Archive for December, 2017

ENM Law News: “Not guilty” verdict in Homicide trial

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

A criminal case can’t get much more serious than a murder charge and not all attorneys are capable of handling this type of case. However, when Attorney Nevins was given the responsibility of representing a client accused of criminal homicide in Reading, PA, he knew that he was up to the challenge.

Our client was charged with fatally shooting a man during the early morning hours of June 4, 2016. Video from the incident showed that the decedent was the initial aggressor and that our client backed away. The decedent went for his waistband, but came away with nothing. At the same time, our client drew his legally possessed weapon and pointed it as the decedent advanced seven steps towards our client. Our client fired one shot. After interviewing our client, the police reviewed surveillance footage and because there was a discrepancy between our client’s report and the video, the police filed a homicide charge. Because of the nature of the charge, our client was denied bail pending trial.

After consultation with his client, Attorney Nevins decided that the argument at trial would be one of justification: that our client was justified in using deadly force in defense of himself. In preparation for trial, Attorney Nevins filed a motion in front of the judge asking that he be allowed to present evidence of the decedent’s gang affiliation as well as history as a domestic abuser. This type of evidence is permitted at trial only under narrow circumstances. In a major win for the defense, the judge granted Attorney Nevins’ motion and this important evidence was heard by the jury. In addition, Attorney Nevins was permitted to present testimony of our client’s former service in the Marines. Ultimately, Attorney Nevins was able to convince the jury that our client acted reasonably in defending himself with deadly force. The jury found our client “not guilty” and he was released after spending almost a 1 ½ years in Berks County Prison while awaiting his day in court.

While you may not need help with a homicide charge, you want to be represented by a Reading, PA criminal law attorney who knows how to represent a client against the most serious of charges. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Berks County, contact our knowledgeable criminal attorneys at 610-372-5128 or info@enmlaw.com.

ENM Law News: Felony Burglary charge dismissed at preliminary hearing

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Usually, a Reading, PA attorney’s first chance to make a difference in your criminal case is at the preliminary hearing. The Commonwealth has to present evidence of a prima facie case in order for the charges to be bound over to the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. All preliminary hearings for cases within the City of Reading are held on Fridays in Reading Central Court (read more about preliminary hearings and RCC here). A preliminary hearing is the first time that your attorney can hear the evidence against you and test the Commonwealth’s witnesses. The best case scenario is that the case is dismissed at the preliminary hearing.

Attorney McAllister recently had one of those “best case scenarios.” Attorney McAllister’s client was charged with Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure, a felony of the second degree, along with associated theft charges. The Burglary charge carried a maximum permissible sentence of 10 years of incarceration and a $25,000 fine. Further, this client was committed to Berks County Prison and remained incarcerated pending his preliminary hearing. Obviously, this client was facing a very difficult situation.

The Commonwealth’s case was based on the statement of a witness who told police that our client admitted to burglarizing a storage unit. Attorney McAllister saw an opportunity to attack the witness’s credibility and version of events and insisted on a hearing in Reading Central Court. As Attorney McAllister expected, the Commonwealth’s witness fell apart on the stand and was unable to implicate our client in the crime. His story crumbled further under cross-examination by Attorney McAllister. The Magisterial District Judge could only rely on the witness’s statement in court and granted Attorney McAllister’s request to dismiss all of the charges.

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Reading, PA, call our experienced preliminary hearing attorneys to discuss the best way to handle your case. Contact us at 610-372-5128 or info@enmlaw.com.