Posts Tagged ‘criminal lawyer berks county’

ENM Law News: Terorristic Threats charge dismissed at preliminary hearing

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

A client recently came to Attorney McAllister looking for help after a fight with a roommate. Our client had been charged with Terroristic Threats and his preliminary hearing was scheduled to be heard in Reading Central Court (read more about RCC here). The roommate testified that our client threatened to shoot him. The roommate admitted that he had never seen our client with a gun. While not denying the statement, Attorney McAllister argued to the magisterial district judge that it didn’t constitute a Terroristic Threat. Confused by how that can be true? Luckily, Attorney McAllister isn’t!

Pennsylvania law requires that in order for a threat to constitute a Terroristic Threat, it must be made with the intent to terrorize, or with reckless disregard that it will cause terror. Pennsylvania courts have decided that this definition does not include statements made with transitory anger (i.e., speaker didn’t intend to carry out the threat and didn’t have reason to believe that the statement would make you believe that he was going to).

In our case, Attorney McAllister argued that because our client didn’t have a gun and his roommate knew that he didn’t have a gun, there was never an intent to terrorize with the statement and no reason for the roommate to believe that he was going to follow through on the threat. The magisterial district judge dismissed the Terroristic Threats charge against our client and he was no longer facing 5 years incarceration and a $10,000 fine. If you’ve been charged with a Terroristic Threats case in Berks County, contact our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys at 610-372-5128 or info@enmlaw.com.

ENM Law News: 2008 ICC charge dismissed for lack of service

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

What happens when there is an alleged violation of a civil Protection from Abuse order (PFA)? The alleged violation results in an Indirect Criminal Contempt charge (ICC). This is a criminal charge which can result in a jail sentence of up to 6 months and a $1,000 fine.

A client recently came to us because of a 2008 warrant for Simple Assault and ICC charges in Berks County. Back in 2008 this client was charged with Simple Assault and Terroristic Threats against his girlfriend and violating a PFA which was granted on the girlfriend’s behalf. The client left town without dealing with the charges and warrants were issued for his failure to appear. The client had no dealings with police or issues with the warrants until a couple of months ago when he attempted to update his immigration status and learned about the warrants. He was ineligible for a change in his immigration status while the criminal cases remained on his record so the client hired Berks County criminal law attorney Attorney Nevins to help him.

Attorney Nevins first brought the client into court to address the outstanding warrants. Once that was done, the preliminary hearing for the Simple Assault and Terroristic Threats charges was rescheduled. Attorney Nevins appeared on the client’s behalf and the charges were dismissed because the alleged victim from 2008 did not want to testify. Attorney Nevins then appeared in PFA court to represent the client for the ICC. Attorney Nevins was told that the alleged victim did want to testify for the ICC hearing. Upon reviewing the evidence against his client, Attorney Nevins noted that the client had not been properly served with the PFA back in 2008. Service of the PFA is a necessary element that the Commonwealth must prove before a defendant can be convicted of ICC. Attorney Nevins took this discovery to the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case and convinced him to withdraw the charge.

Thanks to the hard work and attentiveness of Attorney Nevings, this client was able to leave Reading with no criminal convictions. Attorney Nevins has filed to expunge the criminal charges so that his client can move forward with his attempts to change his immigration status.

If you have a warrant for an old criminal case in Berks County or if you’ve been charged with an ICC charge for violating a PFA, contact our knowledgeable criminal law attorneys at 610-372-5128 or email us at info@enmlaw.com.

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: “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.

Misdemeanor Assault and Threats Charges Dismissed

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a client in Berks County who was charged with numerous misdemeanor offenses, including simple assault and terroristic threats. Our client had gotten into a heated argument with his wife and adult son over some personal family issues. The police were called, and, after an investigation, our client was criminally charged. Our client, however, denied ever physically touching either his wife or his son; he did admit to having a rather loud argument…but nothing more.Geniales Aufblasbare Wasserpark

At the court hearing, Attorney McAllister was able to successfully cross-examine the commonwealth witnesses to show that no physical violence took place that evening. Additionally, Attorney McAllister took the unusual step of having his client testify before the Magisterial District Judge. Attorney McAllister was able to question his client and bring out the important facts of the case.

The Judge agreed with Attorney McAllister’s argument that this was simply a family argument that involved no criminal intent. Likewise, the was no physical violence that took place. Therefore, the Judge dismissed all of the misdemeanor charges against our client. Our client was able to walk out of the courtroom without having to worry about a jail sentence or probation supervision. He was very happy with the outcome of his case.

If you or someone you know is charged with a crime in Berks County or Reading, PA, please call us right away at 610-372-5128. One of our experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorneys will be happy to meet with you to discuss your case in more detail. We always offer free consultations in criminal cases and DUI cases.

Harassment Charges Dropped in Berks County

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a young female client who was charged with Harasssment. It was alleged that our client was harassment her ex’s new girlfriend. Our client adamantly denied the charges against her, and Attorney McAllister was prepared to present a solid defense at the hearing before the local Magisterial District Judge. When Attorney McAllister, the client, and the client’s witnesses arrived at the courthouse, Attorney McAllister approached the “alleged victim” to discuss a resolution to the case.

After explaining the defense that he had prepared, the “alleged victim” agreed to drop the charges against our client. A brief court appearance before the Judge was all that was required before our client walked out of the courtroom with the charges dismissed. Our office will be preparing an expungement petition so that any trace of this incident gets removed from our clients record.

If you or someone you know is charged with Harassment or related offenses in Berks County, PA, or Reading, Pennsylvania, please contact us right away at 610-372-5128. Our attorneys are always happy to meet with you in person to discuss your individual case in more detail.