Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Allegheny County PFA Lawyers

PFA Law: 24 Hours to Relinquish Guns

Under Pennsylvania law, a person subjected to a Final Protection From Abuse (PFA) order was given 60 days to turn over his or her firearms.

A new law speeds up the time that people have to relinquish their guns to 24 hours after they have been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic-violence crime or had a Final PFA order approved against them by a judge.

The 24-hour provision intends to close a loophole that exposed domestic-abuse victims to continued risk of violence even after obtaining a PFA order.

The new law applies even in cases of alleged stalking, harassment, and assault where guns were not involved.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong representation at PFA hearings. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Protecting Abuse Victims

Victims of domestic violence may obtain Protection from Abuse (PFA) Orders to curb the abuse and prohibit contact with the perpetrator.

But even obtaining a PFA may not provide adequate protection.

The Pennsylvania Legislature recently approved a resolution to examine PFA law and practice for potential insufficiencies.

The commission will work closely with professionals experienced with PFAs to identify and remedy flaws to more adequately protect victims of domestic abuse.

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

Dealing With The Stress Of A PFA

If you’ve been served with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, you are likely under serious stress.

The PFA was hand-delivered to you by a police officer at your home or place of employment. You may be temporarily evicted from your house and restricted from having any contact with your children.

At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to be accessible to people who are accused of domestic abuse. People are often surprised when we pick up our phones late at night or on weekends to speak with them.

We aim to get the PFA dismissed and protect your rights and reputation.

Spivak Law Firm routinely handles PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland.

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

PFA and Child Custody Tips

If you’ve been served with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, you may be restricted from seeing your children. In some cases, the PFA will allow no contact. In other cases, the PFA will allow limited contact.

If your PFA allows for limited contact with your children, please be very careful to avoid any conflict or mention of the PFA at custody exchanges. If you engage in argument or attempt to discuss the PFA at the custody exchange, you are placing yourself at serious risk of arrest for violating the PFA. Even if you are permitted custody of the children while the PFA remains active, it may be safer to decline in order to avoid false accusations that you violated the order.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and PFA hearings. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Bogus PFAs Turn Lives Upside Down

In many Pennsylvania counties, judges grant more than 90 percent of requests for a Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) order.

Judges tend to err on the side of caution, figuring that a person seeking protection must need it. After all, it would be tragic if the person seeking protection wound up injured or worse after a judge denied the PFA.

But judges should also consider how their decision to grant the PFA will affect the accused. Every day, PFA orders evict people from their homes, restrict parents from their children, and threaten people’s jobs and reputations.

At Spivak Law Firm, we are dismayed by some of the PFAs granted by judges based on weak allegations.

For instance, in one recent case, the person seeking protection admitted in her petition that she had not seen or communicated with the accused for a year.

In another recent case, the person awarded protection told the judge that the defendant only communicated with her subliminally.

We were successful in getting both cases dismissed. But the PFAs never should have been granted because the plaintiffs were not in reasonable fear of imminent bodily injury.

They caused unnecessary emotional and financial stress in people who did nothing to warrant a PFA.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong representation at PFA hearings. If you’ve been falsely accused of abuse, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA and Domestic Abuse Amid Coronavirus

“Mass shootings garner attention and frighten the public much more than episodes of domestic violence,” according to a recent article in The New York Times. “But domestic violence has a much higher death toll in the United States.”

Each year, some 900 women in the United States are murdered by their current or former intimate partners.

That single-year tally is more than nine times the number of people killed in jihadist attacks on American soil in the past decade.

At their most basic level, both mass terrorism and intimate terrorism of domestic violence are attempts to provoke fear and assert control. Many experts have expressed concern about the rise of domestic violence incidents during stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a focus on domestic abuse and child custody. For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Courts Remain Open During COVID-19

Although courts across Pennsylvania have largely closed due to the coronavirus crisis, Protection From Abuse cases are still occurring due to the emergency nature of a PFA.

Spivak Law Firm is continuing to accept PFA clients and provide strong representation at PFA hearings.

A PFA is a restraining order that prevents all contact when there are allegations of:

  • Physical violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Threats of violence
  • Harassment
  • Stalking

A PFA is a powerful tool that can instantly evict you from your home, restrict you from your children, result in termination from your employment and even land you in jail.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in all PFA matters. For a free phone consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA: Economic Abuse

Physical injury and mental trauma often go hand in hand with domestic violence, but economic abuse is also “present in 98 percent of abusive relationships,” according to National Network to End Domestic Violence.

“Money is our society’s most concrete form of power,” wrote Sady Doyle in The Nation. “Women are kept captive to male violence because they can’t afford to live without the men who hurt them.”

Rather than viewing domestic violence as a women’s issue, Doyle recommends viewing domestic violence as an economic issue: “When we include gender in our economic understanding, our policy stops being a sort of generalized ‘uplift’ and starts providing specific and targeted aid.”

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, and PFA hearings.

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

Domestic Violence: Victim Blaming

Criminal domestic violence court can be a site of victim blaming, but not just by alleged abusers. Spivak Law Firm advocates educating judges overseeing cases of domestic violence to avoid using victim-blaming language.

Victim advocates recommend instructing judges to use language that more appropriately describes the effects of domestic violence and holds abusers responsible.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants at Protection from Abuse (PFA) and criminal domestic violence hearings. We routinely volunteer with Neighborhood Legal Services Association to help victims of domestic violence obtain protection orders from their abusers.

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

Funding For Abuse Victims

 

702075.TIFIn domestic-violence cases, research demonstrates that legal-aid services for women reduce the likelihood they will experience domestic violence in the future.

Unfortunately, President Trump’s proposed budget severely cuts departments that fund programs supporting domestic-violence victims. Additionally, the budget proposes to eliminate the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal aid to domestic-abuse victims who are married to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

Spivak Law Firm helps victims of domestic violence get the legal protections they need at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings and by working with prosecutors on criminal domestic-violence cases. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.