South Hills Criminal Lawyers
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.
Mandatory minimums have swelled the federal prison population and led to racial disparities. Under the policy, a person with one prior drug felony who is charged with possession of a small amount of drugs can face 20 years to life.
Sessions’ actions might make sense if mandatory minimums for minor drug offenses were necessary to combat crime – but they are not. A 2014 study by the U.S. Sentencing Commission found that defendants released early were not more likely to reoffend than prisoners who served their whole sentences.
At Spivak Law Firm, we strongly defend people accused of drug crimes. If you have been arrested for a drug crime or are the target of an investigation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
A criminal record can harm your employment opportunities. Pennsylvania recently increased the options for restricting employers from viewing your criminal record through what are called limited access orders.
For the first time, people convicted of second- and third-degree misdemeanor offenses may be able to restrict employers from viewing their criminal records.
But what about people convicted of felonies and first-degree misdemeanors? Such people may not be able to completely erase or seal their records, but they can obtain partial expungements.
For instance, people with long rap sheets can clean up their backgrounds by partially expunging their records to remove all charges that were withdrawn or dismissed. Though a criminal record remains, it will look far better to employers, especially if the convictions occurred many years ago.
Spivak Law Firm is devoted to helping people with criminal records move on with their lives. Call us today at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.
Break-ups are painful, but repeated calls and texts to an ex, especially late at night, could lead to harassment charges filed against you.
Pennsylvania law defines harassment as acting with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, which includes:
- Violent physical contact, or attempt of violent physical contact;
- Following the other person in a public place;
- Repeated acts serving no legitimate purpose;
- Communicating any lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words, language, drawings or caricatures;
- Communicating repeatedly in an anonymous manner; or
- Communicating at inconvenient hours.
If you have been charged with harassment, immediately cease all forms of contact with the alleged victim. Continued attempts at communication could demonstrate to a judge that you intend to continue the behavior, thereby hurting your chances of getting the criminal charges dismissed.
To speak with an attorney experienced in criminal defense and family law, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.