Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA


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South Hills Criminal Lawyer

Domestic Abuse: Immigration

Since President Trump took office, domestic-abuse victims seeking help have been concerned about their possible deportation.

A recent survey of over 700 advocates and legal service providers found that 62% have observed an increase in immigration-related questions from survivors of violence.

The immigrant community has interpreted President Trump’s rhetoric and reports of increased enforcement to mean all are at risk. This anxiety has translated into behavioral shifts among some of the most vulnerable immigrants, including those trapped in violent situations.

Spivak Law Firm provides aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in domestic violence cases, including Protection From Abuse (PFA), Children Youth and Families (CYF), and criminal domestic violence. To schedule a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Terroristic Threats: Penalties


SO000183Under Pennsylvania law, a person commits the crime of terroristic threats if the person makes a direct or indirect threat to:

  • commit any crime of violence with intent to terrorize another;
  • cause evacuation of a public place; or
  • cause serious public inconvenience, or public terror.

Terroristic threats is graded as a first-degree misdemeanor, which could result in up to five years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. If the threat causes occupants of a public place to be diverted from normal operations, it is graded as a third-degree felony, which carries up to 7 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

Spivak Law Firm handles all criminal domestic violence charges, including: simple assault, harassment, stalking, recklessly endangering another person, and terroristic threats. To speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Don’t Spank Your Kids


Family Pic2Under Pennsylvania law, parents are permitted to use corporal punishment if it is for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the welfare of their child.

But the force used on the child cannot create a substantial risk of death, serious bodily injury, disfigurement, extreme pain, or mental distress.

A spanking that leaves a mark or bruise could result in a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA), a Child, Youth and Families (CYF) investigation, or even criminal charges for child abuse.

Parents engaged in child-custody disputes should consider avoiding all forms of corporal punishment to avoid allegations of abuse.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate representation in all family-law and criminal-defense matters. To schedule a consultation, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Charged with Assault?


Criminal Pic4An emotionally charged argument could lead to assault charges, even if you didn’t physically harm the other person. A mere threat of bodily injury could result in criminal charges such as simple assault or terroristic threats—both of which are misdemeanors that could result in jail time and remain on your record for life.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a special focus on domestic violence and child custody.

Charged with assault? Terroristic threats? Harassment? Stalking? PFA violation? To speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Should I Talk to Police?

200274141-001Police may not arrest you without probable cause. They must reasonably believe that you committed a crime.

If you are a criminal suspect, police may ask to speak with you. We advise that you politely decline and refer them to your attorney.

You might think that declining to talk to police will make you appear suspicious and even guilty. The officer may say that he just wants to ask you some questions, or he may even go so far as to threaten to recommend adding charges against if you do not cooperate.

But by talking to police, you may be building their case against you.

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

What’s A Preliminary Hearing?

Criminal Pic3A preliminary hearing is the first step in any criminal case involving a misdemeanor or felony. Whether you’re charged with terroristic threats or retail theft, your case begins with a preliminary hearing.

The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine whether there is a preponderance of evidence – a 51 percent chance – that a crime was committed and that the defendant was the person who committed that crime.

The preliminary hearing is not a trial. The defendant generally does not testify at the preliminary hearing. Only the arresting officer and the alleged victim testify at a preliminary hearing. Your criminal defense attorney then may cross-examine witnesses in an attempt to undermine their allegations and create a record for trial

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

Why You Should File A Summary Appeal


Expunge Pic2In Allegheny County, if you are convicted of a summary offense such as harassment, disorderly conduct, retail theft, defiant trespassing, or underage drinking, then you should seriously consider filing a summary appeal.

If you file a summary appeal within 30 days of the conviction, you will be given a new trial – known by attorneys as a trial de novo – in the Court of Common Pleas.

There often is no transcript of the original summary trial conducted before your local magistrate. Thus, a summary appeal provides a second opportunity to have the charges against you dismissed.

At Spivak Law Firm, we handle summary trials, summary appeals, and expungements of criminal records. To schedule a free consultation, call (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Summary Offenses Can Carry Stiff Penalties

133338146Although a summary offense is low-level crime, you should seriously consider retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight the charge because a conviction can have long-lasting adverse effects.

Summary offenses may carry stiff penalties, including fines and up to 90 days in jail. Additionally, you cannot even begin the process of expunging a summary offense from your criminal record for five years.

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