I am a Former Senior Deputy District Attorney with experience in over 10,000 criminal and traffic cases. My sole area of practice is defending DUI, Criminal and Traffic cases. I am not a general practitioner who handles many different types of law. I do one thing and I do it well. Call me for a free, in-depth consultation and I would be happy to answer every question that you have about your case. We have 25 office locations throughout Pennsylvania - please call for the nearest location and set up an appointment with a Pennsylvania traffic ticket lawyer.
I wrote the book on DUI! Download my book for free, Pennsylvania DUI Arrest – Useful Info Revealed From a Former Prosecutor. Download the DUI Book
DUI is by far the most prevalent crime in the state of Pennsylvania. Nationally over one million people are arrested each year for DUI and over 50,000 are arrested in Pennsylvania alone. As a result, Pennsylvania has some of the harshest penalties in the country for DUI convictions, including possible mandatory jail time and lengthy license suspension if convicted of this crime.
The law sets three tiers of intoxication with the resulting penalties becoming more severe the higher the blood alcohol content (BAC) and if the individual has a prior record for DUI. The penalties can range from probation for a lowest level first offense DUI to one year or more in jail for a 3rd or subsequent offense. Additionally, DUI is considered a criminal offense in Pennsylvania and if you are convicted, it would remain on your record until age 70 before the case would be eligible for expungement.
A mandatory minimum sentence means that a judge has no discretion and must sentence the motorist to the mandatory minimum set by the legislature. Under the law, the judge cannot give less jail time, but he is free to give more than the minimum jail time. Whether the sentence is served on house arrest or work release is determined by the sentencing judge.
If you have been pulled over for Driving Under the Influence, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced, local attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.First Time Offender Programs
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) - Many of my clients are first time offenders who have never been in trouble before and are concerned about how a criminal case will affect their lives in the future. Luckily, Pennsylvania has programs for first time offenders which enables the individual to avoid jail time, avoid a possible license suspension and most importantly, avoid a criminal conviction on their record. If your case is a first offense and the accusation is for a non-violent offense, you may be eligible for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program or another type of first time offender program.
First time offender programs are designed for people who are not criminals and are meant to get cases out of the criminal justice system that do not necessarily belong there. They are meant to teach regular people who made a mistake a lesson, and the hope is that they are never seen in the criminal justice system again. Most of these programs involve a period of probation, community service, DUI classes and treatment, and the payment of fines. Once all of the conditions are satisfied, the result is that the District Attorney drops the charges and you can then have it expunged off of your record.
The decision to place an individual into a first time offender program is left solely up to the county District Attorney’s office. County judges have no power to place someone into a program and as such, your attorney’s relationship with the local District Attorney’s office is of the utmost importance.Traffic Offenses
Points Reduced or Your Money Back - Speeding, Stop Sign violations, Red Light violations and many other moving violations in Pennsylvania carry points on your license if you are found guilty. If you are convicted of certain traffic offenses, your license could be suspended, points could be assessed to your license, and your insurance premiums could increase as a result of the ticket. Some violations, such as Driving Under Suspension, carry mandatory jail time ranging from 30 days to 6 months in the county prison. If you have received a traffic ticket in Pennsylvania, you have 10 days to enter a plea of “Not Guilty” and you will then receive a notice from the local District Court with the court date. Most local District Judges will even permit your Pennsylvania traffic ticket attorney to appear on your behalf, so you might not even have to attend the hearing to get your points reduced.Pennsylvania Points for Moving Violations
Money Back Guarantee – if we are unable to negotiate a reduction in points on your moving violation, we will refund the entire fee. We are the only firm that guarantees our work, so if we are unable to help reduce your points, you get your money back. Due to my experience as a former Senior Deputy District Attorney, I have a 99% success rate in reducing points on moving violations. Additionally, many local judges will allow us to appear in court on your behalf, so you might not even have to attend the traffic court hearing to get your points reduced.Drug Offenses
Drug offenses are a common crime in Pennsylvania and include Drug Possession, Possession with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Prescription Fraud.
Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia are “ungraded” misdemeanors with a maximum penalties of 1 year in jail and a $2,500 fine. If convicted of drug possession in Pennsylvania, there is a mandatory 6 month driver’s license suspension for a first offense and a 1 year suspension for a second offense.
Possession with Intent to Manufacture or Deliver is also known as drug trafficking. This is a Felony of the 3rd degree and carries up to 7 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines if convicted. The crime occurs if an individual delivers (sells, trades, gives) a Controlled Substance to another individual. Possession with Intent occurs when a delivery does not occur, but the facts and circumstances would lead one to believe the drugs were intended for sale.
Prescription Fraud is a crime that is on the rise due to the opioid crisis. This crime occurs when an individual forges a prescription or otherwise tries to obtain a prescription through fraudulent means. This crime is also a Felony of the 3 rd degree.Assault and Domestic Assault
Assault cases are classified into 2 crimes, Simple Assault and Aggravated Assault. Simple Assault is a Misdemeanor of the 2nd degree with maximum penalties of 2 years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. Simple Assault occurs when an individual intentionally, recklessly or negligently causes bodily injury to another or puts someone in fear of bodily injury. It also applies when someone attempts to injure another.
Aggravated Assault is a Felony of the 1st Degree with maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines. This crime is similar to Simple Assault but there has to be “Serious Bodily Injury” either inflicted or attempted to be inflicted. Assaults with serious injuries and assaults with weapons would fall into this category. Additionally, assaults on a certain class of individuals such as police officers, nurses and teachers are automatically classified as Aggravated assault.
Domestic Assault is a simple assault on a partner, spouse or family member. These cases are taken very seriously by the police and usually result in immediate arrest and arraignment. You can be excluded from your home while the court case is proceeding and you may be forced to take expensive and time consuming domestic violence classes if you are convicted.Juvenile Offenses
A minor under 18 years of age is considered to be a juvenile in Pennsylvania and any criminal proceedings occur in Juvenile Court rather than “normal” adult court. The same laws and rules of evidence apply, but the focus of juvenile court is rehabilitation rather than punishment. The State still has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but rather than being convicted and found guilty, a juvenile is found to be “delinquent”. The judge and a juvenile probation officer then decides what type of rehabilitation would be best for the juvenile which could range from probation, to drug/mental health treatment up to confinement in a juvenile detention facility.
Juvenile records are generally not available to the public and are eligible for Expungement after the juvenile turns 21 years of age.Expungement/Pardons
In Pennsylvania, a case is eligible for Expungement by a county judge only in limited situations. If you were found not guilty, if charges were dropped or if you completed a first time offender program then the case is eligible for expungement. If a Motion for Expungment is approved by the county judge, all evidence of your case will be destroyed, including your rap sheet, mug shot, fingerprints and physical court file.
If you were convicted or found guilty of a crime, Pennsylvania law does not permit Expungement until the individual turns 70 years of age. If you were convicted, the only way to remove it from your record would be to apply for a Governor’s Pardon in which the Board of Pardons reviews your case and determines if they will give you a hearing. At the hearing you would have to present evidence to convince the Board to recommend a pardon to the Governor, who would then have to sign the pardon.
For the past 25 years in practice I have handled all types of Felony and Misdemeanor cases. In my career as a prosecutor, I personally handled over 5,000 cases ranging from minor traffic offenses to criminal homicide. As a defense attorney now for over 20 years, I have helped thousands of clients navigate the criminal justice system. I have personally handled cases involving:
Call or email me for a Free Consultation with a Pennsylvania traffic ticket lawyer or assistance with a criminal case. I gladly talk to new clients over the phone and I would be happy to answer every question that you have, either over the phone, or in person if you prefer for free. I will explain all of your options, give you my honest opinion about what could happen to you and I will even quote you a fee and a flexible payment plan right over the phone because I believe that an informed client is the best client. I wish you the best of luck with your case.
My experience as a Senior Deputy District Attorney is what sets me apart from other defense attorneys. I have handled over 10,000 criminal and traffic cases and my experience permits me to examine the case from both sides to best represent my clients. Over the last 25 years in practice I have worked with hundreds of local police officers, and I have appeared before local county judges in thousands of cases. I know the local system and all of the tricks the police use to gain an advantage. Few attorneys possess my background and experience in this area of the law.
My sole area of practice is defending DUI, Criminal and Traffic cases. I am not a general practitioner who handles many different types of law. I am not a “jack-of-all-trades.” Criminal law has been my primary practice area since I became a lawyer over 25 years ago.
I treat clients the way I would want to be treated if I was experiencing legal problems – with honesty, kindness and respect. I do not tell clients what they want to hear just to get a case. I do not scare clients into retaining me. What I do is tell clients the truth, right over the phone. I call clients back, even at night or on weekends and I am almost always accessible for questions and concerns by phone, email or text.
Whomever you choose to represent you, do your homework. Ask questions and then ask more questions. Read reviews from former clients online on websites like Avvo.com. Get second opinions but be wary of lawyers who scare you into retaining them or who just tell you what you want to hear. You must be comfortable with your attorney and be certain that he has the experience to properly represent you in court.
Awards and Accolades: I have been rated as an “Excellent” attorney by the lawyer review website Avvo.com. I have over 200 Five-Star reviews from former clients on Avvo.com and have earned the prestigious Avvo “Client’s Choice Award”, as voted by my clients. You can review my profile and read reviews from former clients at www.Avvo.com. I have also been ranked as One of the Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Pennsylvania by the American Society for Legal Advocates and One of the 10 Best Attorneys in Pennsylvania for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of DUI Attorneys. I care about my clients and it shows in my reviews from former clients.
Call or email me for a free consultation and see for yourself how I am a different breed of lawyer.