Tag Archives: Pittsburgh Summary Offenses

Common College Crime Series: Underage and Under Arrest; Charges for #UnderageDrinking

Group Of Teenage Friends Dancing And Drinking Alcohol. Frank Walker Law – Underage Drinking Lawyer

Its no secret that underage drinking is a common occurrence on college campuses.  Despite most college students not reaching the age of 21 until their junior or senior years of college, college students of all ages can be seen attending parties and drinking alcohol.  The vast majority of these 18, 19, and 20 year old students will not end up facing legal consequences for underage drinking. However, being caught in the possession of alcohol or attempting to purchase it underage is illegal, and every year underage students are caught, charged, and end up with a conviction for underage drinking on their record.

At first glance, charges for underage drinking may seem like nothing but a slap on the wrist.  For many its just a small fine, or a little bit of community service.  However, the consequences can go beyond that. Depending on the circumstances, students can find themselves facing suspension or expulsion from school, significant community service time, suspension of their driver’s privileges, and a conviction that will show up on their records and affect their career when applying for jobs.

While many people just plead guilty to underage drinking charges, there are significant advantages to retaining an attorney to represent you.  A qualified criminal defense attorney can help you come up with a strategy for dealing with your school and help you avoid any potential suspensions or expulsions from school.  The suspension of your driver’s privileges is a civil action brought by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, and an attorney can help minimize the time you go without a driver’s license or avoid a suspension if possible.  Depending on the nature of your exact case,  your attorney can help you avoid a conviction altogether, or, if you are convicted, get the offense expunged from your record.

College is supposed to be the beginning of a bright future for our bright and eager youth population.  Don’t let an underage drinking offense derail a promising future. If you or someone you know has been caught with alcohol underage, you can afford an attorney. Frank Walker is an experienced attorney with rates so reasonable even a broke college student can afford them.  And with potential consequences to your future, you can not afford not to consult with an attorney. With offices in Pittsburgh, PA and Morgantown, WV  Attorney Walker has years of experience fighting for the rights and interests of college students on several campuses.  Visit frankwalker.com to learn more 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.

 

 

When a Night Out on the Town Becomes a Night in Jail: Public Drunkenness and Disorderly Conduct Charges

Pittsburgh Public Intoxication Lawyer - Frank Walker Law
Pittsburgh Public Intoxication Lawyer – Frank Walker Law

Sometimes a night of drinking can go a little too far, and get a little too loud and unruly. Once cops become involved, criminal charges can be quick to follow.  Two of the most common, and misunderstood, charges levied in these situations are charges of Public Drunkenness and Disorderly Conduct.

        Public drunkenness requires that a person be manifestly under the influence of alcohol. The public drunkenness statute also applies to intoxication caused by controlled substances.  However, this statute is not intended to outlaw having a few drinks and walking home. Just having alcohol on your breath or a slight stagger in your gait should not be enough to end with criminal charges.  On the other hand, being loud and falling down drunk on a city sidewalk is most likely going to end with a public drunkenness charge.

        Charges of public drunkenness often go hand in hand with disorderly conduct charges.  However, there are significant differences. The first and most obvious, is that a disorderly conduct charge has no requirement of intoxication.  The disorderly conduct charge requires that the offender cause or intend to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience.  This can be accomplished by disturbing the peace through the screaming of loud obscenities or reckless conduct that causes a serious obstruction to the public.

        Just drinking or being loud aren’t in and of themselves crimes worthy of punishment.  However, under the wrong circumstances, you may find yourself facing one of these widely used, and some would say overused, charges.  The burden is on the Commonwealth to prove the elements of these charges. Merely being present on the scene, or having a few drinks, or being in a disagreement with someone, is not enough to sustain a legitimate conviction.  However, as the saying goes, you can beat the rap but you can’t beat the ride. Meaning that although you may ultimately prevail in a court of law, certain behaviors may still land you in cuffs awaiting a summary trial hearing or a preliminary hearing.

        However, just because you’ve been charged with an offense, doesn’t mean you’re guilty.  Handled the wrong way, a charge for public drunkenness or disorderly conduct may interfere with your work life and end up on background checks for years to come.  If you are facing charges of public drunkenness or disorderly conduct after a night out, don’t just plead guilty! Retain Attorney Frank Walker today! With the help of Frank Walker Law, you can potentially get the charges dismissed or reach alternative agreements in lieu of a conviction. And if you’ve been convicted of a public drunkenness or disorderly conduct charge, Attorney Walker can help get the charges expunged and your record wiped clean. 

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 Lawyer 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 I represent myself for a Summary Trial?

Do I need an Attorney for a Summary Case

In Pennsylvania, crimes are divided into 3 categories, felonies, misdemeanors, and summary offenses. Misdemeanor and felony charges are the more serious offenses, while summary offenses have less serious consequences. In light of that, many people believe that its not worth it to spend the money to retain an attorney for a trial on a summary offense.  They could not be more mistaken.

First of all, many summary offenses carry with them the possibility of jail time of up to 90 days imprisonment in the county jail.  In cases with multiple summary offenses, you may receive an additional 90 days in jail for each summary offense you are convicted of. Each offense also carries with it the potential for a $300 fine in the case of most summary offenses. In the case of habitual offenders, you can find yourself paying fines of up to $1,000 cash for each offense. And again, these fines are cumulative in the case of conviction on multiple offenses. Certain offenses, such as a violation of 1543(b) Driving on a Suspended License (Alcohol Related) carry mandatory jail time.

Due to the traffic nature of most summary offenses, the possibility for a suspension of your driving privilege is a possible outcome attached to many summary trials.  You can get your license suspended either for a few months, or even an additional year depending on the offense and the status of your driver’s license.

Summary trials, especially those related to traffic are often very document intensive, including records from the Department of Transportation, employer’s records, financial records, and other documents. For these to be admissible in trial against you, they will be needed to be admitted pursuant to the rules of evidence. In many cases, a summary trial is prosecuted solely by the affiant, that meaning you are facing a police officer and not an attorney from the District Attorney’s office.  With an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side, you may have the advantage you need to challenge the Commonwealth’s evidence and get the case dismissed.  Also, due to the working relationship and experience a good attorney has with law enforcement, you may be able to strike a better plea bargain than you would be in the position to make on your own.

Even in a summary trial, its important to be prepared with a good attorney. Attorney Frank Walker can help. With experience in trials ranging from the most serious felonies, to lower grade summary offense, Attorney Walker fights to the utmost to receive the most advantageous outcome for his clients.

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.

Pittsburgh Public Intoxication Lawyer Commerical with @DjScottro @961KISS

New Commercial with @DjScottro from @961KISS about the dangers of Public Intoxication.

http://www.961kiss.com/media/play/24438823/