Category Archives: Pittsburgh Criminal Defense News

#Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney Donates Hundreds of Backpacks for #BackToSchool

Attorney Frank Walker Stuffs the first Back to School Backpack

Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law continues to give back to the Pittsburgh Community in a meaningful way by donating hundreds of Backpacks and School supplies to  children in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

According to Attorney Walker, the decision to donate the backpacks and supplies was easy, “I received a phone call from a Pastor in the East Hills District of Pittsburgh asking for backpack donations for some of the kids in the district. I immediately thought of the impact of sending kids back to school with supplies and the knowledge that they have support from the community near and far. To me, the decision to invest in children and positively impact the community is always a great investment.”

The black and gray backpacks imprinted with the FrankWalkerLaw logo, include basic supplies such as a spiral notebook, ruler, pencils, water bottle and pens. Some of the younger children will also receive a box of crayons. The backpacks and other items from businesses and organizations will be given away at the East Hills Community Day at the East Hills Community Pavilion, 2264 Bracey Drive, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221 on Friday August 25, 2017.

Attorney Walker hopes this community event will serve as an example to the local community of the importance of giving back, “Too often we turn on the news and hear about the negativity in World, hopefully this event will serve as a reminder of the good things people are doing right here in the community by volunteering their time and resources to give back in a tangible way.”

Attorney Walker thanks the local chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated for assisting in the packaging project and TLJenkins Photography for helping document this community event, “My Fraternity stepped up in a major way in providing some helping hands in the packaging process and TLJenkins Photography again helped out in capturing the process of this inaugural event. I’m hopeful for a great event and wish the children a successful academic year.”

Helpers assist in packing the supplies in the Back Packs

About Frank Walker Law

Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer, and Personal Injury Attorney who has been recognized as a Super LawyerBest Attorneys in America and a Top AVVO Rated attorney, with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia.

If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-680524 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation in a Civil Case.

It Wasn’t Me: Issues in Cases of Mistaken Identity. #CriminalDefenseAttorney

Charged with a Crime based on Mistaken Identity? Contact Frank Walker Law

Hearing an eyewitness on the stand point to the defendant and say “he’s the one who did it, that guy right there” is very convincing evidence to jurors. However, in study after study, eyewitness testimony has been shown to be incredibly unreliable.  Studies show that an eyewitness’s recall of the crime can be affected by anxiety or stress, reconstructive memory, their focus on the perpetrator’s weapon, flawed lineups, and leading questions asked by the police and prosecutors.

Most crime when it happens, is unexpected and happens in the blink of an eye.  There are studies for and against the idea that the stress of a situation keeps people from being able to remember the details of that situation.  In crimes done with a weapon, there is strong evidence to show that victims focus on the weapon and are able to describe it in great detail, but are often unable to remember key attributes of the person holding the gun including things such as their height, race and hair color.

A huge issue in cases of mistaken identity are the use of police lineups and photo-arrays to identify potential culprits in various cases like Murder, Rape or Kidnapping.   There is considerable case law on how to apply lineups or display photo-arrays in a way that passes constitutional muster.  Lineups and photo-arrays must be administered in an unbiased way where the police aren’t being suggestive of who they believe the culprit to be. Also, when using photo-arrays, the photos must be chosen and displayed in a way that the suspect does not unfairly stand out from the witnesses initial description. A lineup or photo-array of all individuals of a difference race than the description provided except for the suspect would be outrageously suggestive. If lineups and photo-arrays aren’t administered properly, a good lawyer can get that evidence suppressed and excluded from being used as evidence against you.

That’s where Attorney Frank Walker can help. He has years of experience in challenging eyewitness testimony and successfully getting evidence suppressed and cases based on mistaken identity thrown out.  If you have a case where identity is at issue in Pittsburgh, PA or Morgantown, WV  Attorney Walker is the advocate you need.  Call 412-532-6805 to reach the Pittsburgh office or (304) 712-2089 for our office in Morgantown, West Virginia. Call now!

About Frank Walker Law

Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer, and Personal Injury Attorney who has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, Best Attorneys in America and a Top AVVO Rated attorney, with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia.

If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation in a Civil Case.

Written Statements: Should I Give One? #CriminalDefenseLawyer

Should I give a written statement to Detectives? Frank Walker Law

For many people, being arrested or being questioned by the police is a new and shocking experience.  The police might come to your house, or ask you to come down to the station, just to “ask you a few questions.”  Then once you get there, they ask you to sign a Miranda waiver and write down what happened with a written statement.  Or in the alternative, you might find yourself in a situation where you are immediately arrested and thrown in jail and at first officers completely ignore you and seem like they don’t care about your version of events.

Regardless of your situation, whether arrested for a DUI, Drug Crime, Summary Offense or Homicideit is understandable that you want to tell your side of the story.  Especially in a dispute involving two or more people, its hard to let the police operate with just the other person’s version of the facts without telling your side of the story.  But no matter how tempting it is to write down exactly what happened and to provide them with a written statement, DO NOT do it . Especially without talking to an attorney first.

Any written statement you provide can and will be used against you in court. No matter how innocent your statement may seem, it can be twisted and used against you.  The police aren’t asking you for a statement just because they want a fair and balanced version of the facts. They are asking you for a written statement to gather additional admissible evidence to build a case against you. A self serving written statement denying culpability is given little consideration by the police in their decision to charge you.

If you have been arrested or contacted by the police to give a statement on a situation, its important to talk to an attorney first.  A qualified attorney can present your version of the story to the police without providing them with damning evidence.  The fact that you have retained an attorney can not be used against you.  When you’re dealing with the government, its important to protect yourself. So get the best defense possible and call Attorney Frank Walker. He has years of criminal defense experience dealing with prosecutors and the police.  People are available to take your call  24/7, 365 days a year. Call 412-532-6805 to reach the Pittsburgh office or (304) 712-2089 for the offices in Morgantown.

About Frank Walker Law

Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer, and Personal Injury Attorney who has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, Best Attorneys in America and a Top AVVO Rated attorney, with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia.

If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation in a Civil Case.

No Takebacks: Why You Can’t Just “Drop the Charges” #CriminalDefenseAttorney

No, you Can’t Just “Drop The Charges”. Frank Walker Law

One of the most common misconceptions about our criminal justice system is the concept of individuals “pressing charges.” You see it on tv all the time. Someone is wronged, whether it be they are hit, or they are perceived to be slighted, and they threaten the other person by stating “I’m going to press charges!”  While its true that people can report crime to the police and even fill out private criminal complaints, the decision about whether to proceed with charges or not rests solely with the office of the District Attorney.

The most common time this comes into play is in scenarios involving domestic violence.  An argument gets heated between two romantic partners, and one of the people in the fight calls the police and says the other person is attacking them. Whether its true or not, one or both of the participants gets hauled off to jail and gets charged with assault, aggravated assault, or harassment.  After some time passes, the person who called the cops decides that they no longer wish to pursue charges.  If they were lying, they call to recant what they said.  However, most of the time these people are in for a rude awakening as the District Attorney may continue to pursue the charges.

While it seems unfair, there’s reasons behind this.  First is to avoid potential witness intimidation.  Often when someone recants a police report, its because they’ve been contacted by their attacker and intimidated into retracting their claims.  Next, even if someone lied, that person is unlikely to come forward for fear of prosecution. Making a false report to police officers is a serious crime.   It ends up being a catch 22, where people who file false police charges are forced to double down on their lie to avoid prosecution.

If you find yourself in a situation like the one described above, you need an experienced attorney to successfully resolve the situation.  With the help of an attorney, the District Attorney can be convinced to drop the charges or consider alternative resolutions such as counseling, anger management classes, or some other form of help that will address the underlying issues without ending up with a conviction on your record.  With years of experience dealing with prosecutors and helping clients and their families, Attorney Walker can help. Phone lines are open 24/7, 365 at 412-532-6805 to reach the Pittsburgh office or (304) 712-2089 for the office in Morgantown, West Virginia. Call now to set up a consultation!

About Frank Walker Law

Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer, and Personal Injury Attorney who has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, Best Attorneys in America and a Top AVVO Rated attorney, with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia.

If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation in a Civil Case.

Common College Crimes: Real Consequences for using a #FakeID

A fake passport being made at home. Frank Walker Law

Most common college crimes involve alcohol or drugs in some fashion.  The average age of new college matriculates is around 18 or 19, and since the drinking age is 21, the use of a fake id makes its way onto our list of common college crimes.

Though the general idea of using a fake id is somewhat universal, the charge for getting caught with one may vary based on the jurisdiction and the method used.  Underage kids trying to get into a bar may use a friend or sibling’s ID, or they may get a fake id made.  In cases where kids use someone else’s ID, depending on the jurisdiction, they may find themselves facing identity theft charges, which is a serious felony.  An identity theft charge for using a fake id is rare, and many states have exceptions to their identity theft statutes in cases related to the use of a false ids to purchase alcohol.  Most jurisdictions have statutes specifically addressing fake ids used to get into bars and buy alcohol by underage offenders.  These statutes range from a simple summary offense to a misdemeanor. The consequences can range from a small fine, to a suspension of your driver’s privileges, or even jail time for repeat offenders in some jurisdictions.

There are other consequences to being caught with a fake id besides potential fines.  Possession of a fake id is considered what is known as crimen falsi, meaning a crime involving dishonesty.  Many employers ban people with crimen falsi convictions from their workforce.  Crimen falsi convictions may also affect your eligibility for professional licenses such as a law license, medical license, cpa, or other professional license.

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a fake id offense, you have options.  An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you pursue alternatives to a conviction such as a discharge after community service, a plea to a different offense, expungement, or some other fitting alternative.  If you are a college student in Pennsylvania or West Virginia, Attorney Frank Walker can help. He has years of experience advocating for college students in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Call 412-532-6805 to reach the Pittsburgh office or (304) 712-2089 for our office in West Virginia. Call now!

About Frank Walker Law

Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer, and Personal Injury Attorney who has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, Best Attorneys in America and a Top AVVO Rated attorney, with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia.

If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation in a Civil Case.

#MirandaRights: A Constitutional Right, Not a Magic Bullet. #CriminalDefenseLawyer

Suspect in police interrogation room without Criminal Attorney

Most people, despite never having been arrested, are familiar with the list of rights known as Miranda Rights.  These rights include the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney present during questioning, the right to have a court-appointed attorney if you can not afford one, and the warning that anything you say can be used against you in court.  People are usually familiar with these rights because they can recall some rendition of them from a tv show or movie.  And in those movies where the defendant was not read their Miranda Rights, once the lawyer brings that up in court * poof * like magic the case disappears.

But of course its nowhere near that simple.  I have had clients come into my office and ask “why, if the cops failed to read me my rights, isn’t the DUI, Underage Drinking or Assault case dismissed?”  First, you have to understand when Miranda warnings are required, and what happens when those rules aren’t followed.  Miranda warnings are required prior to what is known as a custodial interrogation.  Being in custody pivots on the question of whether you were free to leave the scene, or whether you were being detained. And the question of whether you are being interrogated depends on whether you are being asked questions designed to elicit an incriminating response.

If the government violates your rights under Miranda, the statements obtained from you may not be used in court against you.  This doesn’t mean the case goes away automatically, as the government may still proceed on other evidence they may have against you. Violation of Miranda usually only proves fatal to the government’s case when your confession is the only evidence they have against you. Statements of witnesses to the crime, video tape, and other evidence may still be used to pursue a case against you.

The analysis of whether a confession or incriminating statement was made in violation of your rights can be a complicated one. For example, Miranda does not apply to statements given outside of custody, which is why many times the police may try to classify interactions as mere encounters.  Also, Miranda  does not apply to voluntary statements given freely by the defendant that were not done in response to officer questioning.  And this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are far more exceptions, rules, and nuances to these cases than can be discussed in one blog post.

That’s why its important if you’ve been arrested that you ask to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible, prior to giving any statements to police.  Call Attorney Frank Walker.  The phone lines at the law offices of Frank Walker are open twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

The decisions you make about what to say and who to say it to may define the rest of your life, so make sure they’re made to someone you can trust.  Attorney Frank Walker has been serving the citizens of Pittsburgh, PA, and Morgantown WV for years. Check out FrankWalker.com for more information. Pittsburgh residents can call 412-532-6805 to set up a consultation, and the number for our Morgantown callers is (304) 712-2089.

About Frank Walker Law

Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer, and Personal Injury Attorney who has been recognized as a Super Lawyer, Best Attorneys in America and a Top AVVO Rated attorney, with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia.

If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation in a Civil Case.

Top 5 Tips to Avoid an Arrest this #StPattys Day. #FreeAdvice #Irish

Plan Ahead for March 17
Avoiding an Arrest on St. Patrick’s Day from a Criminal Defense Attorney

Every Single Year, not every other year, but EVERY, SINGLE, YEAR, our phones ring off the hook on St. Patrick’s Day and immediately thereafter. On the other end of the phone is the friend, cousin, husband, sister, wife of someone who, “is really a good person, but had a little to much to drink over St. Patty’s Day Holiday.”

Don’t get me wrong, as a Criminal Defense Attorney, the new business is great! But I really don’t want you to need me.

PSA Billboard from a Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer

You see, part of my job as an Attorney is that of a Counselor, and I view that term as  the license to impart some sage advice from time to time.

I mean, do you really want to spend the day after St. Patty’s Day gathering your hard earned funds to retain a Criminal Defense Lawyer to post bond for your Friend, or defending you at a preliminary hearing for a DUI Charge or Summary Trial for Underage Drinking, Public Intoxication, Public Urination, Summary Harassment, Fake ID or Disorderly Conduct? Probably Not.

Alas, I am breaking my own rule and dishing out some FREE LEGAL ADVICE and giving you my Top 5 Tips for avoiding an arrest this St. Patrick’s Day.

So Listen up! 

  1. Plan Ahead

Pick a Designated Driver, Download the #UBER or #LYFT App, find the local Shuttle Service in your area, or Lock in the Number for a Taxi BEFORE you hit the town.

Young Couple riding in UBER, LYFT or TAXI upon advice of Counsel – Criminal Defense Lawyer Frank Walker Law

Yellow Cab, #Morgantown, WV – (304) 292-7441

DUB V Safe Ride – Morgantown Text or call 304-777-9996

Yellow Cab, Pittsburgh, Pa – (412) 321-8100

JB Taxi Service – Beaver County, Pa – 724-658-1444

C & H Taxi – Charleston, WV (304) 344-4902

Greensburg, Pa – Yellow Cab – (724) 838-0700

 

2. Know Your Limits

Your capacity to ‘hold your liquor’ does not magically increase simply because it is St. Patrick’s Day.  You are not impressing anyone by overdoing it. Odds are you will end up making some poor decisions like thinking you can drive when you can barely walk. Be Smart.

Be Smart: Know your Limits – Tips from Criminal Defense Attorney Frank Walker Law

 

3. Use the Bathroom that has a toilet and a stall

I get it. When you gotta go, you gotta go, but do yourself a favor: Use the restroom before you leave the establishment. In the alternative, use one of the numerous port-a-potties set outside just for this occasion.

The side of buildings, cars, dumpsters and alleys do not require any additional ‘human hydration‘ or ‘liquid artwork‘. Plus, Officers are out and about waiting to cite you for Public Urination.

Use the Bathroom before you go. Don’t get arrested for Public Urination! – Tips from Criminal Defense Attorney Frank Walker Law

 

4. If you are Drinking you are Not Driving. Simple. 

Sounds So Easy, but you would be surprise at the amount of people who still get arrested for a DUI because ‘they only had two drinks’.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are ok to drive or that you are ‘not as drunk as your friend‘. Officers will be out in droves throughout the Holiday Weekend. If you Drink and Drive, you will be caught. You will face jail time, legal fees, hefty fines, license suspensions and a criminal record.

It’s not worth it. If you don’t have a plan for a designated driver, stay home, put on some green and invite some friends over. Don’t Risk a DUI

Don’t Risk a DUI this St. Patrick’s Day. Tips from a Criminal Defense Attorney – Frank Walker Law

 

5. Just Walk Away

Inevitably, alcohol will bring out the beer muscles this holiday. Insignificant arguments will immediately escalate to all out war. Fists flying, screams, scratching, yelling and Defcon 5 over something that neither party will remember once they sober up.

Just Walk Away from Beer Muscles – Tips from Criminal Defense Attorney Frank Walker Law

Do yourself a favor and just walk away.

Sure, you’ve had a couple drinks, you’re feeling yourself, and now you are ready to defend his or her honor over a perceived diss from a facebook post your neighbor’s cousin made last Halloween. Is it really worth it? Probably Not. Just Walk Away

An officer tells you to walk away from an incident, but you want to ‘give them a piece of your mind’! Is it really worth it? Probably Not. Just Walk Away.

Enjoy the Holiday Responsibly 

These are my top 5 Tips. Sure, there are many additional tips for avoiding an arrest this St. Patty’s Day Holiday, but 5 will do it for now. Want more advice? No Problem. Set an appointment and we can talk about it . . . Just don’t expect me to meet you on St. Patty’s Day.

About the Author

Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer and Personal Injury Attorney with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia. Attorney Walker is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense, Super Lawyers and qualified as a Pennsylvania Death Penalty Defense Attorney.

If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident in WV or PA, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation following a serious accident or injury.