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Theft Charges Dismissed At Preliminary Hearing

by | Jan 14, 2011 | Criminal Law |

Last Friday I represented a client in Reading Central Court (RCC) in Berks County who was charged with Receiving Stolen Property, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3925, which is a theft offense. Although my client was only charged with a single misdemeanor offense, she had two (2) co-defendants who were charged with felony robbery, as well as other serious crimes; this was, therefore, an extremely serious case for my client.

After reading the affidavit of probable cause, I discussed with my client that there didn’t appear to be much evidence against her. The facts of the case were that my client, who was a passenger in a vehicle, was found to be in possession of a cell phone that had been taken in a robbery earlier that same day. On the day of my client’s preliminary hearing, I informed the Judge and the district attarney that my client and I would be fighting the case.

The defense in my client’s case was relatively simple. My client and I did not dispute that she was in possession of the cell phone. There was simply no proof, however, that my client had any idea that the cell phone was, in fact, stolen. During testimony by the victim and the police officers, I was able to demonstrate to the Judge that my client was 100% cooperative throughout the investigation. Furthermore, my client never made any attempt to conceal or hide the cell phone. Finally, right from the beginning of the investigation, my client told the police officers up front that the cell phone did not belong to her. It appears that my client simply picked up the cell phone upon entering the vehicle.

Although the burden of proof is very low at a preliminary hearing, the Judge in this case dismissed the charge against my client after hearing my closing argument. My client walked out of the courtroom with no jail time, no probation, no fines, and no court costs. She was very happy with the outcome of her case.

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Berks County or Reading, Pennsylvania, please contact my office to setup a free consultation.



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