriage.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong defense at PFA hearings throughout the Greater Pittsburgh Area, including Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Westmoreland County, and Washington County. To speak with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.