Spivak Law Firm | Pittsburgh, PA

Based in Pittsburgh, PA

412-344-4900

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Pittsburgh Criminal Defense

Criminal Court: The Process

If your criminal case cannot be resolved at the preliminary hearing before a magistrate, it moves to the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the alleged crime occurred.

First, there will be a formal arraignment. Your attorney will enter his or her appearance and obtain your next court date.

Next, there will be a pretrial conference. Your attorney will meet with the prosecutor to discuss everything from documentary evidence to key witnesses to potential settlement options including plea deals.

If the case cannot be resolved, it will move to a trial. Your case may be tried before the assigned judge or a jury of your peers.

Spivak Law Firm handles all areas of criminal defense with a special focus on domestic-violence defense.

For a free consultation, call us at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

Juvenile Defense in Allegheny County

As the saying goes, “kids will be kids.”

Perhaps your child was influenced by others, was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or acted in the heat of the moment.

But in the eyes of the law, the criminal actions of children can have serious consequences, such as being adjudicated delinquent and even removed from the family.

Criminal charges can adversely impact your child’s ability to obtain a driver’s license, employment, and even student loans.

Spivak Law Firm, which handles all family law and criminal defense matters, represents juveniles in Allegheny County.

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

Helping Juvenile Offenders

Family Pic9In Pennsylvania, people under 18 who commit crimes go to family court, where the approach is more rehabilitative and less punitive. Some policy experts advocate raising the family court’s age to young adults up to 25-years-old.

“Young adults are more similar to adolescents than fully mature adults in important ways,” wrote Vincent Schiraldi and Bruce Western of the Harvard Kennedy School in a recent column published in The Washington Post. “They are more susceptible to peer pressure, less future-oriented, and more volatile in emotionally charged settings.”

Additionally, they point to “disastrous” public safety outcomes resulting from drawing a line at age 18: “For example, 78 percent of 18- to 24-year-old released from prison are rearrested and about half return to prison within three years, the highest rescidivism rate of any age cohort.”

Spivak Law Firm handles all family law and criminal defense matters. We are routinely appointed to represent juveniles in Allegheny County. To schedule a consultation, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

5 Reasons To Fight A Summary Offense

If you’re charged with a summary offense, fight it. Here’s why:

First, if the police officer doesn’t show up to the hearing, the judge will dismiss it.

Second, if you did not commit the crime, you should never plead guilty just for the sake of expediency.

Third, even if you committed the crime alleged, your attorney may be able to strike a deal. For instance, the charges may be dismissed on condition that you complete community service.

Fourth, even if you’re found guilty at the summary trial, you have the right to appeal within 30 days and get a new trial before a different judge.

Fifth, a conviction will remain on your criminal record for five years before you can even begin the process of expungement.

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

PFA Defendants Must Hire An Attorney

DV Pic2Q: Will a public defender represent me at my Protection From Abuse (PFA) hearing?

A: No.

People accused of abuse often make the terrible mistake of appearing in PFA Court without a lawyer to defend them. Many think that a public defender – a “free” lawyer – will be appointed to represent them.

But a public defender is available to low-income people in criminal matters only. A PFA is not a criminal matter. A PFA hearing takes place in family court not criminal court.

A PFA is a civil restraining order that restricts an “abuser” from having any contact with the “victim.” A PFA only becomes a criminal matter if the “abuser” violates the PFA Order.

If you’ve been served with a PFA, you need an attorney experienced in family law and criminal defense to represent you. At Spivak Law Firm, we’ve helped hundreds of people get the PFA dismissed while preserving their child-custody rights and protecting their reputations.

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

ARD Requirements in Allegheny County

200488043-001The Allegheny County ARD Probation Program was designed to supervise the first-time, non-violent offender who has been given a second chance at having a clean criminal record. Participants in the ARD Program are expected to serve a term of supervision lasting from six month to two years. Conditions of supervision depend on the charged offense and may require the offender to complete one or more of the following:

  • DUI classes
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Community service
  • Domestic abuse classes
  • Anger management classes
  • Retail theft classes
  • Mental health treatment
  • Restitution
  • Court costs

To learn if you qualify for ARD in Allegheny County, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.