Category Archives: Pittsburgh Preliminary Hearings

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.

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.

 

 

Bad Romance: When a Bad Breakup Leads to Criminal Charges

Frank Walker Law
      

*** If you are a victim of Domestic Violence, please seek help immediately by contacting local authorities or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233). ***  

In romantic relationships, emotions run high and thinking is not always rational.  During a bad breakup, the potential for allegations of a criminal offense are particularly high. When you combine hurt feelings with a sense of being wronged and a taste of bitterness, and you mix in the arguing and fighting that may ensue, potentially illegal behavior is a highly possible outcome. After substance abuse and money, interpersonal romantic issues are one of the most common reasons behind the commission of a criminal offense.

Often times, breakup fights get physical.  One person may get slapped, bitten, punched, or shaken. One person may grab the other person in a way that leaves marks or bruises. Or threats may be made unthinkingly. If the cops are called to the scene, either one or both of the people involved may find themselves with criminal charges including harassment, assault, simple assault, aggravated assault and terroristic threats. It is a common misconception that the person reporting the crime is “pressing charges” against the other person. Instead, it is in the discretion of the office of the District Attorney’s office about whether to pursue and maintain criminal charges. Even after reconciliation, the DA’s office can and will still pursue serious criminal charges against the accused even over the protest of the alleged victim.

Sometimes even nonviolent contact can lead to criminal charges. After a breakup, the person who initiated the breakup may refuse to answer phone calls or respond to texts. The other person, unwilling to accept that the relationship has ended may call and/or text over and over again trying to get their attention, or show up repeatedly at their house or place of work. This type of conduct can result in charges of harassment or stalking.

Many times a bad breakup or fight may result in one party obtaining a protection form abuse order (PFA) against the other.  Once a PFA order is in place, any attempt to contact the  person who got the order, either calling them or talking to them in person can result in criminal charges for indirect criminal contempt, punishable with up to 6 months of incarceration for each violation.  Individuals can get in trouble for violating these no contact provisions even when it’s the victim who reaches out and initiates the contact in the first place!

If you’ve had a bad breakup that turned messy, and you now find yourself facing an eviction, criminal charges, and/or civil proceedings, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney. Don’t allow your emotions to cloud your thinking. You know that you need a qualified representative to fight the charges and help you navigate these tumultuous waters. Attorney Frank Walker can help. With years of experience helping both men and women accused of charges stemming from a bad breakup, Attorney Frank Walker can get the charges dismissed or reduced, fight PFA proceedings, and help you be in a good situation both financially and professionally moving forward. Give him a call today! Our lines are open 24/7 at 412-532-6805.

*** If you are a victim of Domestic Violence, please seek help immediately by contacting local authorities or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233). ***

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.

Testifying at the Preliminary Hearing and Trial: A Personal and Strategic Decision. #CriminalDefenseLawyer

Frank Walker Law Testify

A decision that has to be made at every preliminary hearing or trial on criminal charges is the decision of whether to take the stand and testify.  You have the right to remain silent and do not have to testify if you do not wish to. However, you also have the right to testify on your own behalf, and at trial, your attorney can not prevent you from speaking. Whether you ultimately do speak at your preliminary hearing or trial is an important decision that you should decide with your attorney.

At the preliminary hearing, the temptation is almost overwhelming to tell your side of the story. The police or witnesses may present a story that you may know to be factually untrue, and you’re going to have an intense desire to call them out on it and tell the real story of what happened. However, testifying at your preliminary hearing is almost always a mistake. Its important to remember that at a preliminary hearing, the rule is that credibility of the Commonwealth’s witnesses is not at issue. Anything the Commonwealth’s witnesses say at this time will be taken at face value for purposes of establishing a prima facie case. Any testimony you give can not disprove their story at this time, and it can be used to impeach you at trial if anything you say ends up being able to be shown as potentially  inaccurate. Instead, its important to tell the real story to your lawyer, and allow him to build a record out of the Commonwealth’s witnesses that enables you to attack the merits of their case.

At trial, the analysis about whether to testify on your own behalf is entirely different. The pitfall of testifying on your own behalf at trial is that it opens you up to an intense cross examination from the prosecution that can draw out many facts that cast you in a bad light.  Also, if you have ever been convicted of prior crimes involving dishonesty (known as crimen falsi), all of these crimes may potentially be submitted into evidence against you.  As a legal matter, your decision not to testify can not be held against you. As a practical matter, testifying may be the only way to get your version of facts into evidence, and the jury may judge you in their own minds if you do not.  The decision about whether to testify is a personal and strategic decision that should be discussed at length with an experienced attorney.

Thats where Attorney Frank Walker comes in. With years of experience defending the accused at trial, Attorney Walker can help you make these important decisions, and build a sound legal defense to attack the charges. Call Walker Law today at 412-532-6805! Lines are open 24/7 365 to better serve you.

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.

#Detroit Man Arrested in #Pittsburgh for Child Neglect

A Detroit man has been arrested in Pittsburgh after allegedly leaving five children, who were under his care, in a Pittsburgh hotel unattended.

The 48 year-old man is accused of having left five children in a room at the Comfort Inn hotel in Wilkins Township on Rodi Road.  Hotel employees were made aware of the situation when the children, who are between 10 and 13 years old, went to the front desk for help.  The oldest of the children, who said that the suspect is her uncle, told authorities that the group traveled to Pittsburgh so that the suspect could sell candy on behalf of a foundation.  She also indicated that he told the children that he would not be returning to the hotel until the next day.

Police called the suspect on his cell phone, but were unable to reach him.  They then contacted the parents of the children, who were able to reach the suspect on his phone.  According to police, the suspect returned to the hotel approximately 3 hours later, and was intoxicated at the time.  Police arrested the man, and charged him with endangering the welfare of children.

The children were placed in the care of the Allegheny County Office of Children, where they remain.

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.

McKeesport Teen Held on Suspicion of Murder

Police arrested a man on suspicion that he shot and killed another man in McKeesport area of Pittsburgh.

On Monday, Allegheny County police arrested a 19 year-old McKeesport man on suspicion of murdering a 20 year old man at about 1:30 AM Saturday morning in McKeesport. Police allege that the suspect and another man exited the Beer Barrel bar shortly before the shooting, and that witnesses say that he was extremely agitated at the time. Police allege that the suspect followed the victim to a nearby PNC Bank, where he then shot and killed the victim.

The alleged killer is being held in the Allegheny County Jail on one count of homicide.  At the time of this writing, the alleged Killer was awaiting a preliminary hearing to contest the charges.

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.