If you’ve been charged with a crime in Berks County and part of the charge contains an allegation that you owe something to someone else (usually money), your attorney may be able to negotiate a dismissal upon satisfaction being made to the aggrieved party. This type of disposition is pursuant to Rule 586 (in front of the Court of Common Pleas), Rule 546 (in front of a magisterial district judge) or Rule 458 (dismissal of a summary offense).
This type of dismissal is not available in every case. Namely, Rule 586 only applies to charges that do not involve allegations of force or violence or threats thereof and Rule 546 only applies to misdemeanor and associated summary offenses. There are 4 additional requirements that must be met before a charge can be dismissed under these rules.
1 – the judge must find that the public interest will not be adversely affected
2 – the attorney for the Commonwealth (or the affiant if no attorney is present) must agree to the
3 – satisfaction has been made to the aggrieved person or there is an agreement that
satisfaction will be made
4 – there is an agreement as to who will pay costs
Although these rules do not only apply to monetary crimes, that is often how they are applied. They are most commonly used in theft and fraud cases. A dismissal under these rules is very beneficial to defendants because no guilty plea is required and the dismissal happens much faster than in an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) case.
Attorney McAllister recently represented a client in Reading Central Court who was charged with welfare fraud, a misdemeanor offense. This client was accused of receiving $1,800 in benefits that the client was not entitled to. A conviction for a fraud crime can have an extremely negative impact on a person’s ability to get a job, a loan or housing. Attorney McAllister was able to negotiate with the attorney for the Commonwealth and reach an agreement that the welfare fraud charge would be dismissed upon payment of the $1,800. The payment was made and the misdemeanor charge was dismissed pursuant to Rule 546 in front of a magisterial district judge.
If you’ve been charged with a theft or fraud crime and think that a Rule 586, Rule 546 or Rule 458 dismissal might be beneficial in your case, contact our knowledgeable Reading, PA criminal law attorneys at 610-372-5128 or email us at [email protected]