Tag 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.

 

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.

#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.

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.

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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.

#Pittsburgh Attorney selected as the 2016 Commencement Speaker for South Charleston High School #SCHS

Frank Walker Law Discover Legal Marketing

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – May 12, 2016 (For Immediate Release

Former Resident of Institute, West Virginia, Alumnus of #WVU, #WVSU,  #Marshall University and Graduate of South Charleston High School returns home to deliver the 2016 Commencement Speech to Graduates. 

Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is tapped to give the commencement speech at his High School Alma Mater, South Charleston High School on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 10:00 am at the Charleston Civic Center.

When contacted about the speech, Attorney Walker was ecstatic about the opportunity, “I’m truly honored to be selected to return home and share this day with the graduates. I’m mindful of the opportunity I will have to impart some wisdom into the minds of our future leaders and I don’t take this responsibility lightly.”  Walker also jokingly added, “I just hope I can keep their attention for the entire two hour speech!

Walker was born and raised in Institute West Virginia and graduated South Charleston High School in 1994.  Following High School, Walker Graduated from West Virginia State College (University) in 1998 with a BS in Criminal Justice, Marshall University in 1999 with a MA in Education/Leadership Studies and West Virginia University College of Law in 2003 with a JD in Law.

A self proclaimed “average student” while in High School, Walker was inspired right before graduation to find a way to do better.  When asked about what specifically inspired him to go from an average high school student to obtaining multiple degrees including his Juris Doctorate, Attorney Walker simply replied, “Five Simple Words really clicked the switch on for me. I hope those same words can do the same for the graduates. We shall see.”

Attorney Walker Resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his Wife Jennifer and two daughters.

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 in a Civil Case.

 

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.

Should You Tell Your Job About Your #DUI?

Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney

When someone gets in trouble with the law, one of the first things to cross their mind is “am I going to lose my job because of this?” The answer to that question is a resounding “maybe.” This depends on the nature of your job and the steps you take after you’ve been arrested.

One of the first things to do after hiring a competent DUI attorney to handle your criminal case, is to see if your company’s human resource department has a handbook or guidelines on what to do in cases where you’ve been arrested and/or convicted of a criminal charge. Some workplaces may mandate that you report an arrest within a short period of time of its occurrence. This may be a period as little as one to three days depending on the company. Others may only require that you report a conviction, and that reporting an arrest is unnecessary. For those with professional licenses, your state’s board may require you to report a conviction for DUI or risk facing a suspension or losing your license to practice altogether. Doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, and several other professions all have requirements on what must be reported and when.

If you have employment where driving is an integral part of the job, sooner or later a conviction for DUI is going to come to light. Convictions for DUI or admission into an ARD program are going to come with a driver’s license suspension that may range anywhere from two months up to an entire year.  Those with commercial driver’s license will be facing further consequences to the status of their license. Professional drivers usually have provisions in their contracts requiring the immediate reporting for a DUI arrest.

Your decision to tell your employer about a DUI arrest or conviction requires sensitive consideration.  You need to review contract rules, union rules, professional licensure rules, state laws, and factor in the specter of potential jail time in your future resulting from your conviction. Even if its your first offense, how you handle yourself professionally following a DUI arrest can shape the rest of your professional future.   This is why its important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Attorney Frank Walker has specialized experience handling DUI cases for professionals from all walks of life.  Attorney Walker can help you figure out your employer and state board’s reporting requirements, and of course help you fight the underlying criminal case.  Its time to trust a true professional! Call Attorney Frank Walker today at 412-532-6805.

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.