Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Lawyer

Child Custody and Abuse Allegations

Allegations of sexual or physical abuse of a child may complicate a child custody case.

Courts take child abuse allegations very seriously, often prompting Child, Youth, and Family (CYF) Services investigations and forensic evaluations by medical professionals and law enforcement.

The alleged perpetrator, victim, and relevant third parties are all interviewed.

If the allegations are determined to be “unfounded,” evaluators and caseworkers make recommendations that often include family counseling.

It could take months for CYF to make final determinations, and a court will likely restrict your custody rights during that time.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, effective advocacy for people facing child abuse allegations.

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

Crime Victims’ Rights in Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania law, crime victims have the right to:

  • Be notified of significant actions and proceedings pertaining to their case
  • Have a victim advocate providing support at proceedings
  • Submit a victim impact statement prior to the sentencing of a defendant
  • Receive restitution and the return of seized property

Enacted in 1998, the Pennsylvania Crime Victims Act includes a section titled the Crime Victims Bill of Rights.

Today, Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering whether to enshrine the rights of crime victims in the state’s constitution under Marsy’s Law.

Based in Pittsburgh, Spivak Law Firm handles all family law and criminal defense matters.

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

Plea Deals in Criminal Cases

People facing criminal charges accept a plea agreement more than ninety percent of the time.

In exchange for a guilty plea, some of the charges may be dropped or reduced. In some cases, the deal may include a recommendation for probation rather than incarceration.

Domestic violence cases usually involve charges of assault, harassment, terroristic threats, reckless endangerment, strangulation and stalking.

Typical plea deals involving such charges may include: reducing misdemeanor charges to a summary conviction if the defendant:

  • Undergoes a substance-abuse evaluation
  • Undergoes a mental-health evaluation
  • Completes anger management or batterers-intervention classes
  • Avoids abusive contact with the victim for a period of time
  • Avoids negative police contact for a period of time

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of criminal defense with a special focus on domestic-violence defense. We successfully resolve many cases through plea deals at preliminary hearings and pretrial conferences.

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

Criminal Court: The Process

If your criminal case cannot be resolved at the preliminary hearing before a magistrate, it moves to the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the alleged crime occurred.

First, there will be a formal arraignment. Your attorney will enter his or her appearance and obtain your next court date.

Next, there will be a pretrial conference. Your attorney will meet with the prosecutor to discuss everything from documentary evidence to key witnesses to potential settlement options including plea deals.

If the case cannot be resolved, it will move to a trial. Your case may be tried before the assigned judge or a jury of your peers.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of criminal defense with a special focus on domestic-violence defense.

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

Expungement Reduces Recidivism

New laws allowing people to erase or at least hide their criminal records from public view are hugely beneficial.

People who gets their criminal records expunged, on average, see their wages increased by more than 20 percent within a year, according to the first major empirical study of expungement laws.

Additionally, people with expunged records break the law again at very low rates.

Expungement is a powerful tool for improving outcomes for people with criminal records, without risk to public safety.

Spivak Law Firm helps people expunge their criminal records so they can move on with their lives. For more information, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Attorney Spivak Featured On Crime Law

Attorney Todd Spivak, founding partner at Spivak Law Firm, was featured in a recent article about whether the rights of crime victims should be added to the Pennsylvania constitution.

The American Civil Liberties Union and League of Women Voters oppose the referendum on grounds that it would adversely affect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants.

Pennsylvania first adopted the Crime Victims Rights Act in 1998, allowing victims to present impact statements to the court prior to criminal sentencing and to be notified of significant actions pertaining to their case.

On Tuesday, voters determined whether to support Marsy’s Law, named for the victim of a domestic-violence homicide. Several states have passed their own versions of the law to strengthen the rights of crime victims.

Spivak Law Firm handles all criminal defense matters with a special focus on domestic violence. We help defendants facing charges of: assault, harassment, terroristic threats, stalking, strangulation, child endangerment, and reckless endangerment.

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

DUI: Stiffer Penalties In Pennsylvania

The legal consequences for repeatedly driving under the influence in Pennsylvania have become much more severe under a recent new law, which establishes the state’s first felony for DUI.

It applies when someone has been charged with a third offense in a decade with at least twice the legal limit for alcohol, or to any fourth-time offender.

The new law mandates longer jail time for those who unintentionally cause someone’s death because of a repeat DUI violation.

The stiffer penalties include increased fines and penalties for driving under the influence on a license suspended due to a DUI conviction.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of criminal defense, including DUI, domestic-violence defense, PFA violations, and criminal-record expungements. We routinely handle preliminary hearings and summary trials.

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

Pennsylvania Law Affects Gun Owners

In Pennsylvania, people convicted of misdemeanor domestic-violence crimes will be required to relinquish their guns to police within 24 hours.

The new law applies to people convicted of:

  • Simple Assault
  • Terroristic Threats
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Endangering The Welfare of A Child
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person
  • Child Abuse
  • Stalking
  • Harassment

The new law could have a devastating impact on people whose livelihoods depend on the ability to carry a firearm such as police officers and other law-enforcement officials.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense for people accused of domestic abuse. For a free consultation, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Spotting Signs of Abuse

Being able to tell the difference between a healthy relationship and an abusive relationship can be difficult.

You may be in an abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Exhibits an explosive temper
  • Inflicts physical pain in any way
  • Belittles you or puts you down
  • Checks your cell phones, emails or social networks without permission
  • Demonstrates extreme jealousy or insecurity

Spivak Law Firm helps victims of domestic violence get the legal protections they need at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings and by working with prosecutors on criminal domestic-violence cases. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Probation v. Parole

Probation and parole are two terms that are commonly misused. Probation is given instead of a prison sentence, while parole is something granted to prisoners as a reward for good behavior.

Probation allows a person convicted of a crime to avoid jail as long as he or she follows certain conditions set by the court. Such conditions commonly include remaining employed, abiding by a curfew, and submitting to drug and alcohol tests. Parole, meanwhile, refers to the early release of a prisoner who promises to follow certain restrictions.

Violating your probation or parole can land you in jail or even extend your punishment. At Spivak Law Firm, we aim to keep you out of jail and avoid additional penalties. To learn more, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.