Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Upper St. Clair PFA Lawyer

Domestic Violence: Control and Fear

 

BU010665Domestic violence often follows a pattern in which an abuser seeks to control every aspect of a victim’s life. Experts often refer to domestic violence as “intimate terrorism.”

“The perpetrator is engaging in a general pattern of control over the victim – her finances, her social contacts, the clothes she wears,” Deborah Epstein, who runs Georgetown University Law Center’s domestic violence clinic, recently told The New York Times.

Violence is the abuser’s means of enforcing that control – and of punishing any attempts to break it.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of family law and criminal defense with a focus on domestic violence and child custody. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Violations And Child Custody

PFA Pic3Violating a Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order by contacting the victim can land you in jail for up to six months. But what about violating the custody provision contained in a PFA? You can be arrested for that, too.

For instance, let’s say your PFA Order grants you supervised custody only. If you are seen alone with the child, you may be arrested and charged with Indirect Criminal Contempt (ICC).

Or, for example, if you withhold the child by not showing up at a custody exchange per the PFA Order, you may face criminal charges.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in all PFA and child custody cases. Call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Despite PFA, Pittsburgh Wife Brutally Murdered

111787230A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order is a powerful tool that restricts an abuser from having any contact with his or her victim under threat of arrest.

But, tragically, a PFA in some cases is still just a piece of paper.

On New Year’s Day, a man from Duquesne was charged with homicide and arson for setting a fire that killed his wife. According to news reports, the man tied her up, poured vodka on her, and lit the alcohol.

Two weeks earlier, she had obtained a Temporary PFA against him. But the PFA did not save her life.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants at PFA hearings in Allegheny County, Beaver County, Butler County, Clarion County, Fayette County, Indiana County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County.

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

9 Sweeping Powers of a PFA Order

BU010665A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order is a very powerful tool. Under Pennsylvania law, a Court may grant any appropriate relief needed to bring about a cessation of abuse. The most typical provisions of a PFA are as follows:

(1)  direct the abuser not to abuse the victim or the victim’s minor children;

(2)  exclude the abuser from the victim’s residence where the abuser and the victim own or rent the residence together or where the victim owns or rents alone;

(3)  exclude the abuser from the victim’s residence where the abuser owns or rents alone, so long as the abuser and victim are married or have a child together;

(4)  award temporary custody of the minor children to the victim;

(5)  direct the abuser to pay spousal and/or child support to the victim;

(6)  direct the abuser to have no contact with the victim or the victim’s minor children, nor to go to where the victim or the children work or go to school, and not to harass the victim or the victim’s minor children or relatives;

(7)  direct the abuser to relinquish to the sheriff any of the defendant’s firearms;

(8)  direct the abuser to pay for reasonable losses suffered by the victim because of the abuse;

(9)  direct the abuser not to stalk the victim.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in PFA matters. To speak with an experienced PFA lawyer, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Fight Back Against Allegations of Abuse

86505321Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people to exaggerate, fabricate or outright lie to receive a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order. As a result, many innocent people are unfairly swept into the court system. Spivak Law Firm strongly defends such people and has an excellent record of success in getting bogus PFA orders dismissed.

But what if you did it? In other words, should a person who has perpetrated abuse under Pennsylvania law simply accept a three-year Final PFA? Or is it still worthwhile to retain an experienced PFA attorney and fight back against the charges?

At Spivak Law Firm, we recommend fighting back.

In cases where the evidence is stacked against our clients, we are still able to help them by protecting their child custody rights, safeguarding their property, limiting the duration of a PFA order, and advising them on moving forward with their lives. In many cases, we are successful in avoiding a Final PFA even where abuse occurred.

At Spivak Law Firm, we do not judge our clients. We advocate strongly for them. We understand that we all have done things for which we are not proud. We treat our clients with dignity and respect by making ourselves accessible and by striving to build the strongest possible defense in every case.

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

PFA Law Adding Protections for Abuse Victims

702075.TIFPennsylvania will likely expand its Protection From Abuse (PFA) law to offer more protections for rape victims. A PFA, also known as a restraining order or protection order, is a powerful tool that restricts a perpetrator from having any contact with the victim.

Under the current PFA law, victims of abuse can get a PFA against (1) their spouse, (2) their live-in boyfriend or girlfriend, (3) a parent of their child, (4) their child, (5) their former sexual or intimate partner, (6) their parent, or (7) any family member related to them by blood or marriage.

But the PFA law does not currently protect survivors who were sexually assaulted by strangers or acquaintances. This loophole in the law will be closed if Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signs the Protection of Victims of Sexual Violence or Intimidation Act.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation for plaintiffs and defendants in PFA cases. To speak with an experienced Pittsburgh PFA lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

No Guns For Domestic Violence Offenders

99190846 copy2The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence charge from possessing a gun. The ruling specifically states that the federal law applies even in cases where there is no proof of violent acts or physical injury.

In Pennsylvania, criminal domestic violence charges generally include but are not limited to simple assault, aggravated assault, harassment, stalking, child abuse, and reckless endangerment of another person.

The federal law prohibiting gun possession does not encompass Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders. A PFA is a civil matter and only becomes criminal if the person restricted by the PFA is accused of violating the order.

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