Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

PFA Defense:

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Back to top

What is a PFA?
A PFA is a court order that aims to protect victims of domestic violence. PFA means “Protection from Abuse.” It is commonly known as a protection order or restraining order. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

What does a PFA do?
A PFA is a powerful tool that can (1) restrict you from contacting the accuser, (2) evict you from a jointly occupied household, (3) award the accuser temporary custody of minor children, (4) limit your child visitation rights, (5) require you to pay alimony and child support, and (6) order you to turn over all registered firearms to police. To learn more about the harsh consequences of a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

Against whom can a person get a PFA?
According to Pennsylvania law, any person can get a PFA against (1) a spouse, (2) a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, (3) a parent, (4) a child, (5) the parent of his or her child, (6) a former sexual or intimate partner, or (7) any family member related by blood or marriage. If you have been served with a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

Must the accuser suffer physical or sexual harm to get a PFA?
No. The legal test is whether the accuser “reasonably feared serious imminent bodily injury.” Thus, mere threats of violence may be enough.

Back to top

I was served with a temporary PFA – what should I do?
We highly recommend that you hire a PFA attorney immediately. If you have been served with a temporary PFA, then the final hearing is likely less than 10 days away. Spivak Law Firm will strongly defend you to achieve the best possible outcome. If you have been served with a temporary PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

How long can a PFA last?
A PFA can remain in effect for up to three years.

Back to top

Should I go to the final PFA hearing?
We highly recommend that you attend the final PFA hearing. If you do not appear at the final hearing, the court may enter a PFA against you lasting three years. As part of the PFA order, the court may evict you from your home, take away your registered firearms, make you pay alimony and child support and deny you custody and visitation rights of your minor children. To schedule an appointment with an experienced PFA lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

What happens at the final PFA hearing?
At the final PFA hearing, each party may testify under oath and offer evidence to a judge. The judge either grants a permanent PFA or denies it largely based on the credibility of each party. At your hearing, Spivak Law Firm will strongly represent you and challenge your accuser’s case. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

What happens if I violate a PFA order?
You may be arrested on the charge of Indirect Criminal Contempt. Violating a PFA order can result in criminal charges and a possible jail sentence. Maximum penalties for violating a PFA order include six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you face criminal charges for violating a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

Will the PFA appear on my record?
Yes. The Pennsylvania State Police maintains a registry of all PFA orders issued in the state. The PFA is also listed on the civil docket, which can be searched online for free by employers and others. Details of your case may be seen on the docket even after the PFA expires.

Back to top

Can I get the PFA removed from my record?
Spivak Law Firm may get a PFA removed from your record if it was dismissed or withdrawn. Removal, or expungement, of a PFA record can be especially important if your job requires a background check. Such jobs include police officer, teacher, day care worker, and nursing home employee. If you want a PFA removed from your record, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

I am innocent – can you help me?
Yes. Spivak Law Firm strongly defends people against false accusations of domestic violence or child abuse. People often lie about being abused in order to evict a person from their shared residence or to gain leverage in a divorce or custody matter. If you have been falsely accused of abuse, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

I am guilty – can you help me?
Yes. We believe firmly that every person is entitled to a strong legal defense. Even if your actions warrant the entry of a PFA against you, we work hard to limit the duration of the order and protect your rights regarding child support, child custody, and other matters that often accompany a PFA. To make an appointment with a PFA lawyer, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

Can a public defender handle my PFA case?
No. A public defender may be appointed only in certain criminal cases. A PFA is a civil order, though violating it may lead to criminal penalties.

Back to top

How much does a PFA lawyer cost?
Spivak Law Firm offers strong, compassionate representation at reasonable rates. We offer flat fees for many PFA cases so you know upfront exactly how much our representation will cost. To learn more about our rates, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

Do you handle criminal charges?
Yes. Criminal charges are often filed with a PFA. Such charges include: assault, battery, harassment, stalking, and disorderly conduct. Spivak Law Firm can represent you at the PFA hearing and at every stage of your criminal case including the preliminary hearing. If you face criminal charges arising out of a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

Do I need a PFA lawyer?
We highly recommend that you retain an experienced PFA lawyer. Spivak Law Firm has successfully represented many people accused of domestic violence. If you have been served with a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Back to top

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.