Posts Tagged ‘summary offenses berks county’

Not Guilty in Berks County Retail Theft Case

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Last week I represented a client charged with a summary offense of Retail Theft in Berks County for an alleged drive off at a local gas station. The facts of the case are rather unusual, requiring a creative defense.

After pumping his gas, Client sees a police car approaching. Client, already in his vehicle pulls alongside the gas station and further down through the parking lot at which time he is stopped by the officer for an unrelated incident. Client is subsequently placed into custody for the unrelated incident.

Client is adamant that he did not intend to steal gas. Rather, he was not able to pay for the gas, as he had intended, since he was stopped and placed into custody by police for the other incident.  After a Summary Hearing the District Judge found Client guilty of Disorderly Conduct only and client paid a fine.

If you or a loved one is charged with a Theft Offense or Property Crime in Berks County you need an experienced attorney to fight for you. We provide zealous representation for individuals charged with all types of criminal allegations . Call our office now for a free consultation.

PA Supreme Court hands down License Suspension ruling

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recently ruled that PENNDOT can issue multiple drivers license suspensions for multiple vehicle code violations occurring during a single incident.  Calling it a case of first impression, the Court, in Strawn v. Department of Transportation found that the Appellant in this case should in fact suffer consecutive license suspensions for a single incident which resulted in charges of DUI, Fleeing and Eluding, Reckless Driving and Failure to Stop.  Appellant had argued that previous case law held that penalties should merge when their is a single criminal episode.  The case law that Appellant cited, however, dealt with Section 1532(c) of the vehicle code.  This is the section dealing with license suspensions for Drug Act offenses, not vehicle code violations.  1532(b), the section dealing with suspensions for vehicle code violations was the section that Appellant was penalized under.  The Court, in rejecting Appellant’sargument, stated, “It would strain the plain meaning of Section 1532(b0 to conclude that one suspension is appropriate for multiple offenses where the statute imposes different lengths of suspensions for distinct Motor Vehicle Code provisions. ” 

While this ruling certainly is a setback for individuals seeking relief from license suspensions, it does not change a general strategy employed in the defense of license suspension cases.  Either through negotiation or litigation I always try to limit the number of convictions for offenses where license suspensions occur.  When summary traffic offenses are attached to a DUI or Fleeing and Eluding case, I negotiate the withdrawal of such offenses.  In other cases, where there are numerous moving violations, I can persuade an officer to permit a plea to a single offense that does not impact you license.  If the matter needs to be tried before the Magistrate or Appealed to Common Pleas, I regularly advocate for clients facing license suspensions.  If you are facing a traffic citation or another charge where your Pennsylvania Driver’s License is at risk please contact my office for a no cost consultation.