Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA


Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

PFA Defense Lawyer

3 Types of PFA Orders In Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania law, there are three kinds of Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders that may be issued:

Emergency PFA: A magistrate may order an Emergency PFA at times when a Court of Common Pleas judge is not available, such as at night, on weekends, and during holidays. An Emergency PFA expires automatically at the close of the next business day. Therefore, if you get an Emergency PFA on Friday night, it will remain in effect until Monday at 5:00 p.m. so long as Monday is not a holiday.

Temporary PFA: A Court of Common Pleas judge may order a Temporary PFA based on an accuser’s sworn testimony of abuse. Pennsylvania law requires that a Final PFA hearing be scheduled within 10 days after the Temporary PFA is granted.

Final PFA: A Court of Common Pleas judge may order a Final PFA after a hearing. In some cases, defendants will consent to a Final PFA without need for a hearing. A Final PFA may last up to three years.

Spivak Law Firm has successfully represented hundreds of plaintiffs and defendants in PFA matters. For more information, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Attorney Spivak Featured On New PFA Law

Attorney Todd Spivak, owner of Spivak Law Firm, was featured in a recent news article regarding changes to the Protection From Abuse (PFA) law in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly recently passed a bill requiring people with Final PFA orders to surrender their firearms within 24 hours to law enforcement.

In the article, Attorney Spivak is described as a proponent for reforming the PFA law to curb false claims of abuse.

A PFA has serious consequences. It can take away:

  • Your home: You may be permanently evicted from your residence.
  • Your kids: You may lose custody of your children for an extended period of time.
  • Your job: You may be terminated from your job, especially if you’re a police officer, teacher, daycare worker, or anyone subject to background checks.
  • Your rights: You may lose your Constitutional right to possess firearms.
  • Your freedom: You may be jailed and face criminal charges for allegedly violating any provision of an active PFA.

“If someone is willing to lie or exaggerate or fabricate on a PFA petition, what’s to stop them from lying about a violation of the order,” Attorney Spivak says in the article. “Defendants can have their lives turned upside down.”

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense in all PFA and criminal domestic-violence matters. Based in Pittsburgh, we routinely represent clients in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Mercer County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

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

PFA Hearings: What If There’s No Evidence?

Many people mistakenly believe that a Final Protection From Abuse (PFA) order won’t be granted unless there is definitive evidence of abuse.

This is simply not true.

Most cases of alleged domestic violence cannot be proved definitively. There may not be any eyewitnesses, medical records, photographs of injuries, or written correspondence to prove that abuse occurred.

But a judge may still order the Final PFA based on the credible testimony of the alleged victim. In other words, judges rely mainly on what the accuser says under oath when determining whether to grant a Final PFA.

If you have been served with a Temporary PFA, you are at great risk of a Final PFA unless you obtain effective legal representation.

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

PFA Hearings in Pittsburgh and Nearby Counties

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, aggressive defense at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings.

Based in Pittsburgh, we routinely accept cases in the following counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.

Each county has different local rules and customs for PFA hearings.

For instance, cases in Allegheny County frequently settle without need for a formal hearing. Many of our defendants never go before a judge or even see the inside of a court room.

In more rural counties, virtually all cases go before a judge. There are often fewer alternatives for reaching settlement, thereby resulting in a greater likelihood of trial.

At Spivak Law Firm, we are experienced trial lawyers who aim to protect your liberty, your job, and your child-custody rights. We have successfully represented hundreds of people accused of domestic violence, harassment, stalking, sexual violence, and other forms of abuse.To schedule a free consultation with an experienced PFA lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Helping Women In Criminal Cases

Women are more likely to remain incarcerated because they cannot afford bail, according to a recent report.

High pretrial detention rates are a major component of mass incarceration, accounting for 99 percent of jail growth over the last 15 years. Women comprise the fastest rate of growth among incarcerated populations.

Women held in pretrial detention often face long separations from their families resulting in devastating collateral consequences such as loss of child custody and eviction from their homes.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in all family-law and criminal-defense matters with a special focus on domestic violence and child custody. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Spivak Law Firm Wins More Awards

The award-winning Spivak Law Firm received multiple honors this month for providing superior legal services and client satisfaction.

The Pittsburgh-based firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on Protection from Abuse (PFA) hearings and high-conflict child custody cases.

Our award-winning attorneys have helped hundreds of people accused of physical abuse, harassment, stalking, sexual abuse, child abuse, and other forms of domestic abuse.

In many cases, we get the PFA and related criminal charges dismissed then expunge our client’s records so they can fully move on with their lives.

We handle the following family law cases: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, Children Youth and Families (CYF), and Protection From Abuse (PFA).

We routinely defend people criminally charged with: domestic violence, driving under the influence (DUI), simple assault, aggravated assault, harassment, recklessly endangering another person, stalking, disorderly conduct, retail theft and various other misdemeanors and summary offenses.

This month, Attorney Todd Spivak was honored again by American Institute of Family Law Attorneys and designated a Super Lawyer.

Attorney Rebecca Canterbury was named a Top 10 Family Law Attorney by Attorney and Practice Magazine and received a 10.0 rating on the Avvo legal directory, where clients routinely sing her praises as a strong, compassionate advocate who gets results.

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

PFA Orders Destroy Reputations

Under Pennsylvania law, anybody can file a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order against a lover or family member accusing them of harassment, physical violence, or other forms of domestic abuse.

In Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, judges grant more than 90 percent of Temporary PFA petitions, leading to a formal hearing within about 10 days.

Many people served with Temporary PFA Orders make the mistake of attending the hearing without an attorney. They often get pressured into signing orders that will hurt them later in life.

Even worse, they may lose at trial against an experienced attorney, resulting in a Final PFA Order that lasts up to three years and forever tarnishes their reputation as an abusive person.

Don’t let this happen to you.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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

Served With A Bogus PFA?

Have you been served with a bogus PFA?

Do the allegations include exaggerations, misrepresentations, or outright lies?

You’re not alone. It is commonly known among family-law judges and attorneys that some people claim they were harassed or physically abused in order to gain leverage in divorce or child custody disputes.

Some people will lie on PFA petitions just to evict you from your home or damage your reputation.

If you’ve been served with a bogus PFA, we strongly recommend calling Spivak Law Firm. We provide strong, aggressive reputation at PFA hearings to preserve your rights and reputation.

Call us for a free consultation at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA and Divorce in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania legislature is considering a controversial bill to restrict sexual abusers from seeking alimony or even equitable distribution under the divorce code.

Alimony refers to the receipt of payments from a former spouse after the divorce has been finalized. Equitable distribution refers to the formal process for dividing marital property.

Spivak Law Firm strongly objects to the bill, which does not make clear whether a criminal conviction is required for the exceptions to apply.

The bill’s definition of “abuse” references the Protection From Abuse (PFA) statute. As a result, individuals with a PFA Order entered against them would be barred from receiving alimony or equitable distribution, leading to further abuse of the PFA system.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation in all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFA. Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Orders and Police Officers

Pittsburgh police must keep statistics for officers involved in criminal domestic violence incidents and Protection From Abuse (Orders).

The mere accusation of abuse against a law-enforcement official can be devastating.

PFA Orders frequently restrict defendants from possessing firearms. Because police officers are required to possess a firearm as part of their job, a PFA may result in suspension or even termination.

Spivak Law Firm has successfully defended police officers at the federal, state, and local levels against accusations of abuse. For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.