Archive for February, 2013

Not Guilty Verdict in Reading, PA Harassment Case

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

On February 14, 2013 Attorney Dan Nevins successfully defended a Berks County man charged with Harassment in connection with an incident occurring the previous month in Reading, Pennsylvania. Harassment is a summary offense in Pennsylvania and is punishable by fines and up to 90 days in jail. In this particular case a Berks County Magisterial District Judge found the client not guilty following testimony and Attorney Nevins’ argument at the Reading, PA summary trial.

The attorneys of Ebner, Nevins & McAllister regularly defend individuals facing allegations of abuse, assault or harassment in Berks County and throughout central and southeastern Pennsylvania. Our attorneys understand the complexities of the law and how that relates to the individual and that individual’s relationships. If you are facing a difficult domestic situation or have been accused of abuse or threats you need skilled legal representation. The attorneys of Ebner, Nevins & McAllister are always accepting new clients and referrals and offer a free initial consultation on all criminal matters including Simple Assault, Terroristic Threats, Harassment and Protection From Abuse.

Client Not Guilty in Underage Drinking Case

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a young college student who was charged with underage drinking. Our client was a student at a local Berks County college, and she was attending a party with other students when the party got “busted”. A lot of local police officers showed up, and virtually all the students present were given breathalyzer tests, and many of the students were given citations for underage drinking under 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308.

Although the citation itself may not seem terribly serious at first, many young people, especially college students, are afraid of having a conviction for this type of offense on their “record”. Additionally, a conviction for underage drinking will result in PennDOT suspending the defendant’s license for a period of at least 90 days. Finally, the amount of fines and court costs involved can quickly approach $500.00.

For these reasons, Attorney McAllister and his client decided they would “fight” the charge at a summary trial before the local Berks County Magisterial District Judge. On the day of the hearing, the police officer who issued the citation took the witness stand and attempted to testify about the incident as it related to our client. Attorney McAllister cross-examined the officer, and the defendant even testified when it was time for the defense to present their case. At the close of evidence, Attorney McAllister made a convincing closing argument to the District Judge, who subsequently found our client “not guilty” of the underage drinking charge.

The next day, Attorney McAllister began the process of filing an expungement to get this any trace of this information off of our client’s record.

Needless to say, our client was extremely happy with the outcome. She would not receive any fines or court costs as a penalty, and she would not receive any suspension of her license. Most importantly, though, our client would not have a record of a conviction for this offense. If you, your child, or someone you know is charged with 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308 (underage drinking) in Reading, PA, or Berks County, PA, please contact our law firm right away at 610-372-5128. It could mean the difference between a conviction and a not guilty verdict.

Client Avoids Jail Time in Berks DUI Case

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a client who was charged with a 1st offense DUI in Berks County. Our client was charged with DUI at the “highest rate” since his blood alcohol content was greater than .16%. Therefore, our client was facing a mandatory sentence of 72 hours in jail and a 12 month license loss if he was convicted. In order to avoid the jail time and lower the license suspension, Attorney McAllister initially applied our client to the “ARD” Program. However, based on the specific facts of the case, our client was denied entry into the ARD Program by the Berks County District Attorney’s Office.

Therefore, since our client was denied entry into this special program, Attorney McAllister was left to “fight” the case on behalf of our client. Attorney McAllister filed a Omnibus Pre-trial Motion seeking to suppress the evidence of the blood results based on an illegal arrest. Attorney McAllister also sought to have the charges against our client thrown out on a habeas corpus motion.

On the day of the pre-trial hearing, the assistant district attorney assigned to the case approached Attorney McAllister and offered up a “plea bargain”. In exchange for withdrawing the motion to suppress the evidence and dismiss the charges, the district attorney’s office would allow our client to plead guilty to the reduced charge of a “general impairment” DUI. Although this would still result in a conviction on our client’s record, our client would not have to do any jail time, and there would be no license loss associated with the conviction. It was a difficult decision for our client, but, in the end, he decided on the “sure bet” and took the deal.

Our client was very satisfied in that he received no jail time instead of 72 hours and no license loss instead of 12 months. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges in Reading, PA, or Berks County, PA, please call us right away at 610-372-5128. One of our experienced and dedicated attorneys will be happy to discuss your case in detail at a no-cost consultation.

Suppression Motion Granted in Reading PA Felony Drug Case

Monday, February 11th, 2013

On February 11, 2013 attorney Dan Nevins won a motion to suppress evidence in a Possession with Intent Deliver case in Reading, Pennsylvania. The client was facing a 2 year “school zone” mandatory minimum sentence if he were to be convicted of the allegations. As a result of the Judge’s decision all evidence discovered as a result of the illegal search and seizure will be inadmissible.

This particular case involved officers in an unmarked car approaching a young man who was carrying a backpack and walking down the street in a bad neighborhood. The police continued to follow the individual and eventually jumped out of the car to encounter him. They did not identify themselves as officers. The individual, who saw three men following him, decided to run. One officer chased on foot and the others do so in their unmarked car.inflatable water park

Fortunately the case law dictates that unprovoked flight in a high crime area only leads to reasonable suspicion of criminal activity if the individual knew he was running from Police. ┬áIn this case, there was no indication that the individual had any idea who was chasing him – he only knew he was in a bad area and someone was after him.

Our attorneys have defended countless individuals who have been victims of illegal searches and seizures in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. Ebner, Nevins & McAllister, LLC has a strong track record of protecting the rights of the accused in Pennsylvania. If you suspect that you have been illegally arrested or detained, coerced into giving a statement or had evidence or items illegally seized you may have legal recourse. Call today to schedule a free consultation.

Furnishing Alcohol To Minors Charges Dismissed Following Preliminary Hearing

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

This week attorney Dan Nevins represented a Berks County client charged with the seven counts of the misdemeanor offense of furnishing alcohol to a minor. It was alleged that a mother and father had “furnished” alcohol to their son and six of his friends after police arrived at their residence and found the teenagers drinking alcohol in the basement.

The teenagers were charged with underage drinking and at least two were also alleged to have been in possession of a small amount of marijuana. The parents, who were upstairs in their pajamas and unaware of what was happening in the basement, found themselves charged criminally in the incident.tian xiao cheng

At the time scheduled for the preliminary hearing the Assistant District Attorney requested a continuance so that he might have the opportunity to subpoena the teenagers to determine if any of them would provide a statement that would incriminate the parents. Attorney Nevins and co-counsel, Attorney Mike Boland, objected to such a request as it amounted to nothing more than a fishing expedition. The District Judge agreed and ordered the Commonwealth to present its caseInflatable Dream Castle. Astonishingly, it turned out that the prosecuting officer had obtained a statement from one of the teenagers regarding the source of the alcohol — she had brought it!

With that development the ADA persisted with the bogus prosecution under the theory that the parents had “furnished” the alcohol in that they knowingly and intentionally allowed the underage drinking to go on in their home. (Bearing in mind that the incident occurred in a secluded part of the basement, with no loud noises or music playing, after midnight, with the parents upstairs in pajamas on the other side of the house.)

Fortunately, following testimony, the District Judge dismissed every count against both “defendants” and admonished the ADA for his “theories.”