Several months ago, I (attarney Ryan W. McAllister) represented a client in the Berks County Courts charged with over thirty (30) different criminal counts, including felony aggravated assault, all stemming from what started out at a DUI checkpoint. My client was driving in Berks County when he saw a DUI checkpoint up ahead. Knowing that he had been drinking, my client immediately tried to turn around and go the other direction, jumping a curb and sidewalk in the process. This got the attention of the police officers working the DUI checkpoint, who proceeded to pursue my client.
For reasons unknown, my client, instead of pulling over, engaged the police in a high-speed chase that lasted upwards of an hour and spanned several cities and townships. The police eventually had my client “cornered” in a parking lot. Somehow, my client’s vehicle collided with an officer’s car before he was finally apprehended.
As a result, my client was charged with several serious offenses, including several counts of felony aggravated assault, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 2702, felony fleeing and eluding, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3733, and, of course, driving under the influence of alcohol, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3802. To make matters worse, this was my client’s second DUI offense within 10 years.
Based on the seriousness of the felony aggravated assault charges, the initial “plea bargain” offered by the assistant district attarney was three (3) years in state prison. My client was married with small children at home. He supported his family by working two (2) different jobs. He was not a hardened criminal, and he would not have survived well in state prison. Serving a three (3) year jail sentence would have altered his life and his family’s life forever.
There were very few facts in my favor in this case. Importantly, though, there were no police officers, or anyone else for that matter, who were injured in this incident. Even the collision between my client’s vehicle and a police officer’s vehicle resulted in minimal damage to the cars. To be sure, my client made some incredibly poor decisions that night. I firmly believe, though, that he had no intentions to harm or injure anyone.
After months of negotiations with the district attarney’s office and the police officers, I was able to get all of the serious felony aggravated assault charges withdrawn. I got my client into an intermediate punishment program offered by the Berks County Courts, which allowed him to go to inpatient treatment instead of jail. Ultimately, he was sentenced to serve five (5) days in jail along with five (5) years of supervised release.
My client was extremely grateful that I was able to keep him out of serving a lengthy three (3) year sentence in state prison. He was able to continue working at his two (2) jobs to support his wife and kids, and, as of today, he has been able to put this incident behind him and return to his life with his family.
If you are charged with a serious criminal case in Berks County, Pennsylvania, or Reading, Pennsylvania, please call the office at 610-372-5128 to setup a free consultation. I would be happy to sit down with you and provide you with a thorough analysis of your case.