Category Archives: Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer

Taking a Stand: How to Challenge Police Officer Testimony. #CriminalDefenseAttorney

Detectives Testifying at Trial. Frank Walker Law

In most criminal cases, there’s likely to be a time where a police officer takes the stand to present evidence for the prosecution.  How the police officer witness is handled can make or break any case.  Police witnesses offer special challenges on cross examination.  First of all, there are inherent biases to combat with the jury.  The jury looks at the accused as a potential criminal and liar. Meanwhile, police officers are often looked at by jurors with respect and admiration.  Therefore its important to ask police officer questions at trial in a planned and careful matter that takes these biases into account.

The most helpful tool in preparing for the cross examination of a police witness is their report.  The written report of police witnesses will be available in discovery, and can be used to nail down the officer to a single version of events.  The point isn’t to construct an elaborate trap like you may see on tv. Instead, you want to construct a narrative that can illustrate deficits in the officer’s testimony and memory.  This may include drawing out exactly what the officer saw (and by implication, what they didn’t see), the lighting and weather conditions, and testing their memory of events. Police officers handle hundreds of cases every year, and mistakes will happen.  And if they’re mistaken about some things, its possible for the jury to conclude they are mistaken about others.  It is also important to challenge conclusions made by officers that are not supported by physical evidence.

Sometimes the questions you don’t ask are just as important.  A well constructed cross examination leads the jury to a conclusion that they draw themselves.  Trying to force an officer to admit that they made a mistake that is obviously damaging to their case will often just give them the opportunity to explain it away, and will also give them the opportunity to heap on more damaging information about the defendant. You don’t want to open that door if the prosecution hasn’t already.

Cross examination of a police officer is both an art and a science that is honed over years of trial experience.  That’s why you want Attorney Frank Walker to be the one asking the right questions on your behalf. Attorney Walker has years of trial experience and he isn’t afraid to take a tough case to trial. Don’t just plead guilty, lawyer up and fight the case!  Call 412-532-6805 to reach his office in Pittsburgh or call (304) 712-2089 for the  office in Morgantown. 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.

 

Failed a Workplace Drug Test? What happens next? #CriminalDefenseAttorney

Facing a Drug Test at work? Contact Frank Walker Law Today.

I get a lot of questions about what are the rules regarding drug tests and work, and what happens if someone fails a drug test through their work. Pennsylvania does not have a law requiring private employers to adopt drug testing policies or prohibiting them from doing so.  There are requirements through the Department of Transportation that require drug testing in certain professions involving driving as well as drug testing requirements for some federal jobs.

The first question I often get is “if I fail a drug test through work, can I be criminally prosecuted?”  If you fail a pre-employment drug screen or a random drug test, you are unlikely to be criminally prosecuted for doing so.  Health care privacy issues usually prohibit significant dissemination of these results.  That doesn’t mean that you’re safe from criminal prosecution in all situations. If you get in an accident and drugs or alcohol are involved, the police are going to be doing their own investigation and you may find yourself facing DUI charges.

Being fired for failing a drug test pursuant to an employer’s policy is a question of employment law and the employer’s discretion.  Usually the employer will be within their rights to immediately dismiss you. The main issue in most cases is whether the employer is following their own drug testing policy properly, or whether you were unfairly targeted for testing.  Another question is whether that policy makes the necessary exceptions for prescribed medications to those with disabilities.

One thing you do not want to do is try to fake a drug test by using fake urine or someone else’s urine in the test. It is a misdemeanor of the third degree to supply urine to someone else for the purpose of deceiving a drug test or to use someone else’s urine to pass a test yourself. Using fake urine to pass a drug test is illegal as well and is charged the same.  Don’t lose your job and get criminal charges on the same day!

If you are worried about the results of a drug test or a potentially failed drug test at work or after an accident, its best to get ahead of the issue and consult with an attorney who can put your mind at ease. Attorney Walker can tell you what steps you can take to protect yourself and safeguard your rights.  Set up a consultation today! You can learn more from our website at FrankWalker.com or call our office at 412-532-6805.

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 Crime Series: Underage, Intoxicated, & Incarcerated: #UnderageDUIs

Can Underage Drinking Lead to Underage DUI’s? Contact Frank Walker Law Today

Alcohol related crimes are very common on and around college campuses.  For some offenses like public intoxication or underage drinking, the charge can be disposed of relatively quickly, and the defendants age can be seen as a mitigating factor. However, drinking and driving underage is a serious offense with serious consequences, which can include jail time and expulsion from school.

The most major difference in the law behind DUI offenses between an adult DUI and an underage DUI is the BAC (blood alcohol content) limit.  For most adult drivers, it takes at least a few drinks in a short period of time to be over the legal limit. However, for underage drinkers, the BAC limit is significantly lower, and can be as low as .02, .04 or zero tolerance depending on the state.  For must people underage drinkers, even one drink will put them over the legal limit before getting behind the wheel.

The consequences of being underage and getting caught drinking and driving can vary greatly.  An underage drinking and driving conviction can end up in jail, or no time served at all.  It can end up in probation, substance abuse counseling or therapy, community service, fines, suspension or expulsion from school, or a mix of all of the above.  What happens is largely dependent on the facts of the case, the laws of the jurisdiction, and how you and your lawyer handle the case post-arrest. With the right approach, you can avoid a conviction by entering An Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, or mitigate a potential sentence or expulsion by being proactive about substance abuse counseling and taking the situation seriously.

The first step to getting serious is retaining a serious attorney who knows the ins and outs of your local criminal justice system. That’s where Attorney Frank Walker comes in. Attorney Walker has a solid track record of helping college students and other underage kids that have been caught drinking and driving.  With offices in Pittsburgh, PA and Morgantown, WV, Attorney Walker has experience  with students from dozens of college campuses in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. If you or someone you know has been caught drinking and driving underage, its time to get serious about your future. Call Frank Walker today. Call 412-532-6805 to reach the Pittsburgh offices or (304) 712-2089 for the office in Morgantown. We’re waiting to take your call today!

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.

 

 

The Best Way to Avoid a #DUI in 2017 #HappyNewYear

Happy New Year from all of us at Frank Walker Law!

Frank Walker LAw
Happy New Year from Frank Walker Law 

During the end of the year, we receive numerous calls at 412-532-6805 from potential clients needing an attorney for themselves, a friend, family member or acquaintance following an arrest for Drunk Driving, Underage Drinking, Public Intoxication, Underage DUI, Simple Assault, Possession of Narcotics, Theft, Traffic Offenses, or Public Urination.

Similar to our Christmas Post regarding avoiding holiday arrests, the same advice applies to avoiding and preventing DUI arrests during 2017: Drunk Driving Arrests can be prevented with a little bit of planning. Namely, by identifying a designated driver prior to hitting the town.

frank
Avoid a DUI Arrest in 2017

Thus, our FREE LEGAL ADVICE to you is simple: Please enjoy the holiday weekend, spend time with family but do so responsibly!

Please Don’t Drink and Drive or Text and Drive! Officers are on the lookout at #SobrietyCheckPoints and #DUICheckPoints

Lock these Taxi Service numbers into your cellphone before you hit the town or start the festivities:

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

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

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

Call or Schedule a ride with Uber or Lyft

Please help out a friend by sharing this Post to Help Prevent #DrunkDriving and #DUI Accidents in 2017.

Thanks and we trust that you have had a very #MerryChristmas, #HappyKwanzaa, #HappyHanukkah and #HappyNewYear!

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.

Getting Ready: How to Fight Your DUI Arrest

Frank Walker Law DUI Attorney Criminal Lawyer

After a night of drinking, you drive home, and on the way you see flashing red and blue lights in your rear view mirror. Its your worst fear: a police officer is pulling you over under suspicion of DUI.  After a field sobriety test, breathalyzer, and /or blood draw, you find yourself facing DUI charges.  The question on your mind is: what do I do now?

Besides the obvious advice that you shouldn’t drink and drive, there are other things you can do to help your case.  The first thing you need to do is to remember that you have the right to remain silent, and to use it.  The police are doing everything they can to build a case against you, and any statements you make (such as “I only had 2 beers”) can and will be used against you at trial.  Also, remember, that the field sobriety tests as well as breathalyzer tests are evidence gathering tools used by the Commonwealth and are for the most part completely voluntary. Pennsylvania has an implied consent law which mandates that you must consent to a blood draw or face increased penalties, but you are not required to do the field sobriety or breathalyzer tests.

Next step, and probably the most important step is to lawyer up. You need a competent attorney to help you fight the case. Someone who can teach you about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. You need someone experienced in criminal defense and specializes in handling DUI offenses.

Finally, remember to do the work. From here on out you need to comply with court rules and help build a case for a lighter sentence if you are eventually convicted. This means you need to do any counseling that is ordered, show up to your court dates on time, and help present the case that you are a strong contributing member of the community. This may include maintaining a good job, being active in the community, and strengthening family ties.  DUI proceedings are expensive, so you will want to make sure that you can build up some money to contribute towards any future fines or restitution.

If you have been charged with a DUI, getting an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to build a strong front line defense. Attorney Frank Walker has years of experience defending those charged with DUI offenses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as well as West Virginia.  Call 412-532-6805 to set up a consultation today!

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 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.

Superintendent of Local School District Gets Probation after DUI

The superintendent of local school district has agreed to enter into a rehabilitation program after being charged with drunken driving in February.

The superintendent for the Trinity Area School District was admitted into an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program , which is meant to help first time DUI offenders get back on the right track. The superintendent was pulled over by Ohio Township police on February 2, as a result of having crossed the centerline on Mount Nebo Road. After a sobriety test, the man was charged with driving under the influence, and released to his friend, who drove him home. According to police the man’s toxicology test showed that he had been driving with a blood alcohol content which was twice the legal limit.

After completing the ARD program the man must serve one year’s probation, and then will be eligible to have his record expunged. As a result of his arrest he was suspended from his job position with pay.

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.

If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-315-744124 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation in a Civil Case.