Today, a Berks County Judge found my client not guilty of three counts of theft by deception following the non-jury trial. The case involved allegations by the Commonwealth that my client was involved in a scheme to defraud a homeowner by accepting payment for work not performed. With three separate Felony 3 counts, my client was facing a maximum of 21 years in state prison. Thankfully, for his sake, the Judge’s verdict means that he will soon be a free man.
This decision confirms that the criminal justice system we enjoy in Pennsylvania and throughout the United States is fair and just. When an individual is charged with a crime it is the Commonwealth’s burden to prove that person to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That means the Police and District Attorney’s Office, with their considerable financial resources and manpower must be held to account in a court of law. This burden of proof is vitally important to the freedom we all enjoy. It means that the government cannot pick and choose arbitrarily who they investigate and prosecute. Mere suspicion does not make a person guilty in this country. The fact that you have been charged with a crime does not make you guilty of a crime. This is a nation of laws. And, like today, it is nice to see that borne out on the most basic level in court.