Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

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Pgh PFA Lawyer

Despite PFA, Pittsburgh Wife Brutally Murdered

111787230A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order is a powerful tool that restricts an abuser from having any contact with his or her victim under threat of arrest.

But, tragically, a PFA in some cases is still just a piece of paper.

On New Year’s Day, a man from Duquesne was charged with homicide and arson for setting a fire that killed his wife. According to news reports, the man tied her up, poured vodka on her, and lit the alcohol.

Two weeks earlier, she had obtained a Temporary PFA against him. But the PFA did not save her life.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants at PFA hearings in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Clarion County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

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

PFAs Granted For Roommates, Lovers, Relatives

86505316You can only get a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order against someone you’re related to, right?

Wrong!

Pennsylvania law states that a PFA can be granted against “family or household members, sexual or intimate partners, or persons who share biological parenthood.”

Thus, you can get a PFA against your roommate, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your brother/sister, your parent, your child, or your spouse.

In some states, like California, a person can get a restraining order against a stranger. For instance, movie stars sometimes resort to such orders to prevent stalking by fans. Pennsylvania law does not go that far.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive advocacy for plaintiffs and defendants in PFA cases in Pittsburgh and all nearby counties, including: Allegheny County, Washington County, Beaver County, Butler County, Westmoreland County, Indiana County, Clarion County, and Fayette County. To speak with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

When Filing a PFA Petition May Be Improper

You may not file a Protection From Abuse (PFA) petition:

–Against someone who is merely your neighbor or an acquaintance;

–To stop mental abuse, emotional abuse, or property destruction;

–To obtain a custody order or to resolve a custody dispute.

A PFA Order is a powerful tool for restricting an abuser from contacting his or her victim, but it is not appropriate in every circumstance.

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.

Who Can File a PFA?

77005984Under Pennsylvania law, to file a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order, there must be a current or former relationship between the victim and the abuser.

A relationship is defined as a spouse, ex-spouse, or persons who have lived like spouses; a current or former sexual or intimate partner; a parent or child; a brother or sister; or other persons related by blood or marriage.

If you are a minor under 18, a parent, guardian, or another adult household member may file on your behalf.

If you do not meet the relationship criteria above, a PFA Order cannot be entered.

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

PFA Orders Trump Right to Own Guns

In Pennsylvania, Protection From Abuse (PFA) Orders obliterate a person’s constitutional right to possess firearms. A person served with a PFA is immediately ordered to:

–Relinquish to the sheriff any of the defendant’s firearms;

–Relinquish to the sheriff any other weapons or ammunition of the defendant that were used or threatened to have been used in an incident of abuse against the victim or the victim’s children;

–Relinquish any firearm license that the defendant may have;

–Not acquire or possess any other firearm for the duration of the PFA;

When relinquishment is ordered, the defendant must surrender any firearm, weapon, ammunition, or license ordered within 24 hours after service of the temporary PFA order or 24 hours after entry of the final PFA order.

The defendant has the option to relinquish for safekeeping to a third party, who has signed an Affidavit of accountability with the sheriff’s office.

Served with a PFA? We strongly defend your rights and reputation. Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Fight Back Against Allegations of Abuse

86505321Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to exaggerate, fabricate or outright lie to receive a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order. As a result, many innocent people are unfairly swept into the court system. Spivak Law Firm strongly defends such people and has an excellent record of success in getting bogus PFA orders dismissed.

But what if you did it? In other words, should a person who has perpetrated abuse under Pennsylvania law simply accept a three-year Final PFA? Or is it still worthwhile to retain an experienced PFA attorney and fight back against the charges?

At Spivak Law Firm, we recommend fighting back.

In cases where the evidence is stacked against our clients, we are still able to help them by protecting their child custody rights, safeguarding their property, limiting the duration of a PFA order, and advising them on moving forward with their lives. In many cases, we are successful in avoiding a Final PFA even where abuse occurred.

At Spivak Law Firm, we do not judge our clients. We advocate strongly for them. We understand that we all have done things for which we are not proud. We treat our clients with dignity and respect by making ourselves accessible and by striving to build the strongest possible defense in every case.

Served with a PFA? Call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Getting A Continuance In A PFA Case

77005984In most cases, Judges will allow at least one continuance in a Protection From Abuse (PFA) matter.

PFA hearings are generally scheduled within 10 days. The defendant in a PFA case should have no problem getting a continuance if he or she has not been timely served or needs additional time to retain an attorney.

Parties may be surprised when a Court won’t grant a continuance of a PFA hearing. Continuances are generally only granted for good cause. The plaintiff may not be entitled to a continued hearing date if the defendant is present and wants to go forward.

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

PFAs, Domestic Violence, & Child Custody

86505316What should you do if you face a Protection From Abuse (PFA) restraining order while criminal domestic violence charges are also pending?

In most cases, you should continue the Temporary PFA until after the criminal case is resolved because any testimony opposing the civil PFA might be used against you in the criminal action.

If kids are involved, and the Temporary PFA restricts your right to see your kids, you may consider asking the Court for a hearing seeking supervised visitation until the criminal case is resolved. Otherwise, you run the risk of not seeing your kids for several months.

Spivak Law Firm has extensive experience handling PFAs, criminal domestic violence, and child custody matters. To speak with an attorney, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Law Increasing Protections For Minors

77005984Pennsylvania appears poised to expand its Protection From Abuse (PFA) law to include protections for minors who are victims of stalking and harassment.

Under current law, stalking and harassment victims who are minors cannot obtain a PFA unless their assailant is a current or former household member, family member, or former intimate partner. But what if the stalker does not fit into any of these categories?

A proposed amendment to the Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation Act would close this loophole. If signed into law by Gov. Corbett, the new protections will go into effect July 2015.

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

PFA Law Adding Protections for Abuse Victims

702075.TIFPennsylvania will likely expand its Protection From Abuse (PFA) law to offer more protections for rape victims. A PFA, also known as a restraining order or protection order, is a powerful tool that restricts a perpetrator from having any contact with the victim.

Under the current PFA law, victims of abuse can get a PFA against (1) their spouse, (2) their live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, (3) a parent of their child, (4) their child, (5) their former sexual or intimate partner, (6) their parent, or (7) any family member related to them by blood or marriage.

But the PFA law does not currently protect survivors who were sexually assaulted by strangers or acquaintances. This loophole in the law will be closed if Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signs the Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation Act.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in PFA cases. To speak with an experienced Pittsburgh PFA lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.