Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pgh Criminal Defense Lawyers

Victim Impact Statements in Criminal Trials

Under Pennsylvania law, a crime victim may provide an impact statement to the Court at the time of sentencing.

Impact statements offer victims an opportunity to persuade the judge regarding appropriate sentencing, as well as the ability to confront their perpetrator and describe how their actions adversely affected their lives.

Victim impact statements may be provided after a trial. They may also be given after a defendant has accepted a plea agreement even when the terms of sentencing have been agreed upon by the prosecutor.

It is unclear whether these statements have much influence over judges.

It should be noted that a criminal-court judge may not rubber-stamp the agreed-upon sentencing terms offered in a plea deal.

Spivak Law Firm handles all criminal-defense matters with a special focus on domestic-violence defense. Typical charges include: assault, harassment, terroristic threats, stalking, reckless endangerment, and PFA violations.

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

Domestic Violence and Brain Injuries

When it comes to long-term brain trauma, sports-induced injuries monopolize the conversation, while injuries suffered by victims of domestic abuse fall to the wayside. But Dr. Robert Cantu, an expert on football-related injuries, has revealed that many survivors of domestic violence could suffer from the same traumatic brain injuries as professional sports players.

“Experts believe many cases go undetected and untreated in abused women, making them vulnerable to problems with thinking, mood and behavior,” according to The Associated Press.

The article notes that “repeated blows [to the head] have been linked with a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy … linked with memory loss, confusion, mood changes, and eventually dementia.” Dr. Robert Cantu added: “There are many women who have been abused enough that some of them probably have CTE.”

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law and criminal defense matters with a focus on domestic violence. For a free consultation call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.