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March 2015 Archives

ENM Law News: Not Guilty Verdict in West Reading Stabbing

Attorney Dan Nevins won a complete jury acquittal this week in an Aggravated Assault trial in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas. Our client was found not guilty of all 17 counts. The Commonwealth alleged that our client participated in a stabbing at a West Reading hotel. Three co-Defendants had already been sentenced to up to 10 years in State Prison for their roles in the incident. Nevins attacked the credibility of the chief Commonwealth witness by bringing out his various inconsistent statements, drug use, pending criminal charges and other poor character attributes. The jury deliberated for approximately 90 minutes before delivering the acquittal.

Spotlight Issue: Custody Relocation

Pennsylvania has strict rules governing the relocation of a child. A parent or guardian cannot relocate with a child unless all parties with custodial rights have agreed to the move or the court has approved the relocation. Relocation is defined as a change in residence which significantly impairs the ability of a non-relocating party to exercise custodial rights. Pennsylvania law does not require that the move be out of the state to qualify as relocation.

DUI Law Update

The Pennsylvania Legislature recently closed a loophole in the DUI statute which will result in harsher sentences for repeat DUI offenders. The loophole was created by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision in Commonwealth v. Haag in 2009. The Court in Haag said that a defendant could not be sentenced as a repeat DUI offender unless he had been sentenced on his prior DUI offense before the subsequent DUI offense occurred. The Haag ruling resulted in defendants receiving significantly reduced sentences for multiple DUI's because they could be sentenced on multiple DUI's without facing the recidivist penalties. In other words, a person could hypothetically have two pending DUI cases (technically a first and second DUI) and only be sentenced as having two first DUIs. Therefore, a person would not be penalized for having more than one pending DUI.

ENM Law News: First-Time DUI Offender Avoids Jail

A recent client was facing a mandatory 72 hour sentence in prison for a first-offense DUI in Berks County. Our DUI attorneys advised the client that he could complete an intensive treatment program and receive credit towards the jail sentence. Our client participated in the program and did not serve any time in jail. If you've been charged with a DUI, let our experienced lawyers help you. Call us at 610-372-5128 or submit your case using the "Ask an attorney" link.

ENM Law News: Second-Time DUI Offender Receives Reduced Sentence

Second time DUI offenders are often facing a mandatory 90 day jail sentence. In Berks County the Second Time Offender Program (STOP) allows defendants to reduce their mandatory jail sentences by serving a portion of their sentence on electronic monitoring or in a halfway house. However, admission to the STOP program is not guaranteed. Typically, if a defendant is denied admission to the STOP program, then he must serve the entirety of his mandatory sentence in jail. One of our recent clients was charged with a second-offense DUI and was denied admission to the STOP program. Instead of the client having to serve 90 days in the Berks County Prison, our DUI attorneys obtained a sentence for the client wherein he served 85 days on electronic monitoring and only 5 days in prison. If you've been charged with a DUI, our Reading DUI attorneys would like to help you. Call us at 610-372-5128 or submit your case using the "Ask an attorney" link.

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