Posts Tagged ‘Criminal lawyer Reading PA’

ENM Law News: Armed robbery charge dismissed at preliminary hearing

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Attorney Nevins recently represented a client who was incarcerated for an armed robbery charge. Armed robbery is a felony of the first degree and is punishable by a maximum of 20 years of incarceration and a $25,000 fine. Our client denied the allegations and said that he was trying to help the alleged victim, not rob him. Attorney Nevins made plans to fight the charges at the preliminary hearing. Disinterested witnesses were found who supported our client’s version of events and Attorney Nevins made sure that they were in court for the hearing. He presented the witnesses to the police officer and Assistant District Attorney who agreed to withdraw the charges after hearing the witnesses’ credible stories. It turns out the the alleged victim had overdosed on heroin and concocted this story blaming our client in order to avoid getting in trouble with his probation officer. Our client was released from custody the same day as the hearing and faces no criminal charges as a result of this incident.

If you’ve been falsely accused of criminal charges in Reading, PA, contact our experienced and knowledgeable Berks County criminal attorneys to see what can be done to help you. Call us at 610-372-5128 or email at info@enmlaw.com.

ENM Law News: Recent criminal cases

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Do you need an attorney for a criminal charge in Berks County? The answer is almost always “Yes.” But you shouldn’t choose just any attorney that you find online. You need an experienced criminal attorney who knows the best way to handle criminal cases in Reading, PA. We are those attorneys. Here are details on some of our recent criminal cases.
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A recent client was charged with one misdemeanor count of theft in Berks County for stealing from his employer. Read more about theft offenses here. A conviction for theft can have longstanding employment consequences so this client came to Attorney Ebner for help. The client was able to pay the employer back in full for the money that was taken so Attorney Ebner advocated for a Rule 546 dismissal of the charge. PA Rule 546 allows for the dismissal of a summary or misdemeanor charge under the following circumstances:

- The public interest will not be adversely affected
- The district attorney or affiant consents to the dismissal
- Satisfaction has been made to the aggrieved party (restitution etc. has been paid)
- There is an agreement as to who will pay costs

In this case, the Magisterial District Judge agreed that all of the above conditions had been met and dismissed the theft charge with no further penalty for the client. Thanks to the assistance of Attorney Ebner, this client avoided significant additional fines and costs which would have resulted from a guilty plea or ARD outcome and avoided a potentially damaging criminal record.

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A client came to our office looking for representation for a Berks County traffic-related criminal charge. This client had been accused of allowing her brother to drive her vehicle, knowing that he had a DUI-related suspended license. She was facing 60 days of incarceration, a $500 fine and a license suspension. Our client insisted that her brother had never been charged with a DUI. Our attorneys were able to present the brother’s driving record and show that our client was telling the truth. All charges against her were dropped.

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The following case highlights the importance of having an attorney to represent you at a preliminary hearing. A client came to our Reading, PA office after being charged with robbing her tenant. The alleged victim reported to the police that his landlord (our client) and her friends came to his room and stole money from a sock. The police filed felony Robbery charges against our client. Robbery is a serious charge and a conviction can result in a lengthy period of incarceration. This case was scheduled for a preliminary hearing and the client initially appeared without an attorney. The alleged victim failed to appear multiple times. Despite the absence of their witness, the District Attorney’s office tried to convince the client to waive her preliminary hearing which would have conceded that the Commonwealth could prove a prima facie case and moved the case to the Court of Common Pleas. Instead of following the DA’s suggestion, this client came to our office and hired Attorney Ebner who was able to convince the Berks County Magisterial District Judge to dismiss the Robbery charge upon the alleged victim’s 5th failure to appear.

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A husband and wife came to our office looking for representation on their Berks County DUI-related criminal charges. The husband was charged with 1543(b) for driving with a DUI-suspended license and the wife was charged criminally for allowing him to drive her car. Both were facing a mandatory 60 days of incarceration and $500 fines. Attorney Ebner took the cases and spoke to the charging police officer on their behalf. For the husband, Attorney Ebner was able to negotiate a plea to the lesser offense of 1501 – Driver’s Required to be Licensed which resulted in a $25 fine, no jail time and no additional license suspension. The wife’s sentence was also reduced to match her husband’s.

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If you’ve been charged with a crime in Berks County, call our experienced criminal lawyers 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.

ENM Law News: Successful Juvenile Court Outcome

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

The mother of a juvenile charged with Receiving Stolen Property and Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana came to ENM Law for help with her son’s case after years of representation by other attorneys. This juvenile had been given a consent decree (basically ARD for juveniles), but was continually violating his supervision by failing drug tests and was in and out of juvenile placements for over 18 months. While in placement, he was prescribed medications for mental illness. He was compliant with those medications while at the juvenile placement and continued to take them after he was released awaiting a violation hearing. However, at that violation hearing he was taken into custody again and was not given any of the mental health medications during the 60 days that he was incarcerated. It was at this point that Attorney Ebner stepped in to represent the juvenile. After hearing Attorney Ebner’s arguments on behalf of her client, the juvenile judge found that the client was not in willful violation of his supervision because the client had been denied his necessary medication during his 60 day incarceration.

If your child has been charged in Reading, PA with a criminal offense as a juvenile, it is extremely important that you have a knowledgeable attorney at your side. Call our Reading, PA juvenile attorneys at 610-372-5128 or email us at info@enmlaw.com.

Spotlight Issue: Wiretap Violation – When am I allowed to record conversations?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

The laws on recording people and conversations are contained in Pennsylvania Crimes Code Chapter 57 – Wiretap and Electronic Surveillance. PA wiretap law prohibits the intentional interception, disclosure or use of any wire, electronic or oral communication. A wiretap violation is graded as a felony of the third degree and is punishable by a maximum permissible sentence of 7 years of incarceration and a $15,000 fine.

Pennsylvania is a two-party consent state which means that both parties have to consent to the recording of private conversations whether in person or over the phone. However, there are many exceptions to this general consent rule.

The first question is whether a conversation is private and therefore requires protection under the PA wiretap law as an “oral communication.” Oral communication is defined as a communication uttered by a person possessing an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such an expectation. A conversation can be recorded by one party if the other party does not have a reasonable expectation a privacy in the conversation. For example, a person yelling in public probably does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their words. By contrast, a person having a quiet, two-person conversation in his home probably does have an expectation of privacy in what he says.

As mentioned above, there are exceptions to the two-party consent rule for recording. These exceptions are contained in Section 5704. There are exceptions made for law enforcement officers and there is also a crime victim’s exception in Section 5704 (17). The crime victim’s exception says that a victim or witness may intercept the contents of any wire, electronic or oral communication if that person has a reasonable suspicion that the intercepted party is committing, about to commit or has committed a crime of violence and there is reason to believe that evidence of the crime of violence may be obtained from the interception.

Unless you believe that you fall under the crime victim’s exception, if you are having a conversation in your home, it is not advisable to try to secretly record the other person. The act of recording could constitute a felony offense. Further, it is not advisable to record a phone call if the person on the other end of the line has not consented to the recording. If you have obtained evidence in violation of Pennsylvania’s wiretap laws, you will not be able to use that evidence in court.

If you’ve been charged with a wiretap violation, you need a knowledgeable Berks County lawyer on your side. Contact our Reading, PA criminal attorneys today at 610-372-5128 or email us at info@enmlaw.com.

ENM Law News: Client Avoids License Suspension for Underage Drinking Citation

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Even though an underage drinking violation is only a summary citation, it can have a serious impact on your life.  The penalties for this offense include fines and costs as well as a mandatory license suspension.  The suspension for a first offense is 90 days, for a second it is 1 year and for third or subsequent offenses the suspension is 2 years.  Summary citations are usually handled in front of a Magisterial District Judge.

A recent client was charged with an underage drinking violation and was concerned about how such a charge would affect employment.  Our criminal law attorneys were able to ensure this client’s placement in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program on an alternative charge of public drunkenness.  If the client pays the costs on the case and does not receive any new criminal charges, the client’s record will be expunged in approximately 90 days.  This means that the client avoided a license suspension, higher fines and costs and a criminal record.

If you’ve been charged with an underage drinking citation or any other summary violation, contact our criminal lawyers today at 610-372-5128 or submit your case using the “Ask an attorney” link and see what we can do to help you.

Spotlight Issue: Non-DUI ARD in Berks County

Monday, December 15th, 2014

The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program is available for crimes other than DUI.  ARD is a program run by the Berks County District Attorney’s Office.  Generally, ARD is available for those who do not have a prior criminal record.  However, there are exceptions to this rule. Even if you have an old or minor prior criminal record, our attorneys may be able to help you gain admission into the program.  You will usually complete the ARD application at your preliminary hearing and find out whether or not you have been accepted into the program prior to your case disposition date in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas in Reading.

There are many benefits to the ARD program.  Most importantly, if you complete the ARD program, you will never plead guilty to a crime and the charge will be expunged from your record. In addition, if you complete the ARD for a drug crime, you will be able to avoid the mandatory driver’s license suspension.

Although the district attorney’s office has a large amount of discretion in determining how to administer the ARD program, some parts of the program are governed by statute.  For example, an ARD sentence cannot be longer than 2 years.  In general, ARD sentences in Berks County are not shorter than 6 months.  Pennsylvania statute allows the district attorney to include any requirements in an ARD sentence that could be imposed for a probationary sentence.  This will usually include restitution, court costs, no-contact orders, trespass provisions and the completion of any relevant treatment program.  Treatment programs usually include drug and alcohol counseling, anger management and domestic violence counseling.  A fine cannot be imposed for an ARD sentence.

Once the ARD term has passed and all requirements have been completed, the judge assigned to your case will sign an order expunging your case.  This is done without anyone appearing in court.  Most judges in Berks County will allow a defendant to make a motion for early completion of the ARD program once a period of time has passed and all program requirements have been completed.  You should contact our criminal law attorneys if you think that you may be eligible to complete your ARD sentence early.

If a defendant is not complying with his ARD order, the district attorney will make a motion to terminate that defendant from the ARD program.  The judge will schedule the case for an ARD termination hearing and at that hearing will make a decision on whether or not to give the defendant additional time to complete the program.  It is very important that you are represented by an attorney at an ARD terminating hearing.  If your participation in the program is terminated, your case will start over and you will have to either plead guilty or litigate your case.

If you think that you may be eligible for the ARD program or your case has been scheduled for an ARD termination hearing, contact our criminal law attorneys today by calling us at 610-372-5128 or submit your case using the “Ask an attorney” link.