Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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PFA Orders

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.

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.

Prepare for Your PFA Hearing

 

PFA Pic1If a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) has been filed against you, it is important to begin preparing your defense as soon as possible. The person who filed against you will be prepared to testify and present evidence, so it is important that you present testimony and evidence to rebut the accusations against you.

Preserve text messages, emails, voicemails, and audio recordings that tend to support your version of events. If you have witnesses who were present at the time of the incident, it is important that they appear at the hearing to support your position.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all nearby counties, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Washington, and Westmoreland.

If you’ve been served with a PFA order, call Spivak Law Firm 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.

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.

Attorney Spivak Honored By Super Lawyers

 

TS - 0072-2_crop _greyTodd Spivak, attorney and owner of Spivak Law Firm, has been selected to the 2017 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list.

Super Lawyers reserves this honor “for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in practice.”

Only 5 percent of attorneys in Pennsylvania receive this distinction.

Attorney Spivak will be featured in Super Lawyers Magazine, Pittsburgh Magazine, and Philadelphia Magazine, reaching more than one million readers.

A former investigative reporter, Attorney Spivak has won numerous national awards and was twice-nominated for The Pulitzer Prize.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Attorney Spivak focuses his practice on all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on Protection From Abuse (PFA) and child custody.

To schedule a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Shield Children From Custody Disputes

 

Family Pic5Tensions often run high in child custody litigation. But you should not involve your children in the dispute.

Although it may be trying at times, you should not speak ill of the other parent in front of the children, as a judge may sanction you for turning your child against the other parent.

Be aware of what you say around your children, whether they are in another room or even sleeping.

Attempts to turn the children against the other parent are strictly discouraged, with the exception of cases involving domestic violence for the protection of the children.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: child custody, child support, divorce, Protection From Abuse, and Children Youth and Families (CYF). To speak with an experienced family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Child Custody & Domestic Abuse

 

DV Pic5In some extreme cases, mothers seeking to protect their children from abusive fathers are disbelieved by the courts and even sanctioned for parental alienation.

Such outlier cases form the basis of a recently released documentary by filmmaker Rachel Lewis, who spotlights the issue of mothers who have lost custody of their children to abusive fathers. The film warns that violent men can use the court system to further control and intimidate their exes by asserting their child custody rights.

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