Posts Tagged ‘Berks County Adult Probation parole’

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 Saved From 6 Month Prison Sentence Through Intermediate Punishment

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Today I represented a client charged with felony Fleeing and Eluding Law Enforcement for an incident occurring in Reading, Pennsylvania. It was alleged that he led police on a high speed chase throughout the City of Reading while committing about a dozen vehicle code violations before crashing his vehicle into a city rowhome. Based on sentencing guidelines he was looking at a sentence starting at a minimum of 6 to 16 months in prison if convicted.

Fortunately, I was able to get my client accepted into the Berks County Intermediate Punishment Program. This program is available for certain offenders who would otherwise be facing a county sentence in Berks County Prison. Instead of a jail sentence, an approved candidate is placed on an Electronic Monitor and given house arrest and a period of probation. Typically, one is also permitted to come and go from work and any other necessary appointments. Clearly, a preferred alternative to incarceration. In my client’s case he avoided a county sentence of 6 to 23 months plus probation and instead was placed on house arrest for a period of 6 months plus probation.

There are several alternative sentencing programs available in Berks County. Even if you are told that you are facing a long jail sentence that may not necessarily be the case. You may be eligible for ARD, County Intermediate Punishment, State Intermediate Punishment, RRRI, or one of the Treatment Court Programs. The attorneys at Ebner, Nevins & McAllister are well versed in sentencing alternatives in Berks County. Call us for a free consultation to discuss special sentencing programs in Reading and Berks County, PA.

Simple Assault, Public Drunkeness, Disorderly Conduct charges dismissed in Berks County, PA

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Today I represented a client charged with Simple Assault and related offenses for an alleged incident occurring in Berks County, PA. The case had made it to the Court of Common Pleas level and was set for disposition. My client was otherwise eligible for ARD, but we hoped for an even better result.

I filed an Omnibus Pretrial motion and the matter was set for a hearing. Our position was that the Commonwealth could not establish each of the elements of the offenses. In the end the Judge agreed to dismiss each of the charges and my client walked out of court a free man.

ARD Reconsideration Granted in Berks County Drug Case

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

This morning I was able to secure an ARD admission for a client charged with Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana and Paraphernalia. Typically, this would not be particularly notable for a first time offender. However, my client’s background included a previous ARD for a DUI case.

Our initial application for ARD was denied by the Assistant District Attorney due to the prior ARD and prosecutorial discretion. I felt that the circumstances of the arrest and my client’s background were unique and should be taken into consideration by the Commonwealth. So, I submitted an ARD Reconsideration letter to the Berks County District Attorney outlining the reasons why my client should be given a break. He has a good job in the financial field which requires various licenses which could be jeopardized with a drug related conviction. Both offenses were non-violent and were relatively minor. Objectively speaking, the circumstances of the search and seizure were subject to a constitutional challenge. Fortunately, the District Attorney took the various points into account and approved admission into the program.

The end result is that my client can earn a dismissal of the charges so long as he stays out of trouble for 6 months, completes community service and pays some fines and costs. A great outcome for someone facing a drug related conviction which would lead to internation travel restrictions and possible loss of professional certifiactions and licenses, not to mention suspension of his driver’s license.

It’s possible, though rare, to gain admission to the ARD program in Berks County for a second offense. The lawyers at Ebner, Nevins & McAllister have experience at successfully navigating these waters. If you have a criminal case in Berks County, PA you need skilled legal representation. Call our offices to schedule a free consultation.

Client granted RRRI Eligibility Waiver – Minimum Stentence Reduced by 7 1/2 Months

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Today, I represented a client In Berks County Court on Burglary, Conspiracy and Theft charges. Client’s family came to our firm over a year after charges had been filed and as Client continued to languish in Berks County Prison. The plea offer obtained by prior counsel had been for 3 to 6 years in state prison – a standard offer based on client’s prior record and the sentencing guidelines for the top charge. However, it was my hope to bargain for something more favorable for my client.

This young man had a non-violent background and his legal issues stemmed directly from a history of substance abuse. He clearly needs some help so that he does not reoffend once he is eventually released. With this in mind, I began plea negotiations with the Assistant District Attorney. He soon amended the charges and reduced the minimum to 2 1/2 years, although I hoped to do even better.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has a program for non-violent offenders known as RRRI (Recidivism Risk Reduction Incentive) or “Triple R-I” program. The program consists of intensive treatment and rehabilitation including a large component of drug and alcohol treatment. By participating in the program an offender can reduce his minimum sentence by either 3/4 or 5/6 depending on the length of sentence. Based on my client’s background this is something he sorely needed. Unfortunately, he was statutorily ineligible due to a 7 year old Simple Assault conviction.

Through continued negotiation I was eventually able to convince the ADA to waive the eligibility requirements. The Judge agreed as well, and the client was made eligible for the RRRI program. This functions to reduce his RRRI minimum from 30 months down to 22 1/2 months and also give him the Drug and Alcohol treatment that he greatly needs and desires. With 14 months of credit time my client has a little over 8 months until he hits his minimum. Ultimately, it will be up to my client to do well on the program and maintain sobriety. Hopefully, this negotiated sentence will give him the opportunity to do so.

If you or a loved one is facing a lengthy state prison sentence please contact our office to discuss the options. You may be eligible for an alternative program such as RRRI, State Intermediate Punishment, County Intermediate Punishment, Boot Camp, Drug Treatment Court, DUI Treatment Court, Berks County’s Mental Health Treatment Court or Veteran’s Court. Our attorneys are skilled in negotiating alternative sentences and help you avoid lengthy state prison sentences. Please call our Reading, PA law office to schedule a free consultation.

Can I get ARD in Berks County when I am charged with two seperate cases?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

I recently represented a client in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas charged with two criminal cases – a DUI and a Simple Assault/ Terroristic Threats – at the same time. A 32 year old father of five with a rock solid employment history had found his life spinning out of control after discovering his spouse’s infidelity.  With a first time DUI charge he was facing a mandatory 3 day jail sentence and a one year driver’s license suspension if convicted. Additionally, his simple assault and terroristic threats case involved possession of a (legal) firearm, so under the sentencing guidelines he was looking at a county jail sentence.

We proceeded to a preliminary hearing on the Assault/ Threats case. I successfully argued for a dismissal of the terroristic threats charges and the simple assault count was held for court. Subsequently, we waived the DUI charge and applied him for ARD in that case. Both cases proceeded to Common Pleas but in front of different Judges with two different Assistant DA’s assigned. Then came some bad news – I received a plea offer of 3 to 23 months in the Assault case and a denial of ARD in the DUI case.
Through negotiation with the ADA in the Simple Assault case, I was able to secure a revised plea offer of 2 years probation. I then filed an ARD reconsideration letter with the Berks County District Attorney for the DUI case. In my letter I outlined my client’s background and the unique circumstances of his cases. I stated clearly my goal in the matters: ARD on the DUI case and 2 years concurrent probation on the Simple Assault case. Thankfully, the District Attorney agreed that this request was reasonable given the circumstances. In the end, I was able to help my client avoid jail time and a legnthy license suspension.

The answer to the question that forms the title of this post is “yes.” But only if you retain diligent and persistent counsel. We regularly obtain the most favorable results for our clients. If you or someone you love is charged with a criminal case in Berks County or throughout Central or Southeastern Pennsylvania give us a call for a free consultation.

Client Released from Prison Following Parole Violation Hearing

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

This morning I represented a Defendant in a GAGNON I (parole violation hearing) in the Berks County Adult Probation Office. She had been incarcerated in Berks County Prison for approximately 2 weeks after allegations emerged that she had violated provisions of her supervision for an earlier misdemeanor case in Berks County.

In this particular situation, the Client came to me upon learning that she had a warrant out for her arrest. After getting her affairs in order, which included drafting temporary custody documents so her mother could care for her children, I walked her over to the Berks County Probation and Parole Officer to turn her in. Two weeks later the GAG I took place and I was able to cite her cooperation in turning herself, her taking responsibility for her actions and the strong family support system she has on the outside. Fortunately, the hearing officer was persuaded to give her another chance and granted her freedom. This was particularly good news since often times, individuals facing probation or parole violations remain incarcerated for several months while waiting for a GAGNON II hearing in front of a Judge before they are released.

If you or a loved one is facing a probation or parole violation in Berks County PA please contact our office for a free consultation. The best thing you can do for yourself if you have a warrant out for your arrest is to contact a lawyer immediately. We can arrange a place and time to turn you into the proper authorities. If you know you are wanted by Probation and Parole, don’t delay – call us right away.