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November 2011 Archives

Felony Charges Reduced To Misdemeanor

attarney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a young man charged with a serious felony offense known as "fleeing or attempting to elude police", 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3733. Our client was only twenty years old, and he was extremely worried about having a felony on his record for the rest of his life. attarney McAllister was able to successfuly negotiate with the district attarneys office to having the grading of this offense lowered from a "felony" to a "misdemeanor" as part of a plea deal. Eight (8) other summary offenses that our client was facing were also dropped as part of this plea deal.

Involuntary Commitment / PA Mental Health Act

I recently represented a client facing a 180 day involuntary commitment to the Mental Health facility at Wernersville State Hospital under section 305 of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Act. After testimony before a Mental Health Hearing Officer the period of potential commitment was reduced to 30 days. Clearly, a favorable result for my client. While she will continue to receive the treatment that she needs she will not be facing the possibility of a long stay in a restrictive facility.
Title 50 addresses mental health law in Pennsylvania. The law provides for the involuntary examination and treatment of individuals who, due to mental illness, lack the capacity to care for their personal needs to the extent that they pose a danger to themselves or others. The statutes can be found at 50 P.S. Section 7301 through 7305. Each section provides for examination by a physician and a period of time for which the commitment may last.
Individuals facing a 303, 304 or 305 hearing have the right to an attarney to represent them. It is particularly important for individuals and/or families of individuals facing involuntary commitment to hire an attarney to represent their interests. As with any situation where your liberty interests are at stake, you need to be prepared to present your best case.
Myself and my partners at Ebner, Nevins & McAllister have extensive experience representing individuals with mental health diagnosis. We are sensitive to the delicate nature of many of these cases and will zealously advocate for your interests. Please contact our office for a free consultation.

College Student Gets ARD For Felony Charges

Last week attarney Ryan W. McAllister represented a young Kutztown University student who was charged with felony burglary, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3502(a), felony criminal trespass, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3503(a)(1)(i), and misdemeanor theft by unlawful taking, 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3921(b). Our client was charged with taking some items of clothing from another university student, and, in order to take those items of clothing, our client allegedly went into another student's dorm room without permission. Since our client went into another student's dorm room "without permission", the university police charged out client with felony burglary and felony criminal trespass, in addition to theft by unlawful taking.

Kutztown University Student avoids License Suspension in Underage Drinking Case

Yesterday I (attarney Dan Nevins) represented a client charged with an Underage Drinking Citation in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. A conviction on such an offense comes with a three (3) month license suspension and the consequences of an alcohol related conviction.

Client Avoids Jail Time and License Suspension in Reading PA DUI Case

Yesterday I represented a client charged with a Highest Tier (above .16 BAC) DUI offense - 3802(c). A conviction on that offense would result in 3 days to 6 months in jail and a one year license suspension. The District attarney's office had denied our requests for ARD placement due to my client's prior, though unrelated, record.

All Charges Withdrawn in Reading PA Stabbing Case

Last week attarney Elizabeth Ebner secured a full withdrawal of charges for a Reading woman charged with stabbing her boyfriend. Originally jailed on Aggravated Assault charges - Liz won her client's release through a bail reduction at the preliminary hearing. Liz continued to fight for her client even after getting the charges reduced from the felony level down to misdemeanors. In this case the Commonwealth had issues with the cooperation of key witnesses, but they did have the damaging evidence of a bloody knife in our client's sink.
Due to Liz's persistence, however, the District attarney's office eventually agreed to withdraw the case entirely in the end. Congratulations and great job, Liz!

Client Avoids 60 day Mandatory Jail Sentence in Suspended License Case

Today I represented a client charged with violating section 1543(b) of the PA Vehicle Code - Driving Under a Suspended License - DUI Related. The sentence is strict for a conviction for such an offense: 60 days mandatory in jail, and the possibility of up to 90 days at the discretion of the Judge. Additionally, a Driving Under Suspended License (DUS) citation carries a 1 year License Suspension from PENNDOT.

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