Category Archives: Sex Crimes

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.

 

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.

Sex, Alcohol, and Consent on College Campuses. #CriminalDefenseAttorney

Frank Walker Law College Party
Sex, Alcohol, and Consent on College Campuses – Frank Walker Law

College is a time where many adults begin living on their own and take their first steps into personal responsibility. For many young adults, it is also a time for experimentation with drugs and alcohol, and their first time living alone.  A college campus is a great place for young people to meet others in their age group, socialize, and pursue relationships.  However, the combination of youth, drugs and alcohol, and inexperience can lead to difficult situations in the eyes of the law.

Accusations of rape, sexual assault, and other sex and alcohol related crimes are common in a college campus setting.  In these cases usually there is no dispute as to whether sex occurred, instead the issue centers around whether that sex was consensual. Unfortunately in most cases of sex related crimes there is limited evidence outside the testimony of the two individuals involved. Add in alcohol or drugs, and even the two people’s memories of who were there that night may not reflect the reality of exactly what happened.

When these events are reported to the college, what happens from there can spiral out of control. College Administration, in attempts to protect their reputation as safe for students and unwilling to put themselves at risk by making hard decisions, often suspend or expel those accused of sexual misconduct without opportunity for a hearing or meaningful investigation into what happened.  This can end a promising career and future for a young college attendee before it even gets started.

Even if a hearing is convened, students may potentially be denied the opportunity to be represented by counsel or to present a meaningful opportunity to challenge the accusations. These situations have been gaining prominence in the news as students and attorneys have been pushing back against the university’s summary dismissals without due process.

If you are a college student or other individual facing allegations of sexual misconduct, or have a son or daughter that is facing allegations through their university or criminal charges from the police, its important to lay down a strong defense early. Getting an attorney early on can prevent potentially irreparable damage from being done to someones reputation and future.  Attorney Frank Walker can help.  With years of experience in the criminal justice system and helping college aged individuals in their time of need, Attorney Walker can help you fight the charges and demand due process for the accused. Set up a consultation now.  Attorney Walker has offices conveniently located near college campuses in Pittsburgh, PA and Morgantown, WV.

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.

 

A Hard Line and a Soft Touch: A Different Approach is Needed for Handling Sex Offenses

Frank Walker Law Sex Offenses

Sex Offenses are taken very seriously in the Commonwealth and must be handled differently from other criminal charges from the onset.  From the very inception, the Commonwealth is going to be taking the charges very seriously, and mishandling of the defense case can lead to serious consequences. Its important to remember that allegations of sexual misconduct are very politically charged as well as emotionally charged. Prosecutors are less likely to be willing to cut the accused any slack as they might otherwise be inclined to do with other serious offenses involving drugs, money or violence. Instead, the Commonwealth is going to be attempting to build a strong, forceful case with serious felony charges that will change the accused’s life forever.

However, unlike cases involving drugs, substance abuse, violence, or firearms, in a huge portion of sex offense cases, the only evidence available is testimony from the alleged victim.  It is a common misconception that physical evidence is required to obtain a criminal conviction. This is far from the truth. In a large portion of cases, convictions are obtained solely on the testimony of the accuser.  If you factor in the natural biases juries may have against people accused of sex offenses, trials in these cases are emotionally charged and difficult to defend. It takes a strong attorney willing to challenge the accuser without drawing the ire of the jury for being needlessly insensitive.

The consequences of a sex offense conviction will affect the rest of your life. Many sex related offenses will require registration with Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender Registry. SORNA (The sex offender registration act) is quite strict and draconian in its application. The violation of any of its basic provisions is a felony one offense punishable with up to twenty years in prison. Employers, friends, and family members will never look at you the same when they find out and offenders will find themselves shunned by much of society and be discriminated against in every facet of life. Should your conviction come with a jail sentence, fellow inmates are less than friendly with sexual offenders, and the department of corrections may require you to complete long counseling and treatment programs that may keep you incarcerated long past your minimum sentence.

If you have been charged with a sex offense, this is not the time to go at it alone. One misstep could haunt you for the rest of your life. You need an experienced professional attorney at your side immediately. Thankfully, Attorney Frank Walker is available for these tough situations. With Attorney Frank Walker you will have a passionate advocate at your side who will fight for you and handle these tough accusations with the tough stance they require. Don’t wait another second. Give Attorney Walker  a call at 412-532-6805 to set up a consultation!

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.

Two #Pittsburgh Area Men Arrested on Child Predator Related Charges

Two Pittsburgh area men were reportedly arrested as part of the state’s ongoing crackdown on child predators.

According to a statement the Attorney General’s Child Predator Section arrested the two men, including a 67 year-old man of Washington, and a 37 year-old man of West Homestead, in separate stings. The 67 year-old suspect allegedly placed an online advertisement, to which an officer posing as a 14 year-old girl responded. After an alleged sexual conversation, the suspect set a time and place to meet the girl. When he showed up, he was arrested. The Defendant is facing multiple charges including criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and criminal attempt to commit indecent assault on a person less than 16 years of age.

The 37 year-old suspect was arrested in a separate sting after an officer, posing as an underage girl, responded to one of his online ads. The suspect reportedly asked the officer posing as the girl for photos and engaged in sexual conversation. He, too, arranged a meeting and was arrested at the meeting location. He is facing charges including two counts of criminal attempt to commit indecent assault.

Both men were booked at Allegheny County Jail to await a preliminary hearing.

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.

Pittsburgh School Worker Charged with Seeking Sex with a Minor

A repair man for a charter school in Pittsburgh has been arrested and charged with seeking sex from a minor.

The 62 year-old accused allegedly placed at least one ad on popular classifieds website Craigslist.com, looking for someone to engage in sexual fantasies with him. The ad, which stated that age was no barrier, came to the attention of city vice officers, who began a conversation with the man while posing as a 14 year old girl. According to police, after some time chatting, the man asked for an in-person meeting.

Police say the man tried to hide his identity by using Wi-Fi connections at businesses such as McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. Police eventually lured the man to a home that he thought was the residence of the under aged girl. It was there that he was arrested.

In their investigation police will try to determine if the man has been in communication with, or has had sexual contact with any other minors. According to the police report the man has already admitted to authorities that he possesses pornographic images of children on his computer.

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.

Pittsburgh’s Child Predator Unit Makes Two Arrests For Child Porn In One Week

Two Pittsburgh area men were arrested last week on charges relating to the possession of child pornography. The cases, however, are unrelated to one another except that the came as a result of the same investigation. The men allegedly are not acquainted. The attorney general’s office reported that one of the suspects, a 36 year old man from New Kensington, admitted that he was recording a teenage girl in her bedroom by using a webcam device. The other suspect is a 41-year-old from man South Park. Both of them are being held until their respective preliminary hearings, which will both take place next week.

The Child Predator Unit of the attorney general’s office began investigating the 36-year-old man last month when a larger investigation of consumers of child porn was already underway. Agents were investigating users who were accessing a specific internet file-sharing network exclusively for such material. The agents traced his IP address to a home on North Bluff Drive where the man lives with his wife and a 17-year-old female.  There they found over 100 child porn videos that had been downloaded to his hard drive, some of which featuring children as young as 2.

The 41-year-old was arrested as part of the same larger investigation but the specific nature and quantity of the content found on his computer was not revealed.

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.