Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Criminal Defense

Stalking: Penalties in Pennsylvania

 

PFA Pic2Under Pennsylvania law, the crime of stalking occurs when a person places another in reasonable fear of bodily injury or substantial emotional distress by either:

  • Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority; or
  • Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicating to another person with intent to place them in fear or emotional distress.

A first offense is graded as a first-degree misdemeanor, but if it is a subsequent offense against the same person, you could face third-degree felony charges.

A conviction can result in jail time and costly fines, and also has the potential to affect your child custody rights, employment, and right to own a firearm.

Served with a PFA? Charged with assault? Terroristic threats? Harassment? Stalking? Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Domestic Violence: Control and Fear

 

BU010665Domestic violence often follows a pattern in which an abuser seeks to control every aspect of a victim’s life. Experts often refer to domestic violence as “intimate terrorism.”

“The perpetrator is engaging in a general pattern of control over the victim – her finances, her social contacts, the clothes she wears,” Deborah Epstein, who runs Georgetown University Law Center’s domestic violence clinic, recently told The New York Times.

Violence is the abuser’s means of enforcing that control – and of punishing any attempts to break it.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a focus on domestic violence and child custody. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

DUI: Voluntary Consent

 

DUI Pic5Law enforcement cannot conduct a blood draw during a DUI arrest without a warrant or voluntary consent, according to a recent opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court.

DUI offenders previously charged with the highest level of impairment for contesting a blood draw may now potentially be charged and sentenced at the lowest level of impairment.

This is a major development, particularly because of mandatory sentencing laws. For instance, in Pennsylvania if you were charged with a second DUI at the highest level of impairment, you faced 90 days incarceration at the minimum. But charged at the lowest level of impairment, you face a minimum of five days incarceration.

To speak with a Pittsburgh DUI and criminal defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Don’t Spank Your Kids

 

Family Pic2Under Pennsylvania law, parents are permitted to use corporal punishment if it is for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of their child.

But the force used on the child cannot create a substantial risk of death, serious bodily injury, disfigurement, extreme pain, or mental distress.

A spanking that leaves a mark or bruise could result in a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA), a Child, Youth and Families (CYF) investigation, or even criminal charges for child abuse.

Parents engaged in child-custody disputes should consider avoiding all forms of corporal punishment to avoid allegations of abuse.

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

Shut Out of the Workforce?

 

Expunge Pic2People are often shut out of the work force because of their criminal records. It’s tough enough to obtain employment in today’s job market, don’t let a bad decision you made years ago keep you from living your life.

If your criminal record has adversely affected your ability to obtain employment, you may have the option of removing citations, arrests, and convictions from your record by petitioning the court for an expungement. You may be eligible for an expungement if:

  • The criminal charges against you were withdrawn or dismissed;
  • You have been free of arrest or conviction for five years following a summary offense conviction; or
  • You completed an accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) program on a first-time criminal charge.

At Spivak Law Firm, we expunge criminal records for a low, one-time fee. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Charged with Harassment?

 

PFA Pic9Break-ups are painful, but repeated calls and texts to an ex, especially late at night, could lead to harassment charges filed against you.

Pennsylvania law defines harassment as acting with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, which includes:

  • Violent physical contact, or attempt of violent physical contact;
  • Following the other person in a public place;
  • Repeated acts serving no legitimate purpose;
  • Communicating any lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words, language, drawings or caricatures;
  • Communicating repeatedly in an anonymous manner; or
  • Communicating at inconvenient hours.

If you have been charged with harassment, immediately cease all forms of contact with the alleged victim. Continued attempts at communication could demonstrate to a judge that you intend to continue the behavior, thereby hurting your chances of getting the criminal charges dismissed.

To speak with an attorney experienced in criminal defense and family law, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Domestic Violence Increases Wage Gap

 

Criminal Pic2Men make more money than women over the course of their lifetimes due in part to the disparate number of domestic violence incidents committed against women, according to a recent report from McKinsey and Company.

Women who suffer violence often miss work, become less productive, and lose their jobs or get picked over for a promotion.

The domestic violence perpetrator may further disrupt her work and embarrass her by calling repeatedly and showing up to make a scene.

Such behaviors have further increased the wage gap between men and women, the report states.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a focus on domestic violence and child custody. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Charged with Assault?

 

Criminal Pic4An emotionally charged argument could lead to assault charges, even if you didn’t physically harm the other person. A mere threat of bodily injury could result in criminal charges such as simple assault or terroristic threats—both of which are misdemeanors that could result in jail time and remain on your record for life.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on domestic violence and child custody.

Charged with assault? Terroristic threats? Harassment? Stalking? PFA violation? To speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Clean Your Criminal Record

 

Expunge Pic5Under existing Pennsylvania law, only summary convictions may be removed from your criminal record. Under a new law, you may also petition the court to limit access to second and third degree misdemeanor convictions.

Misdemeanors in the second and third degree include offenses such as:

  • Criminal trespassing;
  • Vandalism;
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person; and
  • Indecent Assault.

Under the new record-sealing law you may be eligible to conceal your record from public view if you maintained a clean criminal record for ten years following your conviction.

At Spivak Law Firm, we erase and seal criminal records for a low, one-time fee. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA and Criminal Charges

 

PFA Pic1If you’ve been accused of perpetrating domestic violence or child abuse, you may be facing a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order and criminal charges such as assault, harassment, stalking, or terroristic threats.

At Spivak Law Firm, we generally advise our clients to continue the PFA hearing until after the criminal case is resolved. The district attorney could use the PFA hearing transcript against you in criminal court.

Based in Pittsburgh, Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for clients in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Greene County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

If you face a PFA or criminal domestic-violence charges, call Spivak Law Firm to schedule a free consultation at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.