Archive for November, 2011

Felony Charges Reduced To Misdemeanor

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a young man charged with a serious felony offense known as “fleeing or attempting to elude police”, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3733.  Our client was only twenty years old, and he was extremely worried about having a felony on his record for the rest of his life.  Attorney McAllister was able to successfully negotiate with the district attorneys office to having the grading of this offense lowered from a “felony” to a “misdemeanor” as part of a plea deal.  Eight (8) other summary offenses that our client was facing were also dropped as part of this plea deal.

In then end, our client did have to end up pleading guilty to the misdemeanor charge of “fleeing or attempting to elude police” under 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3733.  However, he was extremely grateful that he did not end up with a felony on his record.  In some criminal cases, it is much better to work out a plea deal rather than risk a much more serious conviction by going to a trial.  Our client recognized the risks in this instance, and he made a good choice by taking the deal negotiated by Attorney McAllister.

If you have someone you know is facing criminal charges in Berks County or Reading, Pennsylvania, please contact our office right away at 610-372-5128.  We always offer no-cost consultations in criminal matters.

College Student Gets ARD For Felony Charges

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Last week Attorney Ryan W. McAllister represented a young Kutztown University student who was charged with felony burglary, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3502(a), felony criminal trespass, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3503(a)(1)(i), and misdemeanor theft by unlawful taking, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3921(b).  Our client was charged with taking some items of clothing from another university student, and, in order to take those items of clothing, our client allegedly went into another student’s dorm room without permission.  Since our client went into another student’s dorm room “without permission”, the university police charged out client with felony burglary and felony criminal trespass, in addition to theft by unlawful taking.

This was a case that could have potentially had dire consequences for our client.  A felony conviction would not only become part of our client’s permanent record, but it would also result in a long prison sentence.  Neither of these were acceptable options for our client, who was a bright college student with her entire future ahead of her.

After discussing and researching the facts of the case with our client, Attorney McAllister decided the best course of action in this case would be the ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) Program.  Although this special first-time offender program is usually reserved for misdemeanor cases, Attorney McAllister began negotiating and pressing for the ARD Program at the preliminary hearing.  Based on all of the relevant factors in the case, Attorney McAllister was able to get our client placed on the ARD Program for the misdemeanor theft charge.  Attorney McAllister was able to get the prosecution to withdraw the two (2) felonies.

Ultimately, our client will be eligible to receive a full dismissal and expungement of her entire case after successfully completing the ARD Program.  After the program is over, our client will be able to move on with her life without worrying about the effect that a conviction would have had on her future.  She is very happy with the outcome of her case, and she is looking forward to putting this unfortunate incident behind her.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense in Reading, Pennsylvania, or Berks County, Pennsylvania, please contact our office as soon as possible at 610-372-5128.  We always offer free consultations in criminal matters, and it is critical to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney prior to speaking with law enforcement.  It could be the most important call that you make.

Kutztown University Student avoids License Suspension in Underage Drinking Case

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Yesterday I (attorney Dan Nevins) represented a client charged with an Underage Drinking Citation in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. A conviction on such an offense comes with a three (3) month license suspension and the consequences of an alcohol related conviction.

In this particular case I had my client complete 12 hours of alcohol awareness education in an effort to mitigate the consequences. In the end the officers agreed to amend the citation to Disorderly Conduct. As a result my client was able to avoid the suspension and the alcohol conviction.

If you are a Berks County college student charged with an Underage Drinking citation you need experienced legal counsel.  Please call our office to schedule a free consultation.  You may be eligible for a reduction in charges, the “second chance program”  or a summary appeal to a district court conviction.

All Charges Withdrawn in Reading PA Stabbing Case

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Last week attorney Elizabeth Ebner secured a full withdrawal of charges for a Reading woman charged with stabbing her boyfriend. Originally jailed on Aggravated Assault charges – Liz won her client’s release through a bail reduction at the preliminary hearing. Liz continued to fight for her client even after getting the charges reduced from the felony level down to misdemeanors. In this case the Commonwealth had issues with the cooperation of key witnesses, but they did have the damaging evidence of a bloody knife in our client’s sink.
Due to Liz’s persistence, however, the District Attorney’s office eventually agreed to withdraw the case entirely in the end. Congratulations and great job, Liz!

Client Avoids Jail Time and License Suspension in Reading PA DUI Case

Friday, November 11th, 2011

Yesterday I represented a client charged with a Highest Tier (above .16 BAC) DUI offense – 3802(c). A conviction on that offense would result in 3 days to 6 months in jail and a one year license suspension. The District Attorney’s office had denied our requests for ARD placement due to my client’s prior, though unrelated, record.

Fortunately, we had a viable defense to the BAC specific offense due to the facts of the case. Part of what the Commonwealth needs to do to win a conviction on a 3802(c) offense is to prove that the motorist’s BAC was over .16 within two hours of operating the vehicle. In this case Police encountered my client who was standing near a vehicle that had been stuck in the railroad tracks. My client subsequently submitted to field sobriety tests and eventually the blood draw which showed his BAC to be above .16. He also made some statements indicating that he was the driver of the vehicle that was stuck on the tracks. However, I knew that the Commonwealth would have trouble proving that his blood was drawn within two hours of operating the vehicle – which is required for the BAC specific offense. Accordingly, we set the case for trial.

Just before we were set to begin the Assistant District Attorney agreed to drop the 3802(c) in exchange for a plea to a 3802(a)(1) – general impairment. This reduced the impact to my client from 3 days in jail to Zero days in jail and 1 year license suspension to no license suspension.

If you are facing a Driving Under the Influence charge in Reading or Berks County, Pennsylvania you need an experienced DUI trial attorney. I have obtained favorable results for several hundred DUI clients in Berks County over the past 6 years including Not Guilty verdicts, suppression of evidence, reduction in charges or placement in an alternative sentencing program. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.

Client Avoids 60 day Mandatory Jail Sentence in Suspended License Case

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Today I represented a client charged with violating section 1543(b) of the PA Vehicle Code – Driving Under a Suspended License – DUI Related. The sentence is strict for a conviction for such an offense: 60 days mandatory in jail, and the possibility of up to 90 days at the discretion of the Judge. Additionally, a Driving Under Suspended License (DUS) citation carries a 1 year License Suspension from PENNDOT.

In this particular case I was able to negotiate a reduction in the charge down to the lesser offense of a 1543(a) – non-DUI related. This allowed my client to avoid at least 60 days in Berks County Prison.

If you are facing a DUS/DUI charge or other traffic citation or driver’s license issue in Berks County or Reading, PA you need experienced legal representation. It is not advisable to attempt to represent yourself in such matters. Our attorneys represent clients throughout southeaster Pennsylvania on all manners of vehicle code violations. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.