Posts Tagged ‘Berks County Intermediate Punishment Program’

Client Avoids State Prison with a Sentence of House Arrest

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

I (attorney Dan Nevins) recently represented a client charged with Robbery in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It was alleged that he had passed a threatening note to a bank teller demanding money which she then turned over to him. The unique thing about the case was that the incident occurred several years ago and through a combination of reasons the case did not come to court until late 2011.
The evidence against my client was strong and included DNA and the sequenced money being found in his possession. The Commonwealth was seeking a state prison sentence of 1 to 3 years.
My client, I believed, deserved better than that. In the years since this crime occurred he had truly turned his life around for the better and there was evidence to prove that.
We decided to take an open plea – rejecting the Commonwealth’s offer of 1 to 3 years, but accepting responsibility for the crime and asking the Court to consider a more lenient sentence.
In the end my client recieved a legnthy probation sentence along with 9 months of House Arrest. Fortunately, he will be home and able to care for his newnborn child while his wife works.

There are several sentencing alternatives availble for criminal charges in Pennsylvania.

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.

3 Years State Prison Reduced to 5 Days

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Several months ago, I (Attorney Ryan W. McAllister) represented a client in the Berks County Courts charged with over thirty (30) different criminal counts, including felony aggravated assault, all stemming from what started out at a DUI checkpoint.  My client was driving in Berks County when he saw a DUI checkpoint up ahead.  Knowing that he had been drinking, my client immediately tried to turn around and go the other direction, jumping a curb and sidewalk in the process.  This got the attention of the police officers working the DUI checkpoint, who proceeded to pursue my client.

For reasons unknown, my client, instead of pulling over, engaged the police in a high-speed chase that lasted upwards of an hour and spanned several cities and townships.  The police eventually had my client “cornered” in a parking lot.  Somehow, my client’s vehicle collided with an officer’s car before he was finally apprehended.

As a result, my client was charged with several serious offenses, including several counts of felony aggravated assault, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 2702, felony fleeing and eluding, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3733, and, of course, driving under the influence of alcohol, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3802.  To make matters worse, this was my client’s second DUI offense within 10 years.

Based on the seriousness of the felony aggravated assault charges, the initial “plea bargain” offered by the assistant district attorney was three (3) years in state prison.  My client was married with small children at home.  He supported his family by working two (2) different jobs.  He was not a hardened criminal, and he would not have survived well in state prison.  Serving a three (3) year jail sentence would have altered his life and his family’s life forever.

There were very few facts in my favor in this case.  Importantly, though, there were no police officers, or anyone else for that matter, who were injured in this incident.  Even the collision between my client’s vehicle and a police officer’s vehicle resulted in minimal damage to the cars.  To be sure, my client made some incredibly poor decisions that night.  I firmly believe, though, that he had no intentions to harm or injure anyone.

After months of negotiations with the district attorney’s office and the police officers, I was able to get all of the serious felony aggravated assault charges withdrawn.  I got my client into an intermediate punishment program offered by the Berks County Courts, which allowed him to go to inpatient treatment instead of jail.  Ultimately, he was sentenced to serve five (5) days in jail along with five (5) years of supervised release.

My client was extremely grateful that I was able to keep him out of serving a lengthy three (3) year sentence in state prison.  He was able to continue working at his two (2) jobs to support his wife and kids, and, as of today, he has been able to put this incident behind him and return to his life with his family.

If you are charged with a serious criminal case in Berks County, Pennsylvania, or Reading, Pennsylvania, please call the office at 610-372-5128 to setup a free consultation.  I would be happy to sit down with you and provide you with a thorough analysis of your case.