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Pittsburgh Criminal 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.

Harassment In Family Court


ConflictLeaving an abusive relationship should put an end to the abuse, but that is frequently not the case when there are children involved. The abusive parent may utilize the child custody courts to harass the victim, even when the abused party has a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order.

The courts often favor shared custody schedules, which are unfortunately ideal for abusers, as this affords them the opportunity to continue controlling the abused spouse through the children.

Because the courts often favor shared custody, it is crucial to speak to an experienced child custody attorney who may develop a workable agreement that keeps parental conflict to a minimum.

Spivak Law Firm’s attorney has extensive experience with child custody cases involving domestic violence. To schedule a consultation call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.