Tag Archives: criminal defense attorneys

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.

 

#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.

Local Attorney Supports Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Event

Brothers Rahmon Hart (92′ Iota Phi) and Attorney Frank Walker II (99′ Xi Alpha) showcase the donation.

Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law once again demonstrates his commitment to the Pittsburgh Community by donating $1,000.00 to the local chapter of his Fraternity, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

The donation will assist with local social events, including, but not limited to the Labor Day Weekend event that features the Famous Omega Boatride, All White Party, and Community Bar-B-QUE.

The Labor Day weekend serves as a major fundraiser for the Iota Phi chapter to support other community service, social action and mandated programs such as Talent Hunt Program, Scholarships, Sylvestor Pace HBCU College Tour, Achievement Week Dinner, Ron Foster Memorial Golf Tournament, Assault on Illiteracy – Book Drive, Thanksgiving Giveaway and Community Christmas Party.

About Omega Psi Phi

The fraternity was founded on November 17, 1911 by three Howard University juniors, Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper and Frank Coleman, and their faculty adviser, Dr. Ernest Everett Just. Omega Psi Phi is the first predominantly African-American fraternity to be founded at a historically black university.

The Local Pittsburgh Chapter, Iota Phi Chapter, was founded in 1925 and boasts a talented group of men (doctors, lawyers, clergymen, corporate executives, college professors, teachers, administrators, public officials, entrepreneurs, community leaders, service workers, etc.), who are committed to making a difference within the Greater Pittsburgh Area.

For information about purchasing passes/tickets for the Labor Day weekend, please click HERE to visit the website.

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.

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.