Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Bethel Park Criminal Lawyer

Drug Crimes in PA

If you’ve been criminally charged with drug possession, punishment can be greater if it is a Schedule I or II drug. Schedule I drugs include marijuana, heroin, and LSD. Schedule II drugs include methamphetamine, cocaine, Oxycontin, and Percocet.

If this is your first Schedule I or II drug offense, you face a mandatory six-month driver’s license suspension. You also face as much as a $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

The penalties associated with drug possession could harm your educational opportunities, employment opportunities, and even your child custody rights.

If you face criminal drug possession charges, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Domestic Violence and Guns

While misdemeanor charges may seem less serious than felony charges, both can hold similar consequences.

Under Pennsylvania law, if you have been convicted of a felony, you are prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

Moreover, you are permanently stripped of gun ownership if convicted of a misdemeanor involving domestic violence. This is true even if the incident did not involve firearms.

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

Assault in Pennsylvania

Q: Can I be convicted of assault even if I never laid a finger on anyone?

A: Yes.

Under Pennsylvania Law, assault consists of intentionally or knowingly causing physical harm to another person or attempting to do so, which puts the other person in fear of immediate bodily harm. Thus, you do not need to physically hit another person to be charged with assault.

Simple assault is a misdemeanor charge that may result in incarceration. Aggravated assault, which involves use of a deadly weapon or results in permanent bodily injury, is a felony charge that carries stiffer penalties.

At Spivak Law Firm, we strongly defend people charged with committing violent crimes such as assault. To have an experienced attorney review your case, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Falsely Accused of Abuse?

Because courts overwhelmingly grant Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders, the system itself is frequently abused by people seeking leverage in divorce and child-custody actions.

In Pittsburgh and all surrounding countries, judges grant more than 90% of all petitions for a temporary PFA Order, which can immediately evict you from your home, restrict you from your kids, and subject you to arrest.

At Spivak Law Firm, we aggressively defend people accused of abuse at PFA and criminal domestic violence hearings. We handle all areas of family law and criminal defense. If you have been accused of domestic violence, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Criminal Domestic Violence

Q: I am accused of perpetrating domestic violence. Can my accuser get the criminal charges dismissed?

A: No.

In domestic violence cases, it is common for an accuser to later recant testimony in an attempt to “make the charges go away.” If your accuser no longer wants you to be prosecuted, he or she can make this known to the district attorney’s office. However, the prosecutor has sole discretion to decide whether to pursue criminal charges against you.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law and criminal defense matters with a focus on domestic-violence issues. We provide strong, compassionate representation in all Protection From Abuse (PFA), criminal domestic violence, and child custody cases.

To learn more about domestic violence law in Pennsylvania, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Fund Violence Against Women Act

Across the country, organizations that help women recover from domestic abuse draw support from the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). But President Trump’s proposed budget calls for a 4 percent cut to the department that supports these programs.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is charged with enforcing VAWA, though he voted against it in 2013 as a Senator. If these cuts are approved – or if the Republican-controlled Congress fails to renew VAWA in 2018 – victims of domestic violence and sexual assault would lose access to valuable programs designed to help them.

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.

Terroristic Threats: Penalties

 

SO000183Under Pennsylvania law, a person commits the crime of terroristic threats if the person makes a direct or indirect threat to:

  • commit any crime of violence with intent to terrorize another;
  • cause evacuation of a public place; or
  • cause serious public inconvenience, or public terror.

Terroristic threats is graded as a first-degree misdemeanor, which could result in up to five years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. If the threat causes occupants of a public place to be diverted from normal operations, it is graded as a third-degree felony, which carries up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Spivak Law Firm handles all criminal domestic violence charges, including: simple assault, harassment, stalking, recklessly endangering another person, and terroristic threats. To speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Who Can Testify At My Summary Trial?

99190846At a summary trial, judges tend to not want to hear from character witnesses.

Generally, to be a competent witness, the person testifying must have been present at the event that gave rise to the charges. All testimony must be relevant to the charges or defense, and the judge will likely not permit irrelevant testimony, such as information about the defendant’s good reputation, good driving history, etc. Each witness can be cross-examined. The judge is charged with the responsibility of conducting the trial, determining who can testify, admitting evidence, and ruling on evidentiary objections.

After all testimony and argument, the judge will announce a decision in open court at the conclusion of the trial. Once a decision has been announced, the trial is ended and the result is final.

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

Legalize Pot, Says Allegheny County Coroner

200273900-001Former Allegheny County Coroner Cyril Wecht presents strong and convincing arguments for legalizing medicinal marijuana and decriminalizing the drug in Pennsylvania.

“As a forensic pathologist performing autopsies on hundreds of people each year who die as a result of drug toxicity,” Wecht wrote recently in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “I have never signed out a death due to cannabis, nor have I ever seen such an autopsy report from any other forensic pathologist.”

Wecht decries the decades-long propaganda campaign against marijuana. “Marijuana is not an addictive drug that leads to physiological habituation and tolerance,” he writes, contrasting it with the countless deaths directly caused by popular legal substances such as alcohol, antidepressants, sedatives, and opioids.

Wecht supports legalizing medicinal marijuana and decriminalizing marijuana use and possession. Currently, two states have completely legalized marijuana and 18 other states have decriminalized it. “There simply is no rational reason, medical logic or justifiable legal basis for the refusal of the federal government and most states to decriminalize marijuana,” Wecht writes.

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

Why Expunge Your Criminal Record?

71044902A criminal record can hurt you by limiting your job opportunities, restricting your housing options, and even impeding your ability to get a loan. In Pennsylvania, employers, landlords, and banks routinely check criminal backgrounds.

Having your criminal record expunged, or erased, is vitally important to getting your life back to normal. Fortunately, the process is relatively simple and inexpensive.

At Spivak Law Firm, we promptly obtain a certified copy of your criminal record from the Pennsylvania State Police then petition the court to expunge your record. The process can take as long as a year, and we update you about the process at every step.

If your case was dismissed or withdrawn, we can immediately initiate the expungement process. If you’ve been convicted of a summary offense, you can have your criminal record expunged after a five-year waiting period so long as there are no further incidents.

To learn more about expunging your criminal record, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.