Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

1-800-545-9390

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Domestic Violence:

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you defend me against criminal domestic violence charges?
Yes. Spivak Law Firm strongly defends people facing criminal domestic violence charges. We take the time to inform you of the law, the court process, and your legal options. If you face criminal charges, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence charges commonly include assault, battery, harassment, and stalking. Threats, theft, and property crimes are also domestic violence crimes depending on the nature of the relationship between the accuser and the accused.

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Police did not witness any physical abuse – so why was I arrested?
An allegation of domestic violence by itself can trigger an arrest. Police need not witness any incident of abuse. A police officer often makes an arrest decision based solely on the accuser’s credibility without any further investigation. To have an attorney review your case, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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How long can they keep me in jail before charging me?
You can be held in jail for up to three days without formal charges being filed.

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What happens at the arraignment hearing?
The judge will advise you of the charges and schedule a preliminary hearing usually within 10 days. The judge will also set bail for your release and likely issue a no-contact order. To have an attorney at your arraignment hearing, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is bail?
Bail is the amount of money the accused pays to guarantee his or her appearance at the next court date. If bail is not paid, the accused remains in jail until the next hearing date. A judge determines the bail amount based on whether the accused poses a danger to the accuser. Bail might also include restrictions such as a no-contact order, electronic monitoring, and house arrest. To make an appointment with a domestic violence defense lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is a “no-contact” order?
It is an official court order prohibiting the accused from having any contact with the accuser until the next court hearing. This includes physical contact and non-physical contact such as phone calls, emails, and texts.

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What happens if I violate the “no-contact” order?
Violating a no-contact order usually results in more charges being filed. Additionally, the prosecutor may ask for a bond revocation hearing to show that a violation occurred. If proven, the judge may revoke the bond and order the accused to jail to await the next court hearing. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Can you represent me at my bond revocation hearing?
Yes. Spivak Law Firm provides strong representation at bond revocation hearings. If you are accused of violating a no-contact order, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What happens at the preliminary hearing?
The preliminary hearing is your opportunity to learn what evidence the prosecution has against you. The prosecutor must show that there is sufficient evidence to bring charges against you. In most cases, you will not testify at your preliminary hearing. You will not present a defense at this stage because the magistrate lacks authority to resolve all legal issues in your case. To have an attorney at your preliminary hearing, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Can I avoid having this arrest on my record?
Maybe. If this is your first arrest for a domestic violence offense, there is a good chance that we can help get you placed into a diversion program that will keep a conviction off your record. This is especially important for people with jobs requiring a background check, such as police officers and teachers. To learn more about diversion programs, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Can my accuser get the charges against me dropped?
No. The accuser has no power to “make the charges go away.” The prosecutor has sole discretion to decide whether to pursue criminal charges against you. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What happens if I am accused of violating a PFA?
You may be arrested. Police need probable cause to arrest you, but this is usually easy to show. Police must simply (1) check the public records to determine that the PFA was valid and (2) get a “credible” statement from your accuser that you violated the PFA order. If you are accused of violating a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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What is Indirect Criminal Contempt?
Indirect Criminal Contempt refers to the criminal charge you face for violating any provision of a PFA. In Pennsylvania, violation of a civil restraining order is a criminal offense that can result in a six-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine. If you have been charged with Indirect Criminal Contempt, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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How long before my domestic violence case is over?
A domestic violence case can take a month to six months or more to resolve via plea deal, diversion program, trial, or other favorable resolution. To schedule an appointment with a domestic violence defense lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Can you defend me in my PFA case?
Yes. Spivak Law Firm strongly defends people who have been served with a PFA. Our strong negotiation and trial skills enable us to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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Contact Our Pittsburgh Law Firm Today

To schedule an appointment, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390. Our Pittsburgh office is open during normal business hours, as well as evenings and weekends by appointment.

Spivak Law Firm routinely accepts cases in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.