Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Greensburg PFA Lawyer

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.

Prepare for Your PFA Hearing

 

PFA Pic1If a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA) has been filed against you, it is important to begin preparing your defense as soon as possible. The person who filed against you will be prepared to testify and present evidence, so it is important that you present testimony and evidence to rebut the accusations against you.

Preserve text messages, emails, voicemails, and audio recordings that tend to support your version of events. If you have witnesses who were present at the time of the incident, it is important that they appear at the hearing to support your position.

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

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

PFA and Criminal Charges

 

PFA Pic1If you’ve been accused of perpetrating domestic violence or child abuse, you may be facing a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order and criminal charges such as assault, harassment, stalking, or terroristic threats.

At Spivak Law Firm, we generally advise our clients to continue the PFA hearing until after the criminal case is resolved. The district attorney could use the PFA hearing transcript against you in criminal court.

Based in Pittsburgh, Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for clients in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Greene County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

If you face a PFA or criminal domestic-violence charges, call Spivak Law Firm to schedule a free consultation at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Pennsylvania Mayor Faces PFA

 

BU010665Even elected officials aren’t immune from Protection from Abuse (PFA) Orders.

Williamsport Mayor Gabriel J. Campana recently agreed to modify and extend the Temporary PFA placed against him by his wife. The small-town mayor was evicted from his home and prohibited from directly contacting his wife, except through email or text to arrange for child custody.

In Pennsylvania, a PFA is a powerful took that can:

  • Evict you from your home;
  • Restrict you from your children;
  • Prohibit you from purchasing firearms; and
  • Get you fired from your job.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings. For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm 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.

PFAs and College Students

702075.TIFPennsylvania colleges are increasingly cracking down on domestic violence, raising awareness of Protection from Abuse (PFA) restraining orders as tools to stop harassment and stalking, as well as physical and sexual violence.

College students served with PFA orders are at great risk of violating the PFA if they continue to attend college on the same campus as their accuser.

You may be arrested and charged with Indirect Criminal Contempt if the plaintiff merely accuses you of contacting, harassing, or stalking, even if a police officer does not witness the alleged violation.

A PFA alone is enough to disrupt educational and employment opportunities, but you could face even more hurdles when the PFA is coupled with criminal contempt charges that include a maximum sentence of six months in jail.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation 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 have effectively represented college students attending University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Carlow University, Slippery Rock University, and other schools in the Pittsburgh area.

To schedule a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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.

PFA and Criminal Records

PFA Pic8Q: Will a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order appear on my criminal record?

A: No.

A PFA is a civil matter that appears on the family court docket along with documents relating to divorce and child custody. It will not appear on the criminal docket, though employers increasingly review both dockets when making hiring decisions.

A PFA is not a criminal matter, though it can become one if you are merely accused of violating the Order. A PFA violation can lead to the charge of Indirect Criminal Contempt (ICC), which carries a six-month jail sentence and $1,000.00 fine.

Spivak Law Firm handles all PFA, criminal, and expungement matters. Call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

4 Tips for PFA Defendants

PFA Pic1It is important to maintain your composure at your Final PFA hearing.

It will be difficult to remain calm while the opposing party makes allegations of abuse against you, but walking into a hearing with a bad attitude may affect the judge’s opinion of you and add to the plaintiff’s credibility – even if the allegations are false.

To avoid discrediting your version of events, follow these four tips at your PFA hearing:

  • Do not raise your voice in anger to the judge, your lawyer, or the other party;
  • Do not shake your head, roll your eyes, or laugh while the other party is speaking;
  • Do not interrupt the other party or the judge;
  • Do not make mean-spirited comments about the other party.

If you have been served with a PFA order, call Spivak Law Firm 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.