I have represented hundreds of criminal defendants in Centre and surrounding counties in Central Pennsylvania since beginning my practice in State College in 2005.
As the father of two Penn State students and an alumnus of Penn State, I am highly in tune with the strict scrutiny that Penn State students, visitors and local residents have been placed under by local and University law enforcement. Almost 5,000 students per year are charged with either legal offenses by the Commonwealth or breaches of the Code of Student Conduct by the University.
A sampling of my representations and results are as follows:
Local and university law enforcement practice a virtual “No Tolerance Policy” with respect to underage drinking, public drunkenness, criminal mischief and other summary offenses.
In Pennsylvania, a guilty plea or conviction on a summary offense remains on a person’s criminal record for no less than five years. The only exception is a conviction for underage drinking, which can be expunged when the defendant turns 21 years of age.
Where a defense can be made based on the facts or the law surrounding a citation for a summary offense, acquittals can often be achieved at summary trial, or if necessary, upon appeal to a Court of Common Pleas. If the facts and/or the law surrounding the citation do not warrant a strong defense, my experience with local law enforcement and district judges in most cases allows me to negotiate an alternative adjudication that will protect my client from a criminal record.
There is rarely any advantage to pleading guilty to a first-time summary offense. Please contact me for a free consultation BEFORE you plead with the court!
Misdemeanor And Felony Charges
Possession of small amounts of marijuana, possession of drug p, DUI and simple assault are most often charged as misdemeanors. A conviction or guilty plea on these charges remains on the defendant’s criminal record for at least 10 years.
A large percentage of the misdemeanor and felony charges brought against Penn State students are first offenses that may be eligible for a diversionary program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition or ARD.
ARD is granted or denied solely at the discretion of the district attorney and must be sought no later than the date of the preliminary hearing. In my view, it is critical that an experienced and local defense attorney be involved in negotiating recommendations from the police, the assistant district attorney assigned to the case and, in some cases, the victim of the alleged offense to support an ARD application.
Before you make any decisions regarding your case, why not get the evaluation of an experienced defense lawyer. Call me for a free consultation!
Why Choose Me?
I devote the majority of my practice to defending those brought into the criminal justice system in Centre and surrounding counties.
I handle each case completely by myself and develop a strategy that best benefits the long-term objectives of each client.
Being accused of a crime, especially a crime you did not commit, can be financially and emotionally stressful.
When I am engaged to represent a client, I know that their future can rest in my hands. I take this responsibility very seriously.
Although my fees must be paid in advance, I accept all major credit cards and will do all I can to lessen the financial hardship that defending criminal charges can bring.