Posts Tagged ‘Kutztown University Criminal Defense Law Firm’

Underage Drinking Client Avoids 1 Year License Suspension

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

I recently represented a local college student in a Berks County, PA facing a second charge of underage drinking. A conviction on such a summary offense would result in PENNDOT suspending her license to operate a motor vehicle for one year, among other things. Since we were unable to get the result we were looking for at the District Court level, we had to get creative.

We filed a summary appeal to the Court of Common Pleas in Reading and began negotiations. We secured a stay of the imposition of suspension by filing the necessary documents with PENNDOT. In the end, we were able to win a reduction in charge ensuring my client would not suffer a license suspension.

Our firm regularly represents Berks County students at Kutztown University, PSU-Berks, Alvernia and Albright charged with every variety of criminal or summary offenses. We understand the importance of maintaining a clean record as students get ready to embark on their chosen careers. If you are facing a Berks County underage drinking citation or other alcohol or drug related offense, call our firm today to schedule a free consultation. We are always glad to accomodate out of area parents or family members through telephone consultations or email correspondence.

ARD for Simple Assualt Case in Berks County PA

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

This morning I represented a young man who was allegedly involved in a domestic altercation in Berks County PA. Fortunately, given the circumstances, I was able to secure for him an ARD disposition.
ARD (Accelerated Rehabilatative Disposition) is a special program for first time offenders. By participating in this program individuals can earn an dismissal of their criminal charges as well as an expungement of the record. Additionally, there is no admission or finding of guilt – you are simply asking the court for the opportunity to earn a dismissal of the case. Typically, you will also be asked to perform community service and perhaps participate in treatment or classes, depending on the allegations.zorb balls

Our law firm has represented hundreds of individuals in Berks County that have sought admission into the ARD program. It is important that you have an experienced attorney on your side to guide you through the application process and ultimately negotiate a favorable ARD admission on your behalf. If you or a loved one is facing a first time criminal offense in Berks County, PA please contact our office for a free initial consultation.

Underage Drinking Citation negotiated down to Disorderly Conduct in Berks County Summary Appeal

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Today I represented a Kutztown University student charged with violating 18 Pa.CSA Section 6308 – the Underage Drining statute. The penalty for such an offense includes fines and a 6 month driver’s license suspension. Additionally, many employers and professional licensing boards frown upon alcohol related convictions. In this particular case my client had represented himself at the District Judge level and had been found guilty despite the apparent weaknesses in the Commonwealth’s case.bouncy castle canada

Wisely, he decided to appeal and seek Counsel in his case before the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. I was able to negotiate the matter with the Assistant District Attorney assigned to the case. Thankfully, we came to a resolution that allowed my client to keep his driver’s license and avoid the adverse employment effects of an alcohol related inflatable slides

Our office frequently represents individuals charged with Underage Drinking and other Summary Offense and Traffic tickets in Berks County courts. When your driver’s license is at stake it is crucial that you retain an experienced and knowledgeable advocate. Our office offers free consultations for your criminal, non-traffic or traffic citation case. Call now to arrange an appointment with one of our attorneys.

No License Suspension in Underage Drinking Case

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Last week I represented a Kutztown University Student charged with Underage Drinking, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308(a), and Public Drunkeness, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 5505, both summary offenses.  Although these citations only carry fines with no real risk of jail time, a conviction for Underage Drinking will result in a PennDOT license suspension of 90 days for a first offense.  My client was in a position where he could not afford to lose his license.

Unfortunately, there was no disputing the fact that my client was under the age of 21 and drinking / intoxicated.  Therefore, I explained to my client that the best bet would be to work out some type of plea with the officer.

Therefore, on the day of the trial, I approached the police officer who had issued the citations to my client.  I explained my client’s situation to the officer, and I also showed the officer some documentation to demonstrate that my client had attended some counseling sessions since the Underage Drinking incident had taken place.  Although there was little to no actual legal defense to the citations that were issued to my client, the officer was willing to amend the Underage Drinking citation to a local Kutztown Borough Ordinance, which carries no license suspension from PennDOT.

Additionally, the Magisterial District Judge allowed my client, the officer, and me to make some comments prior to determining the amounts of the fines in the case.  I was able to speak to my client’s volunteer efforts as well as his goals for the future, and the officer was able to speak to the fact that my client was cooperative throughout the incident.  As a result, the Magisterial District Judge gave my client a reduced fine, easily saving him several hundred dollars.

In the end, my client was very happy to have avoided a license suspension.

If you or someone you know has been charged with Underage Drinking or Public Drunkenness in Berks County, Pennsylvania, or Reading, Pennsylvania, please contact my office to set-up a free consultation.  I have helped many clients, including many students from local colleges, such as Alvernia College, Albright College, Penn State Berks, and Kutztown University, who have been charged with these or similar offenses.  As with any case involving a college student, I am always focused on getting a result that will minimize or eliminate any potential impact on his or her future.

Kutztown University Student Gets ARD in Felony Aggravated Assault Case

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

This past week I represented a Kutztown University student at an ARD Hearing in Berks County Court.  An ARD Hearing is a fairly simple hearing at which the Judge places a defendant on the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program, which is run by the Berks County Adult Probation Department.  If the program is successfully completed, the case against the defendant gets dismissed and any record of the case gets expunged.

Although the ARD Hearing itself didn’t take much time, the prior procedural history of the case is particularly noteworthy and complex.  Back in September of 2009, our client got into a verbal altercation with with another individual on the streets of Kutztown.  After some arguing back and forth, our client punched the other individual one (1) time in the face.  With that one (1) punch, our client knocked the other individual to the ground, causing some serious injuries that required medical treatment and surgery.  Importantly, our client did not continue to fight with the other individual.  It was one (1) punch, nothing more and nothing less.

Our client, who had never been in any trouble whatsoever prior to this incident, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault under 18 Pa.C.S.A. 2702(a)(1), a felony of the first degree, and simple assault under 18 Pa.C.S.A. 2701(a)(1).  Based on these serious charges, our client was facing a standard range sentence of somewhere around 4-8 years in state prison.

Attorney Liz Ebner handled the preliminary hearing and the negotiations prior to the ARD Hearing.  Based in part on Attorney Ebner’s research of Pennsylvania state caselaw, Attorney Ebner was able to convince the District Attorney’s Office to withdraw the charge of aggravated assault.  Even though the threat of a state prison sentence had been removed for our client, he was still in the unfortunate position of potentially having a misdemeanor conviction on his record for the rest of his life.  A simple assault conviction would have serious consequences for our client, who was a criminal justice major and was looking to pursue a career in the public sector.

Therefore, Attorney Ebner next sought to get our client approved for the ARD Program.  Although it can be difficult to get defendants placed on the ARD Program for violent offenses, let alone violent offenses where a felony was originally charged, Attorney Ebner wanted to exhaust every last option for our client.  Attorney Ebner wrote out a detailed letter to the Berks County District Attorney explaining the situation of our client.  After numerous back and forth negotiations, Attorney Ebner was able to secure the ARD Program for our client under the following circumstances: (1) our client must pay full restitution to the victim in the case, who did not have health insurance, and (2) our client must be under strict supervision on the ARD Program for a period of 24 months.  Any violation of ARD Program rules, and our client will be immediately kicked off of the ARD Program.

Our client was originally facing a felony of the first degree with a 4-8 year state prison sentence.  By the end of the case, our client will serve 24 months on the ARD Program, with the possibility of earning a full expungement of his charges and arrest record.  After two (2) years, there will be no record of this unfortunate event, and our client will be able to pursue the career of his choice without being labeled a “criminal”.

He was, of course, extremely happy with the outcome of his case.