Dormont Criminal Law
If you’ve been served with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, your career may be at risk.
The PFA petition alleging abusive behavior is a public record that may be viewed by your employer.
You may be especially at risk if your employment requires background checks such as nurses, teachers, coaches, and daycare providers.
Others at risk include police officers, security guards and others whose jobs require them to possess a firearm.
Under newly restrictive laws in Pennsylvania, gun possession is expressly prohibited so long as the PFA remains active.
Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Fayette, Beaver, Butler. Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.
We have helped to save the careers and restore the reputations of police officers, homeland-security officers, state troopers, registered nurses, teachers, coaches, and government employees.
Served with a PFA? Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order restricts you from having any contact with the person who filed against you.
No contact includes:
- No face-to-face contact
- No phone contact
- No texting
- No contact through social media
- No passing messages through a third party
In fact, if you see the accuser in a public place, you are advised to immediately leave the area or risk getting arrested.
Spivak Law Firm routinely handles all matters involving PFAs, including: PFA hearings, PFA expungements, and PFA violations. To learn more, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
In Pittsburgh and surrounding counties, judges grant the vast majority of requests for Temporary Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders.
Judges issue Temporary PFA orders without ever hearing from the alleged perpetrator of abuse. There’s usually no evidence of abuse except for the alleged victim’s sworn testimony.
Judges issue the orders with full knowledge that they may completely turn the alleged perpetrator’s life upside-down by evicting them from their homes, restricting them from their children, and placing them at great risk for arrest if they’re even accused of violating the order by having non-threatening contact.
So why do judges grant more than 90 percent of Temporary PFA petitions?
It’s likely because judges opt to err on the side of caution. Domestic abuse is real, and no judge wants to deny a request for help that leads to physical violence. Unfortunately, innocent people often go through hell while awaiting their PFA hearings.
Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
At Final PFA hearings, both the accuser and the alleged perpetrator of abuse have the right to introduce evidence to prove their cases.
Evidence at Final PFA hearings commonly includes:
-Photographs of injuries and damaged property
-Medical records of injuries
-Mental health records reflecting treatment
-Texts and emails of threatening or harassing behavior
-Social-media postings on Facebook and Instagram of threatening or harassing behavior
-Character witnesses seeking to bolster credibility
Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.
For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
If you’ve been served with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, we urge you to take it seriously. A PFA can take away your home, your job, your children, and even your liberty. A PFA can destroy your reputation and stigmatize you as an abusive person for the rest of your life.
A PFA is a civil matter determined by judges in family court. There is no right to a jury trial at a PFA hearing because it’s not a criminal matter, though a PFA can quickly and easily result in criminal charges if you’re merely accused of violating the order.
Under Pennsylvania law, there is no right to a jury trial except in criminal cases whereby conviction could lead to a jail sentence exceeding six months. The maximum penalty for violating a PFA is six months and a $1,000 fine.
Spivak Law Firm provides strong representation at PFA hearings. Based in Pittsburgh, we represent clients in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Mercer County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.
To schedule a free consultation with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
In many domestic violence cases, financial abuse is what keeps a woman trapped in the abusive relationship. Even if these women are able to leave the relationship, their finances may remain in jeopardy.
A new startup company, FreeFrom, pilots entrepreneurship programs for domestic violence survivors. Many of the women enrolled in the program come in with small-business ideas and the organization helps identify what these women are good at and how they can turn it into an opportunity.
By helping survivors start businesses, they can earn their own incomes and achieve financial stability independent of a partner. Program participants can meet with FreeFrom’s team once a week for up to 90 minutes and the free service runs for a six-month period.
Spivak Law Firm provides aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in domestic violence cases, including Protection From Abuse (PFA), Children Youth and Families (CYF), and criminal domestic violence. To schedule a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Spivak Law Firm has represented many people who cherish the Constitutional right to own guns. Some are hunters. Some are police officers and other law-enforcement officials whose livelihoods depend on the ability to carry a firearm.
In Pennsylvania, the Protection From Abuse (PFA) law has been changed to restrict gun ownership against people accused of domestic abuse.
For the first time, a person subject to a Final PFA order will be required to give up his or her guns to police within 24 hours. The law applies even in cases of alleged stalking and harassment where a firearm was not involved.
The law is controversial because the burden of proof for obtaining a Final PFA order is far lower than for obtaining a criminal conviction. In fact, many people subject to Final PFA orders are never even charged with a crime.
If you’ve been served with a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm for a free consultation at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
We’ve all heard the phrase “burden of proof.” What does it mean?
Burden of proof refers to how convincing the evidence must be to obtain a criminal conviction or Protection From Abuse (PFA) order.
In criminal court, the burden of proof is very high: beyond a reasonable doubt. This means the judge or jury must be 99 percent certain that the defendant committed the crime in order to convict.
In PFA court, the burden of proof is much lower: preponderance of the evidence. This means the judge must be just 51 percent certain that the alleged abuser acted in a way that warrants a Final PFA order.
It is much easier to get a Final Order than a criminal conviction because the burden of proof is so much lower.
Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense at all PFA and criminal domestic-violence hearings. We routinely handle PFAs and PFA violations, as well as criminal domestic-violence charges such as simple assault, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, harassment, stalking, recklessly endangering another person, endangering the welfare of children, child abuse, and aggravated assault.
To schedule a free consultation with an experienced defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Under Pennsylvania Law, the term “abuse” is defined broadly when determining whether to grant a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order. It does not merely include physical violence.
There are many forms of alleged “abuse” that could justify a PFA, including:
-Threats of physical violence
-Threats of sexual violence
Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense at PFA hearings. We routinely take cases in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Mercer 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.
If you’ve been served with a Temporary PFA or if a Final PFA was entered in your case, you may have just 24 hours to surrender your guns, weapons, ammunition, and firearms license to your local sheriff’s office.
Ignoring a court order to relinquish your guns could result in up to 10 years imprisonment under federal law.
In some cases, PFA defendants could instead give their guns to a friend or family member for safekeeping, so long as the third party signed an Affidavit of Accountability with the sheriff’s office and underwent a criminal background check.
But a new Pennsylvania law prohibits the third-party safekeeping option for gun owners accused of domestic abuse.
Spivak Law Firm advises PFA defendants on how to protect their Second Amendment right to possess firearms. We provide strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.