Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Spivak Law Firm

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.

Grandparents Have Child-Custody Rights

Under Pennsylvania law, grandparents for years have held a special status that allows them to seek custody of a grandchild even against the parents’ wishes.

A new law that went into effect last summer intended to clarify the specific situations under which grandparents may pursue partial physical or supervised custody of a grandchild.

For instance, a grandparent may seek custody so long as the relationship with the child began either with the consent of a parent of the child or under a court order and the parents of the child have been separated for at least six months.

Alternatively, the new law invests custody rights in grandparents even the parents oppose it in cases when the parents are going through a divorce.

Spivak Law Firm handles all child custody and support matters, including: custody trials, custody conciliations, drafting custody orders, custody relocation, father’s rights, mother’s rights, and grandparents’ rights.

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

PFA And Divorce: Date Of Separation

The filing of a Protection From Abuse (PFA) petition against a married partner may be the first step toward divorce.

If so, the PFA will usually as a clear date of separation when the couple stopped living together.

This may prove important, as divorce laws in Pennsylvania permit a spouse to delay the divorce process by a year.

The filing of a PFA often starts the clock on the one-year waiting period.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law, including: divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, and PFAs.

To schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney, 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.

Collaborative Divorce: A New Trend

A new Pennsylvania law aims to legitimize collaborative divorce and create a uniform standard of practice.

Collaborative divorce is a relatively new, alternative way for couples to obtain a divorce without need for court intervention.

Collaborative divorce involves a problem-solving approach with interest-based negotiations rather than positional bargaining.

It involves several meetings with two clients, two collaborative lawyers, a facilitative coach who is a mental health professional, a neutral financial professional and a neutral child specialist if needed.

The meetings address all elements of the divorce, including child custody, child and spousal support, and division of the marital assets and debts.

Spivak Law Firm has received specialized training in collaborative divorce with membership in the Collaborative Law Association of Southwestern Pennsylvania. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Destroys Careers

If you’ve been served with a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, your career may be at risk.

The PFA petition alleging abusive behavior is a public record that may be viewed by your employer.

You may be especially at risk if your employment requires background checks such as nurses, teachers, coaches, and daycare providers.

Others at risk include police officers, security guards and others whose jobs require them to possess a firearm.

Under newly restrictive laws in Pennsylvania, gun possession is expressly prohibited so long as the PFA remains active.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive defense at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Fayette, Beaver, Butler. Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.

We have helped to save the careers and restore the reputations of police officers, homeland-security officers, state troopers, registered nurses, teachers, coaches, and government employees.

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

Child Custody Schedules

When a court has ordered shared custody between parents, it can be particularly challenging to alter that joint schedule.

But there are a number of circumstances where a judge may consider changing a custody schedule, including, when you or your ex:

  • Attempt to alienate the child from the other parent;
  • Repeatedly denigrate the other parent to the child;
  • Are charged or convicted with a crime;
  • Are incarcerated;
  • Are investigated by Children Youth and Families (CYF);
  • Abuse drugs or alcohol, or;
  • Relocate outside of the county.

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

Effective Parenting

The most effective parents are authoritative, according to the recently published book “Love, Money and Parenting.”

Authoritative parents use reasoning to persuade kids to do things that are good for them.

Instead of strict obedience, they emphasize adaptability, problem-solving and independence.

The book distinguishes authoritative parents from authoritarian parents – defined, by contrast, as issuing directives, expecting obedience from their children, and using corporal punishment to instill fear and inflict punishment.

Kids raised by authoritative parents report better health, higher self-esteem, and are less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, according to the authors.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law with a special focus on child custody and domestic abuse. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

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.

PFA: Economic Abuse

Economic abuse is a common tactic used by abusers to gain control and power in a relationship.

Economic abuse is present in 98 percent of abusive relationships, according to the National Network To End Domestic Violence.

Economic abuse includes methods of financial control such as withholding money, forbidding the victim from working, and controlling how all of the money is spent.

The effects of economic abuse can be devastating. In fact, 60 percent of domestic violence survivors reported losing their jobs as a direct consequence of the abuse.

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.