Posts Tagged ‘Criminal law attorney reading pa’

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.

ENM Law News: Indirect Criminal Contempt win

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

A client came to our office looking for assistance with an Indirect Criminal Contempt (ICC) charge for violating a Protection from Abuse order (PFA). Attorney McAllister found out that the offer from the District Attorney’s office was for a jail sentence of 3-6 months. Attorney McAllister and the client decided to proceed with a hearing. An ICC hearing is essentially a small trial in front of a judge. The District Attorney has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant violated the PFA by proving 4 elements:

- that the PFA was sufficiently definite, clear and specific to properly notify the defendant about what conduct was prohibited
- that the defendant knew about the PFA
- that the alleged act was volitional
- that the defendant acted with wrongful intent

The PFA plaintiff and our client both testified at the hearing and Attorney McAllister argued that the District Attorney did not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. He specifically argued that his client did not act with wrongful intent. The judge agreed with Attorney McAllister’s argument and dismissed the charge against our client.

If you’ve been charged with violating a PFA in Berks County, do not attend the hearing on your own. Contact our experienced criminal law attorneys in Reading, PA at 610-372-5128 or info@enmlaw.com.

Spotlight Issue: Expungement of criminal offenses

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

A criminal charge, even without a conviction, can have a very negative impact on a person’s ability to obtain employment, get a loan or find housing. Is there anything that can be done to erase your criminal record? In some cases, yes: you may be eligible to have your record expunged or declared “limited access.”

What is expungement? In Pennsylvania expunging a criminal record is defined as the following:

1- removing information so that there is no trace or indication that such information existed
2- eliminating all identifiers which may be used to trace the identity of an individual
3- maintaining certain information when an individual has successfully completed the conditions of any pretrial or post trial diversion or probation program (ex. ARD)

Even if you’ve been convicted of a crime, you can still have your record expunged under the following circumstances:

- the defendant has reached 70 years of age and has remained arrest free for 10 years since the date of release from confinement or supervision
- the defendant has been dead for 3 years
- the defendant was convicted of a summary offense and has remained arrest free for five years following that conviction
- the defendant, who is 21 or older, was convicted of underage drinking after turning 18 and has satisfied all terms and conditions of the sentence imposed

**A judge has the discretion to grant expungement in situations 1-3, above, but MUST grant an expungement in situation 4 if a petition for expungement is filed.

If a criminal case was filed against you, but the charges were dismissed or you were found “not guilty” following a trial then the court can order that the charge be removed from your record.

However, except in the case of ARD, expungement is not done by the court automatically. This means that if you fall under any of the criteria for expungement other than completing your ARD case, you must file the proper paperwork to have the court consider your request for expungement.

As of November 2016, there is a new way to prevent a criminal record from ruining your future. Pennsylvania law now allows for a judge to enter an order for “limited access.” This law applies to those defendants

- who have remained free of arrest or prosecution for 10 years from the date of conviction or final release from confinement or supervision, whichever is
later and
- were convicted of a misdemeanor of the second degree, a misdemeanor of the third degree or an ungraded offense who carries a maximum penalty of no
more than 2 years
- none of the exceptions apply

Under limited access, the criminal record is not erased, but the court orders that any criminal justice agency maintaining these records may not release any information about the case except to other criminal justice agencies, professional licensing agencies or some specific government agencies.

A defendant who is otherwise eligible cannot obtain a limited access order if he has ever had a conviction for any of the following

- an offense punishable by more than 2 years or more of imprisonment
- four or more offenses punishable by 1 or more years of imprisonment
- a simple assault conviction except when the offense is graded as a misdemeanor of the third degree
- a violation for sexual intercourse with animals, impersonating a public servant, intimidation of witnesses or victims, retaliation against witness, victim or
party, intimidation, retaliation or obstruction in child abuse cases, any offense which requires registration as a sex offender

Just as with expungements, a petition must be filed to ask the court to issue a limited access order.

Under both the limited access and expungement provisions, the district attorney’s office has a right to object to the expungement. If there is an objection then a hearing will be held at which time the judge will weigh the defendant’s interest in having the record expunged or declared “limited access” versus the state’s interest in keeping the record public.

If you have a Berks County criminal record that is holding you back and you think you might be eligible for either of the above options, contact our experienced Reading, PA criminal law attorneys at 610-372-5128 or info@enmlaw.com.

ENM Law News: “Not guilty” verdict in drug possession case

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

A recent client came to ENM Law when he was facing the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence. This client was on parole for murder when he was charged with simple drug possession. While a possession charge usually only carries a probationary sentence, this client was looking at a state sentence for the new charge as well as a state sentence for violating his parole with a new conviction. In consultation with Attorney Nevins, this client decided to take his case to trial and elected to have the case heard by a judge in a bench trial, rather than by a jury.

The client was a passenger in a vehicle operated by a woman whom he had paid to give him a ride to a friend’s house. The vehicle was pulled over for suspected DUI. The officer who made the stop eventually searched the vehicle and found PCP, cocaine and marijuana in the passenger door compartment and underneath the passenger seat. The driver of the vehicle said that the drugs weren’t hers and that they must belong to our client because she saw him smoking what she believed to be PCP-laced cigarettes. Based on the statements from the driver, our client was charged with possessing those drugs.

Because the drugs were not found in our client’s actual possession, the prosecution had to proceed under a theory called construction possession. Put simply, a person can be charged with constructive possession of a drug if they have the ability and intent to control it, even if there is not any actual/physical possession.

Attorney Nevins was able to attack the credibility of the driver by showing that she was charged with driving under the influence of PCP and marijuana on that specific occasion, had been charged with driving under the influence on two prior occasions, and was currently on probation for committing a theft crime. Attorney Nevins was further able to show that our client did not show any signs of being under the influence of drugs and that the officer did not see any movements by our client which would leave the officer to believe that the client was hiding drugs after the vehicle was stopped.

The judge found our client “not guilty” and stated that she could not find the driver of the vehicle credible and there was not sufficient evidence to convict our client without the driver’s statements.

Through his hard work and diligent representation, Attorney Nevins was able to save this client from serving a significant jail sentence.

If you’ve been charged with a drug offense in Reading, PA, contact our experienced criminal law attorneys at 610-372-5128 or info@enmlaw.com.

ENM Law News: Summary Retail Theft charge dismissed

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

A client recently came to ENM Law looking for assistance with a summary Retail Theft charge that had been filed against her. The circumstances surrounding the charge were a little bit unusual: she had been charged by private criminal complaint approximately 7 months after the offense was allegedly committed and the client had already paid restitution to the store as a result of a demand letter from the store threatening to sue her civilly for damages.

Most people are probably unaware that criminal charges can be filed by private complaint without the involvement of police. In the case of a summary offense, a private citizen may file a complaint in front of a magisterial district judge and a hearing will be scheduled. The police and District Attorney’s office are not involved in the prosecution of summary offenses filed by private complaint.

You may also be unaware that stores are able to utilize a provision which allows them to bring a civil suit for restitution in the case of retail theft. While restitution can be ordered through a criminal case, in a civil action, the store can also be paid a civil penalty in the amount of $150 in addition to the value of the items taken.

Our client was very concerned about the possibility of a conviction for Retail Theft because it can be so detrimental during an employment search. Attorney McAllister successfully argued to the Berks County Magisterial District Judge that the private complaint should be dismissed because of its untimely filing and because the client had already paid $200 to the store as requested in the demand letter. As a result of Attorney McAllister’s representation, the summary Retail Theft charge was dismissed.

ENM Law is able to assist this client further by filing to expunge the summary Retail Theft charge from her record. This means that no potential employer will be able to see that the charge was ever filed. That will be a significant benefit to this client in the future.

If you’ve been charged with summary Retail Theft in Reading, PA or want to discuss the possibility of expunging a charge that did not result in a conviction, contact our experienced criminal law attorneys today at 610-372-5128 or info@enmlaw.com.

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

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

Attorney Dan Nevins recently secured a “not guilty” verdict for a client charged with intimidating a witness. This client was offered a jail sentence of 9-23 months in exchange for a guilty plea. After consultation with Attorney Nevins, this client decided to proceed with a trial. The alleged victim, who was a witness against our client in a traffic case, testified at the bench trial that the client had threatened to physically assault him if he testified in the traffic case. Under direct examination by Attorney Nevins, our client testified that he and the alleged victim traded racial slurs, but no threats of violence. After hearing all of the evidence, the judge determined that the competing testimony left him with reasonable doubt and therefore he found the client “not guilty.” Thanks to the hard work of Attorney Nevins, this client avoided a conviction and lengthy jail sentence.

If you’ve been charged with intimidating a witness in Reading, PA, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. Call us today at 610-372-5128 or email us at info@enmlaw.com.

Assault Charges Dismissed in Reading, Pennsylvania

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Attorney Dan Nevins secured the dismissal of a Simple Assault charge for a client today in Reading Central Court. In Pennsylvania a Simple Assault charge is a misdemeanor of the second degree carrying a possible maximum sentence of 2 years incarceration and a $5,000 fine.

The attorneys of Ebner, Nevins & McAllister have represented literally thousands of individuals facing allegations of criminal acts in Berks County. ENM Law has a solid reputation of obtaining the absolute best results for clients who have found themselves in difficult situations. With an office conveniently located directly across the street from the courthouse in Reading, ENM Law is easily accessible to any individual facing criminal charges in Berks County. Ebner, Nevins & McAllister continues to offer free initial consultations in all criminal cases. Call today to schedule an appointment with a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney.

Juvenile Decertification Granted in Reading PA Robbery Case

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Today, I (Attorney Dan Nevins) represented a 17 year old young man on allegations of armed Robbery.  Under those circumstances, it was considered a “direct file” offense.  This means that although the defendant is technically a juvenile, he was prosecuted as though he was an adult.  When I undertook representation of this client several weeks ago my immediate objective was to get his case transferred from adult court to juvenile court.  This was particularly important since he was facing the possibility of a 5 year mandatory minimum sentence if he was ultimately convicted in adult court. 

After negotiating with attorneys for the Commonwealth as well as the police prosecutor I was able to persuade them to move for a transfer of prosecution.  Today, a Berks County Judge issued an order transferring the case to Juvenile Court.  Thankfully, my youthful client will be able benifit from the treatment and rehabilitation of the juvenile system rather than suffer a legnthy state prison sentence in the adult system. 

If you or your child faces a serious criminal charge in Berks County PA call now to arrange a no-cost consultation.  We are also available to meet with defendants and juveniles who are locked up in Berks County Prison or the Berks County Youth Center.