Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Aliquippa PFA Lawyer

What If A Person Lies To Get A PFA?

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, aggressive defense at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.

Our clients often ask us if the alleged victim will face any consequences for lying or exaggerating to the court in order to obtain the Temporary PFA order.

Unfortunately, in our experience, the answer is: no.

People falsely accused of abuse may file a complaint with the police, but the district attorney’s office is unlikely to prosecute for fear of having a chilling effect on other people seeking protection.

Even in extreme circumstances, district attorney’s offices rarely prosecute plaintiffs who have filed repeated PFA petitions in multiple counties with outrageous, unsubstantiated accusations that are later dismissed.

It is commonly known that some people abuse the PFA system in order to gain leverage in a divorce or child custody action.

At Spivak Law Firm, we handle all family law and criminal defense matters, including: PFA defense, criminal domestic violence defense, divorce, child custody, child support, and criminal record expungements.

To schedule a free consultation with an experienced PFA defense attorney, 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.

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.

Pennsylvania Mayor Faces PFA

 

BU010665Even elected officials aren’t immune from Protection from Abuse (PFA) Orders.

Williamsport Mayor Gabriel J. Campana recently agreed to modify and extend the Temporary PFA placed against him by his wife. The small-town mayor was evicted from his home and prohibited from directly contacting his wife, except through email or text to arrange for child custody.

In Pennsylvania, a PFA is a powerful took that can:

  • Evict you from your home;
  • Restrict you from your children;
  • Prohibit you from purchasing firearms; and
  • Get you fired from your job.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings. For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at: (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA and Criminal Records

PFA Pic8Q: Will a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order appear on my criminal record?

A: No.

A PFA is a civil matter that appears on the family court docket along with documents relating to divorce and child custody. It will not appear on the criminal docket, though employers increasingly review both dockets when making hiring decisions.

A PFA is not a criminal matter, though it can become one if you are merely accused of violating the Order. A PFA violation can lead to the charge of Indirect Criminal Contempt (ICC), which carries a six-month jail sentence and $1,000.00 fine.

Spivak Law Firm handles all PFA, criminal, and expungement matters. Call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

4 Tips for PFA Defendants

PFA Pic1It is important to maintain your composure at your Final PFA hearing.

It will be difficult to remain calm while the opposing party makes allegations of abuse against you, but walking into a hearing with a bad attitude may affect the judge’s opinion of you and add to the plaintiff’s credibility – even if the allegations are false.

To avoid discrediting your version of events, follow these four tips at your PFA hearing:

  • Do not raise your voice in anger to the judge, your lawyer, or the other party;
  • Do not shake your head, roll your eyes, or laugh while the other party is speaking;
  • Do not interrupt the other party or the judge;
  • Do not make mean-spirited comments about the other party.

If you have been served with a PFA order, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Orders Help Abuse Victims

702075.TIFAre you or your children victims of domestic abuse?

In Pennsylvania, a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order offers many safeguards, including to:

  • Evict the abuser from your household
  • Restrict the abuser from you and the children
  • Order the abuser to pay financial support
  • Prohibit the abuser from contacting you
  • Ban the abuser from possessing guns

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for Plaintiffs and Defendants at PFA hearings in the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Washington, and Westmoreland.

For a free consultation, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

No Guns For PFA Defendants

PFA Pic9Should Pennsylvania adopt stricter gun laws in an attempt to reduce domestic violence?

Many states have recently done so. For instance, Maine last year passed a law prohibiting people convicted of domestic violence crimes from owning guns for five years after completing their court-ordered sentences.

In Pennsylvania, people with active Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders against them are prohibited from possessing firearms. PFA defendants must either relinquish weapons to their local sheriff’s office or give them to a friend or family member for safekeeping.

Some activist groups want to further restrict PFA defendants by eliminating the state’s third-party safekeeping provision.

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

“I Still Shiver From The Fear”

 

702075.TIF

The following is the second of three excerpts from a recent column by Nancy Eshelman of the Patriot-News in Central Pennsylvania. Ms. Eshelman’s husband was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in a domestic violence related incident.

“The terror is constant. It takes a toll, physically and mentally.

If I think about it, and I try not to, I still shiver from the fear.

Night after night, unable to sleep, convinced that every passing car, every tree branch blowing in the wind is him.

For a victim of domestic violence, peace is elusive, sleep unknown.

I recall rushing home from work and taking a shower because somehow being naked and alone in the bathroom felt less vulnerable in daylight.

The victim longs to feel normal, but normal is no longer part of her existence.

If she’s a mother, she strives to create a semblance of normalcy for her kids. She helps with homework, but can’t concentrate. She attends their activities, but often misses the action.

Instead of watching her son running up and down the basketball court, she’s scanning the stands, terrified she will see that face, the one that haunts her.

As one woman described it, ‘You become like a guerilla warrior – constantly scanning your surroundings, looking over your shoulder, and jumping at every sound.’

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in PFA and criminal domestic-violence cases. For a free consultation, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Strong Defense at PFA Hearings

702075.TIFAttending a Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearing without an experienced attorney often proves disastrous for defendants. A PFA is a powerful tool that can evict you from your home, restrict your child-custody rights, and lead to your arrest based on a mere allegation of violating it.

In Pittsburgh and most surrounding counties, “victims” of domestic violence and child abuse get a “free” lawyer to help them obtain PFA orders.

But PFA defendants do not get a free lawyer. Many PFA defendants wrongly believe that they are entitled to a public defender. But a PFA is not a criminal matter, so public defenders generally cannot get involved.

A Final PFA Order will stay on your record for the rest of your life. It is a public record that may cause embarrassment, tarnish your reputation, and hurt your job opportunities.

Spivak Law Firm aims to provide the strongest possible defense at PFA hearings in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

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