Archive for October, 2011

Berks County’s DUI STOP Program

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Today I represented 2 individuals who are both charged with 2nd time DUI offenses in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Under mandatory sentencing laws a highest tier (.16+) DUI carries a 90 day jail if it is the second such offense within the last 10 years. With a second time conviction an offender also faces an 18 month license suspension followed by ignition interlock.

Fortunately, Berks County has an excellent program known as “STOP” or the Second Time Offenders Program for Driving Under the Influence. A successful candidate with a highest tier offense will end up with a 5 day jail sentence plus 85 days on house arrest or in a halfway house rather than the 90 day prison sentence. Additionally, the successful candidate will receive personalized treatment and counseling depending on the nature and extent of their substance abuse issues. Over the years the Berks County STOP program has done a terrific job of rehabilating offenders while protecting the public.

The laws in Pennsylvania are tough on repeat DUI offenders. For more information on alternative sentencing in Berks County call our office for a free consultation. You may be eligible for ARD, STOP or DUI Treatment Court.

DUI Charges Dismissed

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Earlier this week Attorney Ryan W. McAllister had a bench trial scheduled in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas for a client who was charged with Driving under the Influence of Alcohol, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3802.  Our client was on State Parole at the time he was charged with the DUI offense, so it was critical that our client “beat” the DUI charge; otherwise, despite that fact that it was only a first offense DUI, our client would be headed back to state prison for over a year.Sealed Air-Zelt

Attorney McAllister was prepared to present a vigorous defense at the trial.  However, before the start of trial, the assistant district attorney assigned to the case made a request that the Judge continue the trial to a later date to allow the Commonwealth to seek additional witnesses.  Attorney McAllister objected to this request since his client had already been in custody for a significant period of time.

Ultimately, the Judge denied the request to continue the case.  In the end, all of the charges against our client, including several charges that would have suspended our client’s driver’s license, were dismissed by the Judge.  Our client and our client’s family were extremely happy with the outcome, knowing the our client would be released from jail in just a few short days instead of over a year if he was convicted.

If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in Reading or Berks County, please contact our firm at 610-372-5128 to setup a no-cost consultation as soon as possible.  Timing can be critical in criminal cases, and it is always best to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney prior to going to court.dong fang qi mo

PFA Case Dismissed

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

A few weeks ago, Attorney Ryan W. McAllister represented a client who was the defendant in a PFA case filed by his wife.  A temporary PFA was granted against our client, which prohibited him from having any contact whatsoever with his wife as well as his young son.  Our client vehemently denied the facts of the PFA, which alleged that our client physically assaulted his wife.

At the final PFA hearing, Attorney McAllister was prepared to contest the PFA with a vigorous defense, including witnesses and photographic evidence.  Attorney McAllister discussed the case with our client’s wife, and he attempted to negotiate a resolution that would be extremely favorable to our client.  Additionally, Attorney McAllister let our client’s wife know that, if push came to shove, there would be a full blown hearing on the matter.Sealed Air-Zelt

Ultimately, Attorney McAllister, through successful negotiating techniques, was able to get our client’s wife to drop the PFA entirely.  Our client was no longer prohibited from having contact with his young son.

In the end, our client was extremely happy with the outcome of his case.  If you or someone that you know is a Plaintiff or a Defendant in a PFA case, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible.  Ebner, Nevins & McAllister, LLC, is please to offer free consultations in PFA matters.  Contact us today at 610-372-5128.

Client Saved From 6 Month Prison Sentence Through Intermediate Punishment

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Today I represented a client charged with felony Fleeing and Eluding Law Enforcement for an incident occurring in Reading, Pennsylvania. It was alleged that he led police on a high speed chase throughout the City of Reading while committing about a dozen vehicle code violations before crashing his vehicle into a city rowhome. Based on sentencing guidelines he was looking at a sentence starting at a minimum of 6 to 16 months in prison if convicted.

Fortunately, I was able to get my client accepted into the Berks County Intermediate Punishment Program. This program is available for certain offenders who would otherwise be facing a county sentence in Berks County Prison. Instead of a jail sentence, an approved candidate is placed on an Electronic Monitor and given house arrest and a period of probation. Typically, one is also permitted to come and go from work and any other necessary appointments. Clearly, a preferred alternative to incarceration. In my client’s case he avoided a county sentence of 6 to 23 months plus probation and instead was placed on house arrest for a period of 6 months plus probation.

There are several alternative sentencing programs available in Berks County. Even if you are told that you are facing a long jail sentence that may not necessarily be the case. You may be eligible for ARD, County Intermediate Punishment, State Intermediate Punishment, RRRI, or one of the Treatment Court Programs. The attorneys at Ebner, Nevins & McAllister are well versed in sentencing alternatives in Berks County. Call us for a free consultation to discuss special sentencing programs in Reading and Berks County, PA.

Clearing Your Criminal Record in Berks County Pennsylvania

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Several weeks ago I represented a client charged with Harassment in Reading, PA. She was found not guilty by a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas. The verdict was great, but we wanted to make sure her criminal record remained clean as it should be.

I filed a petition to expunge the non-traffic citation so that future employers and others could not uncover the mere issuance of this citation. Even though a close review during a background check would show that she was ultimately found not guilty, many potential employers might be hesitant to hire someone who was simply accused of Harassment. By having the matter expunged you are virtually wiping away any trace of this record.

Just yesterday my petition to expunge was granted and the Judge signed an order. This order will then be distributed to the various offices and agencies that would retain these records.

You may be eligible to expunge or clear your criminal record in Pennsylvania. By statute there are several different circumstances under which you can successfully petition the court. Many people are operating under the false assumption that just because something happened a long time ago, or your case was dismissed that your record is clean. Call our office today to learn if we can help clear your record and expunge your charges.