Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

Spivak Law Firm is BBB Accredited

Allegheny County PFA Lawyer

Tracking PFA Defendants

Under Pennsylvania law, a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order carries serious consequences.

It may evict you from your home, restrict you from your children, and even lead to your arrest.

New legislation may further strengthen the law by requiring PFA defendants to wear an electronic monitoring device.

Dozens of other states allow GPS monitoring for domestic-violence suspects.

In Pennsylvania, such devices are commonly used for criminal defendants.

PFAs are administered by family courts, though violating a PFA order may lead to criminal charges including Indirect Criminal Contempt, which carries a maximum six-month jail sentence.

The legislation regarding electronic monitoring comes on the heels of the 2018 law requiring a person under an active PFA order to turn over their firearms to local law enforcement within 24 hours.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings. For a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Orders May Affect Divorce

Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders can significantly affect a divorce.

A PFA can evict a person from their own home for an extended period of time. If you are going through a divorce, a PFA can evict a spouse from the marital residence and provide the other spouse leverage for maintaining the residence as part of the divorce settlement.

A PFA can also restrict a parent from his or her children. This could have a detrimental effect on your custody rights as you proceed through divorce.

If your custody rights are restricted due to a PFA, you may also be required to pay child support as a result since the other parent is primarily raising the child.

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law matters, including: divorce, child custody, child support, PFA defense, PFA for victims, division of assets and debts, spousal support, and alimony.

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

Couples Break Up In PFA Court

Under Pennsylvania law, Protection From Abuse (PFA) orders require a family or intimate relationship between the alleged victim and abuser.

While some rare cases pit parent against child or brother against brother, the vast majority of cases occur between spouses or ex-lovers.

PFA court can be highly emotional, as people are torn from their children, evicted from their homes, and fear losing their jobs.

An abuser often wants to reconcile with the person who obtained the PFA against them. In these situations, it is hard for them to accept that their relationship has been ended without an ability to speak or get closure.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings. To speak with an experienced PFA attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

If You Witness Domestic Abuse

While domestic violence typically happens behind closed doors, in some cases it occurs in a public space or around friends or family members, meaning that other people may witness or be aware of the abuse.

Here are 3 tips for what you might do to intervene:

  • Take into account your own safety as well as the survivor’s. Gather a group of people to stand nearby and either verbally or physically intervene.
  • Contact the authorities if necessary.
  • Approach the victim afterwards in a private space and provide them with the contact information of support services.

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.

PFA Affects Coaches And Volunteers

If you coach youth sports, a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order could threaten your ability to volunteer your time with children and damage your reputation in the community.

Judges routinely grant requests for Temporary PFA Orders by people alleging abuse. In many Pennsylvania counties, judges grant more than 90 percent of PFA requests.

A PFA can restrict you from your home and your kids, as well as threaten your employment and even your liberty if you are accused of violating the Order.

Additionally, a PFA can appear on a mandatory background check that may bar you from coaching children – even if the accusations contained in the PFA have nothing to do with children.

Spivak Law Firm aims to help people in Pittsburgh and nearby counties to get the PFA dismissed. We have effectively represented many people who require a clean background check, including: coaches, teachers, police officers, nurses and childcare workers.

If you’ve been served with a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA And Guns: Law Requires Police Involvement

Pennsylvania has adopted tougher rules for guns in domestic-abuse cases.

A new law requires that people subjected to a Final Protection From Abuse (PFA) order must turn over their guns to police.

PFA defendants will not longer be able to merely let a family member or friend take possession of the firearms.

For years, Pennsylvania’s “third-party safekeeping” provision allowed PFA defendants to choose a person to hold onto their guns. Police would run a criminal-background check to ensure the person was permitted to possess firearms.

During legislative hearings, the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association expressed concerns about the cost of storing guns.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, aggressive representation at PFA hearings and all criminal domestic-violence hearings. We routinely handle PFAs and PFA violations, as well as criminal cases alleging simple assault, harassment, stalking, reckless endangerment, and terroristic threats.

To schedule a free consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Orders Restrict Child Custody Rights

Q: I was served with a PFA. Can I see my kids?

A: Please review the PFA order closely. There is a section in the PFA that addresses your child custody rights while the order remains active.

In many cases, the order states that the defendant shall have no contact with their minor children until the PFA is resolved. This may occur even if the allegations of abuse do not involve the children.

In other cases, the PFA order will allow contact with the children on a limited basis, including by phone or in person if arranged by a third party.

You must follow the PFA order. If you are accused of violating the PFA even by having non-threatening contact, you may face arrest and criminal charges.

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

PFA Prohibits Even Friendly Contact

A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order is granted based on allegations of abusive contact. This includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, threats of abuse, harassment, and stalking.

Once a PFA Order becomes effective, it prohibits all contact with the alleged victim.

Even non-abusive contact is strictly forbidden.

People are commonly arrested for violating PFAs by simply texting them a message that is well-intended and non-threatening.

But even a non-threatening, technical violation of a PFA may result in your arrest.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, compassionate, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings in Pittsburgh and all surrounding counties, including: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Crawford, Fayette, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington and Westmoreland.

If you have been served with a PFA or face criminal charges for violating a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

PFA Destroys Reputations

A Protection From Abuse (PFA) Order can ruin a person’s reputation.

A PFA is a restraining order that alleges abusive behavior, such as: physical violence, sexual violence, harassment, threats of violence, or stalking.

In Pennsylvania, most defendants first learn about the PFA when a police officer serves them with the Order.

This can be humiliating when done at work where colleagues and employers are immediately made aware of the issue.

It’s no less embarrassing when served at home in front of neighbors and family.

The PFA petition, which details the alleged abuse, is an easily accessible public document.

The petition may contain lies or exaggerations, though it appears official because it is part of a formal Order of Court signed by a judge.

At Spivak Law Firm, we provide strong defense at PFA hearings. We also help people erase PFA petitions and orders from the public record when possible.

If you’ve been served with a PFA, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Spivak Law Firm Featured In PFA News

Attorney Todd Spivak, owner of Spivak Law firm, was featured in a recent article discussing unintended consequences of a new provision in Pennsylvania’s Protection From Abuse (PFA) law, which makes it easier for domestic-violence victims to receive a police escort to retrieve personal belongings.

In most cases, PFA defendants are the ones who need to pick up belongings because the PFA order evicted them from the home. In such cases, Attorney Spivak advises PFA defendants to pay a constable to coordinate the exchange and keep the peace. Moreover, having a law-enforcement official present protects defendants from allegations that they violated the PFA.

Attorney Spivak described the new police-escort law as good common sense, though he predicted a potential drain on police resources in some areas given the sheer number of PFA orders that are processed. About 40,000 PFA orders are processed annually across the state.

Spivak Law Firm provides strong, cost-effective representation at PFA hearings. Based in Pittsburgh, we routinely handle cases in the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Crawford, Fayette, Indiana, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland.

For a free consultation with an experienced PFA defense attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.