Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Brookline PFA 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.

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.

Avoid PFA Violations

pfa-pic3If a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order has been filed against you, you must follow it. Never contact or attempt to pass messages to the plaintiff, even if the contact is non-threatening.

A mere accusation that you violated an active PFA will lead to your arrest. You may then be criminally charged and face a potential six-month jail sentence for Indirect Criminal Contempt.

If you already have criminal charges relating to the same incident that gave rise to the PFA, then the alleged PFA violation could demonstrate to a judge that you intend to continue harassing and abusing the plaintiff.

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

PFA and Law Enforcement

BU010665If you’re a law-enforcement official, a Final Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order against you could mean the end of your career.

Under Pennsylvania law, a PFA prohibits the defendant from possessing a firearm. For law enforcement officials, the inability to possess a firearm may lead to their termination.

At Spivak Law Firm, we understand the serious consequences of a Final PFA. We have represented law enforcement officials at every level of government: federal Department of Homeland Security, state troopers, county sheriffs, and local police officers.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Greene County, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

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

What To Write On Your PFA Petition

702075.TIFApplying for a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order can be a confusing and even scary process. The PFA Act says that you must prove to the court that you have been abused, as described in the categories below. Abuse can take many forms, including economic, emotional, and psychological, and you can write about those, too.

Note: The defendant will receive a copy of the petition. It will also be available as a public record at your county courthouse.

In your PFA petition, you can describe any of the following, if they happened to you:

  • “Acts that cause bodily injury or serious bodily injury and/or sexual offenses.” These include hitting, punching, slapping, pushing, strangling, chocking, forcing sex or attempting to do any of these things.
  • “Putting another person in reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury.” This refers to making threats to harm or kill you, your family, your children, or your pets.
  • “False imprisonment.” This includes restraining your movement or holding you down.
  • “Physical or sexual abuse of minor children.” This includes corporal punishment or spanking that leaves marks or requires medical attention.
  • “A course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts toward another that put the person in reasonable fear of bodily injury.” This includes sending threatening emails, following you, repeatedly calling you on the phone, and showing up at your residence, workplace, or school.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation for plaintiffs and defendants at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all nearby counties, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

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