Archive for July, 2017

ENM Law News: RCC cases dismissed

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

If you don’t know what RCC is, read our blog explaining it here.

As mentioned in the blog, if you’ve been charged with a crime within the City of Reading, your preliminary hearing will be held in Reading Central Court (RCC). RCC can be an overwhelming place and it is important to have an attorney who knows the ins and outs of the RCC system.

Our criminal law attorneys have spent many years representing clients in RCC. Here are some details about two recent cases handled by Attorney Nevins.

Attorney Nevins recently represented a client in RCC who was charged with discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure and simple assault. The client admitted that he was holding a gun that discharged, but said that it happened accidentally. The client said that he was surprised in the stairwell of his home by his estranged wife with whom he shared the house and inadvertently fired the gun. Attorney Nevins argued to the assigned Assistant District Attorney that the statute only criminalizes shots into a building from outside that building. The ADA agreed and withdrew the felony firearm charge. The client’s estranged wife who was listed as the victim in the simple assault charge indicated that she did not want to be involved with the case so Attorney Nevins asked for the assault charge to be withdrawn as well. At the end of the day, Attorney Nevins’ client walked away with no criminal charges after facing a felony of the third degree and a misdemeanor of the 2nd degree. Between the two charges he was looking at a possible 9 years of incarceration and a $20,000 fine.

Attorney Nevins also represented a client in RCC who was charged with resisting arrest. Resisting arrest is graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree and is punishable by a maximum sentence of 2 years of incarceration and a $5,000 fine. This client was sitting on the stairs next to a barbershop that had a “no trespassing” sign. A police officer approached the client and asked for his name. The client refused to give his name so the officer told him that he was being arrested. While the officer was trying to place him in handcuffs, the client stiffened his arms and the officer said that he was resisting the arrest. Unfortunately, the client was on probation at the time of his arrest so a detainer was lodged against him to keep him in jail. The client was in custody for 2 weeks waiting for his preliminary hearing in RCC. Attorney Nevins pointed out the problems in the Commonwealth’s resisting case and the Assistant District Attorney agreed to withdraw the resisting arrest charge in exchange for the client pleading guilty to a summary charge of trespass. The client agreed and was quickly released from jail.

Your preliminary hearing in RCC is your first chance to have the charges against you dismissed. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Reading, PA, contact our knowledgeable attorneys at 610-372-5128 or email us at info@enmlaw.com.

Spotlight Issue: What is Reading Central Court (RCC)?

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

You’ve been charged with a crime and now you’re scheduled for something called Reading Central Court (more commonly referred to as “RCC”). Are you wondering what that means? We can help!

In Pennsylvania, the first stop for misdemeanor and felony cases is the preliminary hearing. This hearing is held in front of a magisterial district judge. At a preliminary hearing, the Commonwealth must establish a prima facie case that a crime was committed and that the defendant was the one who committed it. This hearing is the first chance for the defendant to test the evidence offered by the Commonwealth by cross-examining the witnesses put forward. It is important for you to have an attorney present to represent you at your preliminary hearing. It is in your best interest to have a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side to evaluate the evidence and make the best arguments to the judge in support of your case.

After listening to the testimony and the arguments from the attorneys, the magisterial district judge will determine whether the Commonwealth has met their burden of proof for each charge. If the burden has not been met then the charge will be dismissed. If the burden has been met then the charges will be “bound over” to the Berks County Court of Common Pleas.

In Berks County, the location for your preliminary hearing is determined by where the alleged crime was committed. Each part of the County is divided into districts and a magisterial district judge is elected to hear cases in each area. However, all of the preliminary hearings for crimes allegedly committed within the City of Reading are held in RCC. These hearings are always held on Fridays at the Berks County Courthouse. RCC can be an overwhelming place and it is helpful to have an attorney who understands how the court operates.Our criminal law attorneys have many years of experience with navigating the RCC system and their experience can only benefit you.

If you’ve been charged with a crime in the City of Reading and have been scheduled for a preliminary hearing in RCC, contact our experienced criminal law attorneys today at 610-372-5128 or email us at info@enmlaw.com.

ENM Law News: Indecent Exposure charge dismissed following bench trial

Monday, July 10th, 2017

What do you do if you’ve been charged with a sex offense in Reading, PA that you didn’t commit? You need to hire an experienced criminal law attorney as quickly as possible. That’s exactly what a recent client did when he hired Attorney Nevins to represent him for an indecent exposure charge in Berks County.

This client was falsely accused of exposing himself to a 15-year-old girl when she was walking to school. The victim gave a physical description of the culprit which included that he had a beard. Cases like this result in great public outcry and the police are under pressure to arrest the culprit immediately even when there is questionable evidence. In this case, there was surveillance footage of the victim and the culprit prior to actual exposure, but the footage was not clear and made identification difficult. Police then looked at local Megan’s Law registrants (prior sex offenders) and found our client. No other suspects were considered. Police placed our client’s picture in a photo lineup and the victim identified him during her follow-up interview. Our client was arrested and was unable to pay bond to be released from custody because of a parole detainer lodged against him for a prior conviction.

Our client needed Attorney Nevins to quickly prove to the Court that he had been falsely accused. Attorney Nevins requested an expedited bench trial (trial heard by a judge rather than a jury) and the Court complied. Attorney Nevins presented an alibi defense which relied on the testimony of our client’s cousin. The cousin testified that she and our client were texting each other about transportation to work at the same time that the victim said the crime occurred. Further, the cousin testified about the clothes that our client was wearing when she picked him up that morning and testified that our client was clean-shaven. This physical description did not match the description given by the victim.

After hearing all of the evidence, the Judge found our client “not guilty.” This case shows the importance of investigations as well as the unreliability of eyewitness testimony. Thanks to the hard work of Attorney Nevins, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Reading, PA, this client is no longer facing charges for a crime that he did not commit.

If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense in Berks County, contact our criminal defense attorneys today at 610-372-5128 or email us at info@enmlaw.com.

Read an article about this case in the Reading Eagle by clicking here.