Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Butler County PFA Lawyer

No Guns for PFA Defendants

 

pfa-pic9Under federal law, people convicted of domestic-violence misdemeanors such as simple assault are banned from owning firearms.

The gun ban also extends to people who are subject to Protection From Abuse (PFA) restraining orders.

Guns are the most common method for killing intimate partners.

Laws restricting firearm access for people subject to restraining orders are associated with a 19 percent reduction in rates of intimate homicide, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas 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.

Domestic Violence Warning Signs

 

dv-pic5Domestic violence experts increasingly aim to identify “red flags” that often precede homicides and murder-suicides where abuse is present.

Warning signs include: strangulation, stalking behavior, sexual violence, gun possession, unemployment, substance abuse, and prior attempts by the victim to end the relationship.

Previous abuse by the suspect is the strongest of these “red flags,” according to experts.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a special focus on domestic violence and Protection From Abuse (PFA). Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Served with a PFA?

 

PFA Pic1If you’ve been served with a Protection from Abuse (PFA) order, you should begin preparing your defense immediately, as your PFA hearing will likely occur within just 10 days.

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, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County. We work hard to protect your reputation, your job, and your child custody rights.

If you’re served with a PFA, we recommend taking the following actions:

  • Call Spivak Law Firm for a free consultation.
  • Avoid all contact with the plaintiff.
  • Collect documentary evidence such as texts, emails, and photographs for your defense.

Served with a PFA? Call Spivak Law Firm today 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.

Want a PFA? Just Ask.

PFA Pic3In Allegheny County, judges approve nearly all requests for Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders.

Indeed, more than 90 percent of requests for a Temporary PFA are granted in all counties surrounding Pittsburgh, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland.

But recent reports show that a whopping 44 percent of PFA petitions were denied by judges in York County, located in South Central Pennsylvania. Public meetings have been scheduled in York County to address the disparities.

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

PFA Hearings And Child Custody

 

PFA Pic9If you’ve been served with a Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order, it is likely that you’ve been evicted from your home and restricted from having any contact with your children. This can be devastating for a parent.

Under Pennsylvania law, the alleged “abuser” gets no opportunity to contest the accusations until the PFA Hearing some 10 days later. If you are a parent served with a PFA, we strong advise that you hire an attorney with experience in both criminal defense and child custody matters.

“Victims” of abuse get free attorneys to represent them at PFA Hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties — Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

If you go to PFA Court without an attorney – or with an attorney who does not routinely handle child custody matters – you risk losing custody of your kids for an even longer period of time.

It is commonly known that many “victims” of abuse exploit the PFA system in an attempt to gain leverage in a child-custody battle. Do not let this happen to you.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation in all PFA and child custody matters. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

In A PFA, What Is Third-Party Contact?

 

PFA Pic2Victims of domestic violence, harassment, and stalking are often instructed to obtain a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order that restricts contact between the parties. A PFA is also known as a restraining order or no-contact order.

In Allegheny County, a PFA Order typically states that the alleged abuser shall not contact the victim, including through third persons. What does that mean exactly?

Third-party contact refers to having a friend or family member contact the victim about the PFA. For instance, if you are a defendant in a PFA matter, you cannot have a mutual friend pressure the victim into withdrawing the PFA.

Indeed, you cannot communicate any message to the plaintiff whatsoever. Even a non-threatening message such as “I miss you” could get you arrested for violating the no-contact order.

Spivak Law Firm provides aggressive representation for defendants and victims at PFA hearings. To schedule a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

What Can I Ask For In A PFA?

Expunge Pic7In a Protection From Abuse (PFA) petition, you can ask the judge to:

  • Order the abuser to stop threatening, abusing, harassing or stalking you and your children
  • Have the abuser evicted from your joint home or excluded from your residence
  • Keep your new address or location confidential
  • Grant you temporary custody of your children
  • Grant you temporary child or spousal support as well as other reimbursements of out-of-pocket expenses that were caused by the abuser
  • Order the abuser not to have contact with you or your children, or family members
  • Restrict the abuser from contacting you at school or work
  • Order the abuser to turn over firearms to the sheriff
  • Order any other appropriate relief, for instance, requesting the return of your pet, car keys, important papers, etc.

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

Spivak Law Firm In Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

TS Headshot - FINALThe Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has again featured Attorney Todd Spivak, owner of Spivak Law Firm, as an authority in Protection From Abuse (PFA) and child custody law in Pennsylvania.

In Crack Down on Domestic Violence in Allegheny County, Attorney Spivak addresses the issue of Allegheny County registering more domestic-violence fatalities than any other Pennsylvania county. The article focuses specifically on the grisly death of Pittsburgh resident Maureen Karr that occurred over the holidays, and calls for increased judicial involvement at PFA hearings.

In Improve Pennsylvania’s Domestic-Abuse Law, Attorney Spivak proposes ways to fix Pennsylvania’s PFA law to limit false claims of abuse. His recommendations include criminally prosecuting filers of bogus PFA petitions and removing PFA records from the public database if the order is withdrawn or dismissed.

In Child Custody For Rapists?, Attorney Spivak exposes a loophole in Pennsylvania law that enables men who father children through rape to assert child custody and visitation rights. The Pennsylvania legislature may make it easier for a woman who has become pregnant as a result of rape to have her assaulter’s parental rights terminated while maintaining his duty to pay child support.

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