Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Allegheny County Criminal Defense Attorney

Expunging Your Criminal Record

In the United States, only those who are convicted of the most serious crimes get life sentences. But everyone who enters the criminal justice system can be marked for life.

Even a minor interaction with the justice system can leave someone with a criminal record and a permanent barrier to a job, education or an occupational license.

Having a record can also affect housing, as federal housing law grants local authorities wide discretion, and many use it to keep people with a single arrest out of public housing.

At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to clear the arrests from your criminal record so you can move on with your life. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

New Pennsylvania Record-Sealing Law

Pennsylvania recently passed a law that seals minor criminal records. Supporters of the legislation hope it will reduce recidivism and open doors for those who have turned their lives around.

Under the legislation, people with sealed records would not have to disclose their criminal histories. Removing this barrier allows more Pennsylvanians to live without the stigma of a criminal record.

The new law, which applies in limited cases, for the first time allows Pennsylvanians to seal convictions for misdemeanor-level offenses.

At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to clear the arrests from your criminal record so you can move on with your life. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Expungements in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, your criminal record may be expunged if you meet certain criteria. An expungement can help you avoid the stigma associated with having a criminal record.

A criminal record can hurt your future by:

  • Costing you a job opportunity;
  • Denying you a bank or government loan
  • Disqualifying you from receiving a professional license; and
  • Restricting your ability to join certain organizations

At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to erase your criminal record so you can move on with your life. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Costs of a Criminal Record

While less serious than a felony charge, misdemeanors and summary offenses carry stigmas strong enough to cause problems beyond fines and inconvenience. If uncovered, they can cause potential school and job recruiters to look in other directions.

Programs across the country have been initiated to give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to dodge that bullet. In Chicago, for instance, a program provides qualified offenders the opportunity to keep a charge from being permanently entered on their record and to avoid the accompanying stigma.

In Pennsylvania, people may be eligible to have their criminal records expunged or sealed.

At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to clear the arrests from your criminal record so you can move on with your life. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Criminal Records and Employers

When applying for a job, you are required to inform your employer of any misdemeanor of felony convictions. But you don’t have to disclose convictions for summary offenses. And you don’t have to tell your employer about criminal charges against you that were withdrawn or dismissed.

If you weren’t convicted, you may think that you have nothing to worry about. But employers can access your criminal record simply by using your name and date of birth. Even withdrawn or dismissed charges have the potential to negatively affect employment opportunities. Employers will likely wonder why the police brought charges against you in the first place.

If you were charged with a crime, and the charges against you were later withdrawn or dismissed, we can help you erase the incidents from your criminal record.

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.

How to Modify Bail in Allegheny County

139378055If someone you know is lodged in Allegheny County Jail but cannot post bail, you have the right to seek a bail modification hearing that could lower the amount of money needed to spring the defendant from jail while he or she awaits the next criminal court hearing.

You may contact an investigator at the jail’s bail unit to determine whether the defendant is eligible to have a bail modification hearing. Such hearings are not granted if the defendant has a detainer or warrant in addition to the charges.

There is no court fee for a bail modification hearing, though typically such hearings may occur just once unless there is a significant change regarding the charges or an attorney files a written petition seeking reconsideration of bail.

To learn more about modifying bail, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Types of Domestic Violence

77005984At Spivak Law Firm, we handle many cases involving allegations of domestic violence, including: Protection From Abuse (PFA), criminal charges such as assault and harassment, and high-conflict divorce and child custody matters. According to family law experts, there are four distinctly different types of domestic violence:

1)    Battering: Also known as coercive controlling violence, battering involves a pattern of power and control by one partner and a pattern of fear in the victim partner. There may not be frequent violence, but when violence occurs, it can be severe and result in bruises, broken bones, and even death. The victim often becomes isolated, loses self-esteem, and finds it very hard to leave. Most batterers seem to have characteristics of borderline, narcissistic, or anti-social personalities.

2)     Situational Couple Violence: This type of domestic violence is the most common type. Instead of a pattern of power and control, both parties in the couple have difficulties resolving conflict peacefully and get into pushing and shoving types of behavior, sometimes with injuries. Neither party lives in fear of the other, and the violence is generally less severe. Research shows that men and women engage in this type of violence fairly equally.

3)    Separation-Instigated Violence: Sometimes there are one or two incidents at the time of separation, but no prior history of violence. Both parties may engage in this behavior, and it is fairly equal among males and females.

4)    Violent Resistance: This term is used when a victim of a batterer fights back, sometimes injuring the usual perpetrator. Sometimes, batterers set up a spouse to fight back, then call the police. Sometimes victims get arrested because of one injury to the batterer, while the batterer gets away with numerous injuries on other occasions that the victim does not report.

To schedule an appointment with an attorney experienced in cases involving allegations of domestic violence, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.