Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pittsburgh Criminal Law Firm

Expungements v. Limited Access Orders

For decades, Pennsylvania offered virtually no relief for people convicted of misdemeanors and felonies to move beyond their criminal records and join the workforce.

Expungements were available only to people charged with crimes that were dismissed or withdrawn, or to people convicted of low-level summary offenses after a period of five years.

But now the Pennsylvania legislature has provided a new form of relief for people convicted of second- and third-degree misdemeanors through what are called limited access orders.

Unlike an expungement, a limited access order does not erase the information. Instead, it restricts employment agencies and internet websites from accessing any information relating to a conviction or arrest.

To determine if you are eligible for an expungement or limited access order, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

What If A Person Lies To Get A PFA?

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong, aggressive defense at Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.

Our clients often ask us if the alleged victim will face any consequences for lying or exaggerating to the court in order to obtain the Temporary PFA order.

Unfortunately, in our experience, the answer is: no.

People falsely accused of abuse may file a complaint with the police, but the district attorney’s office is unlikely to prosecute for fear of having a chilling effect on other people seeking protection.

Even in extreme circumstances, district attorney’s offices rarely prosecute plaintiffs who have filed repeated PFA petitions in multiple counties with outrageous, unsubstantiated accusations that are later dismissed.

It is commonly known that some people abuse the PFA system in order to gain leverage in a divorce or child custody action.

At Spivak Law Firm, we handle all family law and criminal defense matters, including: PFA defense, criminal domestic violence defense, divorce, child custody, child support, and criminal record expungements.

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

Spivak Law Firm Hires New Attorney

rc-headshot-white-fullSpivak Law Firm is pleased to announce that Rebecca Canterbury has joined our family law and criminal defense practice as an attorney at law.

A Pittsburgh native, Attorney Canterbury earned a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law. During law school, she represented clients at Protection From Abuse (PFA) and child custody hearings while working for Neighborhood Legal Services Association and the Duquesne University School of Law Family Law Clinic.

Attorney Canterbury served as a law clerk for the Honorable Kevin G. Sasinoski of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas – Criminal Division, as well as for several private law firms in Pittsburgh focusing on criminal defense and family law. She began as a law clerk at Spivak Law Firm before joining the firm as an attorney.

While serving as president of the Family Law Society at Duquesne University School of Law, Attorney Canterbury organized and moderated a symposium to address whether Pennsylvania’s Protection From Abuse (PFA) laws strike the right balance for protecting domestic-violence victims while also limiting false claims of abuse.

Earlier this year, Attorney Canterbury wrote an article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette entitled Impoverished Parents Deserve Their Day In Court on how filing fees in Allegheny County prevent low-income parents from asserting their child-custody rights. The article was reproduced in the fall 2016 edition of At Issue, published by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

This month, Attorney Canterbury co-wrote an article with Attorney Spivak published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette entitled Clean The Slate In Pennsylvania on the importance of making it easier to expunge criminal records and give people a fresh start in life.

Attorney Canterbury focuses her practice on PFAs, child custody, domestic-violence defense, and criminal record expungements.

Spivak Law Firm offers a free consultation on family law and criminal defense matters. To schedule an appointment, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.