Archive for February, 2012

Client Avoids Departmental Hearing and 5 Points

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a client who was charged with driving 31 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, which is a summary offense under 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3362.  A conviction of this offense would have given our client five (5) points on his driving record, and, based on our client’s current situation, would have triggered a PennDOT Departmental Hearing; additionally, he would have very likely received some sort of license suspension from PennDOT.

At the hearing, Attorney McAllister negotiated with the police officer to reduce the citation.  Attorney McAllister explained our client’s situation, and he was able to successfully convince the police officer to give our client a “one-time” break.  The citation was reduced to driving 5 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, an offense which carries no points.

Needless to say, our client was very happy that he didn’t get any additional points on his driving record.  Additionally, he avoided the possibility of a license suspension.

If you or someone you know has a traffic ticket in Berks County, Pennsylvania, or Reading, Pennsylvania, please contact us at 610-372-5128 to setup a no-cost consultation with one of our attorneys.

Client Saved from 60 days in Jail and 1 Year License Suspension

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Attorney Dan Nevins represented a Kutztown University student charged with Driving Under a Suspended License/ DUI related – a violation of Section 1543(b) of the Pennsylvania vehicle code.
By statute, a conviction would call for a mandatory 60 to 90 day prison sentence and a one year license suspension.

Fortunately, there were many mitigating factors to point to when negotiating with the Officer. In the end the client entered a plea to a violation of Section 1501 of the vehicle code – Driving without a License and was fined $200. No jail time, no license suspension.

The attorneys at Ebner, Nevins & McAllister regularly represent individuals facing Berks County traffic tickets and license suspensions. Call our office today to get started on fighting your Berks County Traffic Citation.

Client Awarded Credit for Time Served

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Attorney McAllister recently represented a client who had been sentenced to thirty (30) days in Berks County Prison for driving on a suspended license under 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543(a).  The client came to our office after being previously found guilty and sentenced in a Berks County District Court.  Additionally, by the time our client came to our office, her appeal rights had passed since there is only a thirty (30) day appeal period under Pennsylvania Law.

After Attorney McAllister reviewed the case, however, he was able to determine that our client should have been awarded “credit” for time spent in Berks County Prison.  Therefore, Attorney McAllister filed a summary appeal and a motion with the Berks County Court of Common Pleas seeking “credit for time served”.  These court filings also delayed the original start date of our client’s jail sentence.

Eventually the case made its way into court, and Attorney McAllister was able to successfully argue for “credit time” to be applied to our client’s case.  Instead of having to serve a full thirty (30) days, our client will now only have to serve around five (5) days in Berks County Prison.  Without the assistance of Attorney McAllister, our client would have had to serve twenty-five more days in Berks County Prison.

Our client was more than happy with the outcome of her case.  If you or someone you know is facing a possible jail sentence for a traffic-related offense, please contact our office right away at 610-372-5128.  One of our attorneys will be happy to discuss your case in detail during a no-cost consultation.

Theft Charges Dismissed At Preliminary Hearing

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Recently, Attorney Ryan W. McAllister represented a client who had been charged with “theft of leased property”, a misdemeanor offense under 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3932 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.  Our client had failed to return some rented equipment to a business located in Berks County.  Although our client had made attempts to work things out with the owner of the business, eventually the police got involved and our client was charged criminally.

At the hearing, Attorney McAllister approached the attorneys from the Berks County District Attorney’s Office in an attempt to informally resolve the matter.  The business owner was owed money for his unreturned items, and our client was willing to pay that money to make the business owner “whole”.  The prosecution, however, would not agree to “dismiss” the charges against our client; instead the prosecution wanted to the charges against our client to “stick”, which would risk our client having a criminal record.

Faced with this possible outcome, Attorney McAllister had a hearing before the District Judge.  Attorney McAllister argued that our client did not have the requisite “mens rea”, or criminal intent, to commit a crime.  Rather, it was just a misunderstanding that got out of hand.  On top of that, Attorney McAllister stressed the fact that our client was ready, willing, and able to make the business owner “whole” by paying full restitution.

The District Judge agreed with Attorney McAllister’s arguments and dismissed the criminal charges against our client.  In the end, our client was very happy with the outcome of the case.  We anticipate filing an expungement in the near future to ensure that no trace of this incident remains on our client’s otherwise spotless record.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense in Reading or Berks County, Pennsylvania, please contact our office immediately at 610-372-5128 to setup a no-cost consultation with one of our skilled and experienced attorneys.

Auto Theft Charges Dismissed after Reading PA Preliminary Hearing

Friday, February 17th, 2012

This afternoon I (attorney Dan Nevins) represented a client charges with Receiving Stolen Property, Theft, Unauthorized Use of an Automobile, Simple Assault and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. The allegation was that my client, a passenger in a vehicle, began to hit the driver. At some point the driver stopped the vehicle and got out at which time my client got in the driver’s seat and drove away, leaving the car a couple of blocks away.
At a Preliminary Hearing the Commonwealth must make a prima facie showing for each charge in order for it to be held for court. This is a much lower burden than the Commonwealth must meet at trial.
In this case I argued that there was insufficient evidence to meet even a prima facie burden as to the auto theft charges. Fortunately, those charges were all dismissed and my client will now only face misdemeanor – an not felony – charges.

Call our office today for a free consultation for your Berks County Criminal Case. We provide skilled and experienced representation for individuals charged with all manners of felonies and misdemeanors in Berks County and neighboring areas.

Money Seized from Client by Police is Returned

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Today I (attorney Dan Nevins) was able to secure the return of $1,639.00 to a client previously charged with a narcotics offense in Berks County, PA. The money had been seized by Police incident to the arrest for Possession of Marijuana and Paraphernalia and pursuant to the forfeiture statute in the Drug Act. In the end, the Commonwealth agreed to return the funds to my client and not proceed to forfeiture.

The law can be strict with regard to money or property seized by law enforcement during a drug investigation. Of course, on many occasions the cash found by police in a warranted raid on a drug house is clearly proceeds of the drug trade and should be properly forfeited. Sometimes, though, money or property found is completely unrelated to narcotics or actually owned by an innocent third party. If property has been taken from you as part of a criminal investigation you may be entitled to relief. Call our office today for a free consultation.

Client Avoids Departmental Hearing/ 15 Day License Suspension in Berks County Speeding Case

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Today I represented a client charged with a Speeding Citation in a Berks County, PA District Court. The allegation was that she was 31 mph or more over the speed limit – and specifically that she was traveling 89 mph in a 55 zone. If convicted (or if she simply mailed in a plea and a fine) she would face an automatic PENNDOT departmental hearing which would lead to either a 15 day suspension, a driver improvement class or a driver’s examination. In addition, she would face 5 points on her license.

Fortunately, I was able to work out a favorable resolution with the Trooper which the Judge accepted. In the end my client was guilty of only 15 over, a 3 point offense. The result being no departmental hearing, license suspension and no significant increase in insurance rates.

We regularly represent motorists charged with traffic violations in Berks County, Pennsylvania. Even a speeding ticket can adversely affect your driving privilege and insurance costs. Call our office today to learn how retaining an experienced attorney can improve your chances of a favorable resolution to your Berks County traffic citation or speeding ticket case.

Client’s Vehicle Returned Following Police Seizure

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

I recently represented a former Penn State Berks student charged with felony narcotics offenses. A large amount of marijuana was found in the trunk of the vehicle he was driving and both the drugs and the vehicle were seized by the police. Fortunately, I was able to keep the young man out of prison and secured him a probationary sentence.

The Commonwealth, however, retained possession of the vehicle and was moving toward forfeiture. The fact of the matter, however, was that my client’s mother was the owner and primary operator of the vehicle – an innocent owner. My position, therefore, was that the vehicle should not be subject to forfeiture as a conduit to commit drug sales and instead be returned to the owner.
In the end, my client’s mother got her vehicle back.

The automobile, as it turned out, belonged to the young man’s mother.

If you are seeking the return of property seized by police in Reading or Berks County, PA you should seek counsel to determine your options. You may be entitled to all or a portion of the money or property taken from you in connection with a criminal case. Call our office today for a free consultation.

Client Saves $3,500 in Fines in Food Safety Case

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Yesterday I represented a Reading, PA business owner facing 14 summary citations for Food Safety Violations. A representative of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture charged the client for the alleged violations following an inspection of a warehouse facility. Fortunately we were able to negotiate a settlement cutting the client’s charges and fines in half which ultimately resulted in a savings of over $3,500.

If you are facing steep fines due to a summary non-traffic citation you need to protect your interests and engage the services of an attorney. Our firm regularly represents business owners, who are facing heavy financial penalties and loss of licenses or permits as a result of their business activities. Call our firm today to schedule a free consultation.