Amazing Attorney

Steve Townsend was an amazing attorney. The judge even said “I heard you were good but not that good”. He was so easy to work with and extremely reliable. If I ever need an attorney in the future he’s who I will be calling.

Federal Sentencing

Probation is a sufficient sentence

Ex-soccer treasurer in Beaver County gets probation in $100k embezzlement

 
 

Saying he wouldn’t send her to prison so she can pay restitution, a federal judge on Thursday sentenced the former treasurer of a Beaver County youth soccer association to probation for stealing $100,000 and using it to pay for cruises, merchandise and household bills.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab imposed a term of five years probation on Jenessa Tolejko, who had waived indictment by grand jury and pleaded guilty to stealing from the Brighton Township-Beaver Soccer Association.

He also put her on home detention for nine months and ordered her to pay at least $1,000 a month towards full restitution.

Ms. Tolejko said that she stole because of her family’s financial difficulties brought on in part by medical expenses for her son.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Bengel rejected that explanation, saying she didn’t use any of the money for medical payments but instead paid for a Royal Caribbean cruise, a flight to Hawaii, her mortgage, various bills from utilities and personal purchases from Amazon and the high-end LuLaRoe clothing company.

“She had easy access to a significant pot of money and she thought she could use it for her own purposes without getting caught,” Mr. Bengel said.

In fact, he said, she was only discovered because of a story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in 2019 that reported she had been accused of stealing $3,000 in pet adoption fees from an animal rescue service. The soccer association approached her after that to discuss the association finances. A week later, Mr. Bengel said, Tolejko’s father-in-law wired her $35,000. He told investigators that he believed he was helping her resolve a “state case involving dogs,” Mr. Bengel said.

He said the Tolejko family has a nice home and her husband has a good salary as an electrical engineer working in Ohio, so there was no financial distress to serve as motivation for the thefts. In addition, the soccer association said it has suffered greatly because of her actions.

“I think a sentence of imprisonment is necessary,” Mr. Bengel said.

The guideline range was 21 to 27 months.

Tolejko and her lawyer, Steve Townsend, asked for probation, saying she has already paid $5,000 in restitution and is needed at home to care for her three children and her mother.

Tolejko said she is “incredibly remorseful” for violating the trust the association gave her.

“I selfishly violated that trust,” she said. “I embarrassed my family.”

Judge Schwab said her conduct was “outrageous” but granted the probation request because the association said its priority was to get its money back. In addition, he noted her solid work history and her need to care for her children.

“Incarceration would be inconsistent with the goal of restitution,” he said.

But he also said he’s well aware that her thefts were for personal luxury items and other expenses as opposed to medical bills, for which the family had health insurance.

“Just to make it clear, these were not medical expenses,” the judge said.

Tolejko had complete control over the soccer association’s bank account, debit card and two certificates of deposit. The money was supposed to go towards soccer gear, field fees and the like.

From 2016 to 2019, Tolejko caused about $180,000 to be deposited into the soccer association’s Citizens Bank account and then used $100,000 of it for herself.

She also transferred money from the association’s Blue Sombrero account into two other accounts that she and her husband controlled. Blue Sombrero provides league management tools for youth sports leagues.

As a result of the embezzlement, Mr. Bengel said the soccer association has not been able to replace deteriorating soccer gear and had to charge families higher fees to recoup the money.

First Published August 26, 2021, 12:35pm

Charges Dismissed

BEAVERCOUNTIAN.COM

Aliquippa Assistant Police Chief Joe Perciavalle, in his 21st month of paid suspension and legal wrangling, learned last week the state had dropped its final criminal charge against him fought by criminal defense lawyers based in Orange County area.

City Council is expected to discuss his work status at next week’s meeting. In the meantime, Perciavalle, who is expecting the arrival of a daughter in August, is finding it difficult to celebrate.

“Obviously I’m happy with the outcome, my attorney was great,” he said today. “I feel like I did the day I was first arrested, I don’t know what to think. I’m happy for my wife and family, they’re all relieved. When it comes to finances or business related issues involving family one can go on to consult a lawyer from a firm like Norwood Law Firm.

“But I can’t even go anywhere to celebrate because of this damn coronavirus. This shouldn’t be a moment for me because this never should have happened. I feel like I won one battle, but I’m going into the next. I’m worried they might try something else now.”

Perciavalle was the second police chief appointed and suspended within two days in June 2018 and in the wake of the May 13, 2018 murder of city resident Rachael DelTondo. City Council first put Police Chief Donald Couch on paid leave on June 6, 2018, saying Couch was believed to be the subject of a state police investigation.

County detectives arrested Perciavalle on June 8, 2018 on charges of felony distribution of sexually explicit material to a minor, felony unlawful contact with a minor, and misdemeanor corruption of a minor.

County detectives alleged that Perciavalle sent then-17-year-old Lauren Watkins a text message containing a short video of a semi-nude woman urinating while on a swing.

Both Perciavalle and Watkins said the “meme” video was sent to her by mistake as part of a group text message intended for her father, Aliquippa Police Sgt. Kenneth Watkins, who has since been demoted to patrolman.

The video was discovered when detectives were examining Lauren Watkins’ phone as part of their investigation into DelTondo’s murder. That case remains unsolved.

On July 10, 2018, county detectives filed an additional felony charge against Perciavalle for intercepting a communication, alleging Perciavalle illegally recorded a conversation with Couch on March 2, the day state police served a search warrant on city offices.

District Judge Edward Howe in December 2018 dismissed the two felony charges of disseminating sexually explicit materials and unlawful contact with a minor, but held for trial the misdemeanor corruption of minors charge, as well as the felony wiretap charge for recording Couch.

Perciavalle argued his recording of Couch was lawful, because he had been acting as an informant against Couch and had reason to fear there may be an attempt to intimidate him.

Following the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s ethics guidance in March 2019, the Beaver County District Attorney’s Office recused itself from prosecuting Perciavalle. The Attorney General’s Office then took over prosecution of the cases against him and on May 9 refiled the two felony charges against him that were dismissed by Howe the previous year.

The results were the same, with a second judge dismissing the cases.

Townsend strongly criticized the Attorney General’s Office with the help of https://secdefenseattorney.com/whistleblower-protection/ attorneys for refiling the charges against Perciavalle, echoing his client’s assertions that he suffered retaliation against a whistleblower.

The Attorney General’s Office last week dropped the final charge of corruption of minors.

“I want to say how disappointed we were at the way both of these cases played out,” Townsend said. “It took the (Pennsylvania Attorney General’s) office to come in and drill down on exactly what happened here to realize these cases weren’t worth moving forward on.

“I commend them on that. I think it was horrible the way the Beaver County District Attorney’s office treated Joe Perciavelle and the Watkins family. Their actions caused grief and stress to the Watkins family. Lauren lost out on a good family friend for over a year, he missed a lot of important accomplishments in her life. It was terrible the way they were treated.”

“I think the impetus of both of these cases obviously was for the District Attorney’s Office to use the text message case as an excuse to get into his phone because they wanted to stifle any sort of investigation he was doing to uncover the corruption in the City of Aliquippa,” Townsend said.

“Obviously he is very excited and is ready to get back to work. He is anxiously awaiting to see when the day will be that he can put his uniform back on and go back to doing what he was doing.

Aliquippa Councilman Matthew Mottes said he expects the board to act next week. “If he’s been cleared of all wrongdoing then he should be back.”

BeaverCountian.com investigative reporter John Paul contributed to this report.

Remaining Charges Against Asst Aliquippa Chief Dropped By Attorney General’s Office

Federal Probation in Bank Robbery

‘There was just no way I could ever give him up.’ Mom gets probation for hiding bank robber son.

Click HERE for the full story.

“It was my son,” she said through tears. “There was just no way I could ever give him up.”

Her lawyer, Steven Townsend, argued for probation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cindy Chung pointed to the government’s sentencing papers in which prosecutors asked for a guideline sentence.

 

Things to Know About Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Laws

Workers Compensation is legislated under two separate Acts. The Workers Compensation Act was adopted in 1915. Originally, it was known as the Workmens Compensation Act. It has been amended many times since its original enactment. Occupational diseases are governed by the Occupational Disease Act of 1939. The administration of both Acts is under the supervision of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry which has extensive rule and regulation making powers.

At its simplest, an employee injured in the course and scope of his employment is entitled to receive payment of wage loss benefits and payment of medical expenses. When an injury occurs, the employer is required to report the injury to the Workers Compensation Bureau. The employer can accept liability and file the appropriate document which will result in payments beginning to the injured employee and payments of medical expenses paid directly to the medical providers. In this situation, an injured employee rarely requires consultation with counsel.

However, when an alleged employer fails to accept responsibility for the injury, the employee is required to file a Claim Petition. At this point, even the most sophisticated layman will find himself or herself trapped in a maze that cannot be navigated without the help of counsel knowledgeable in the interpretation of the Statues as amended and the case law that has developed over many years. A workers compensation lawyer nashville tn can help with such cases.

Examples of hurdles that may be encountered are: distinction of employee versus independent contractor, was the injured individual within the course and scope of employment when the injury occurred, and did the injury occur while on or off the premises. The Accident Reports NY has regular updates on the accidents that take place.

Most injuries which occur on premises are compensable, while many off premises are not. In a case recently handled by our firm, we were able to extend the definition of on premises to an unusual situation.

In summary of that case, a worker parked her car in a garage off the employer’s campus at a reduced rate as an employee benefit. The employer provided shuttles from the garage to the employer’s campus. The employee parked her vehicle at the garage and slipped on sidewalk ice as she prepared to board the employer-provided vehicle. After being denied benefits by the Workers’ Compensation Judge, the Board on appeal reversed the decision and benefits were granted.

The Board reversed the WCJ and concluded that the claimant sustained her injuries on the extended premises of the employer and her injuries were compensable. The Board found that the employer posted “drop off and pick up” areas where

employees were required to board and disembark from the company-provided shuttle. The Board found the claimant’s injury was caused by the operation of the Defendant employer’s shuttle bus at that location. In short, the Board found that the shuttle pickup

and disembark area was an extension of the employer’s property and the employee was injured as a result of the condition of the extended premises. The lesson to be learned is that consultation with counsel should always be had in cases where an injury occurs when going to or leaving employment.

The Workers Compensation Law is extremely complex and issues arise constantly over the benefits owed to claimants who are injured in their employment. Some of those issues are:

  1. Compensation for Specific Loss such as:
  2. Disfigurement and determining the amount of compensation
  3. Benefits in respect to fatal injuries, accruing to the employee’s
  • (a)thumb, fingers and hand;
  • (b)forearm and arm;
  • (c)lower leg or leg
  • (d)toes and foot

surviving spouse and children, parents and brothers and sisters.

Settlement of Claims

By Section 449 of the Act, settlements for the first time were sanctioned, and as amended in 2006, the settlement approval process was streamlined. This procedure is known as a Compromise and Release Agreement (C & R) and in the proper case, will provide a lump sum payment to the claimant. It is also used in disputed cases to obtain a final resolution.

In summary, counsel should be consulted immediately in the event the employer disputes an injury claim. Counsel is also desirable in all cases when a Compromise & Release Agreement has been offered or suggested by the employer or its carrier.

If you have a Workers Compensation issue, you can’t afford to make the wrong decision in choosing a lawyer. Contact us today for your free no obligation evaluation.

Update Regarding Workers’ Compensation Act

Protz V. Workers Compensation Appeal Board (Derry Area School Board)

On June 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court found Section 306(a.2) of the Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Act to be unconstitutional. This Section allowed employers to demand that claimants undergo an impairment-rating evaluation (IRE) to determine the claimant’s “degree of impairment” due to the claimant’s compensable injury.

In almost every case, the degree of impairment found was less than 50%, which permitted the employer or its insurance carrier to change total disability benefits to partial disability benefits, limiting disability payments to 500 weeks.

With the decision in Protz, an injured claimant can continue receiving total disability benefits for as long as the work-related disability prevents a claimant from returning to work regardless of the degree of impairment.

Employees who, in the past, have had their benefits limited by IRE findings or have otherwise entered into settlements influenced by IRE evaluations or the expected results of an IRE Evaluation should have our firm review your case for possible re-opening.

The Heart and Lung Act

It should be recognized at the outset, that The Heart and Lung Act is somewhat of a misnomer as it applies to injuries sustained by certain public servants engaged in hazardous occupations. It would include, and you can find more about this on the official source, but is not limited to, the State Police Force, Enforcement Officers and Investigators of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, Department of Corrections Employees, Special Agents at the Office of Attorney General, and many other officers engaged in hazardous occupations at State, County and Local Municipalities.

The Heart and Lung Act provides for what is essentially a salary continuation during temporary disability without the deduction of taxes.

While Heart and Lung benefits and Workers’ Compensation are separate programs, benefits can be received concurrently and upon happening of an injury in the course of employment, a claim should be made by personal injury attorneys from Austin for both The Heart and Lung Act Benefits as well as Workers’ Compensation Benefits.

Heart and Lung Act Benefits are paid only during the period of temporary disability, and should that temporary disability become permanent, The Heart and Lung Benefits will cease; however, Workers’ Compensation Benefits will continue.

Things You Should Know About Automobile Insurance in Pennsylvania

First and Foremost:

“Limited Tort “Option:

Pennsylvania has adopted the “Limited Tort” Option. This Option limits your right and the right of members of your household to seek financial compensation for injuries caused by other drivers. Under the Limited Tort form of insurance your recovery for injuries sustained by yourself or other household members is severely limited. Although you may seek recovery for all medical and other out-of-pocket expenses, you may not sue for pain and suffering or other non-monetary damages with some exceptions. You or other members of your household may only sue for pain and suffering if your injuries fall within the definition of “Serious Injury” as set forth in the policy. The definition of “Serious Injury” has been narrowly interpreted and would exclude, in most instances, injuries such a broken arm, broken leg, “whiplash injury”, rib fractures and other injuries that would not leave a person permanently impaired. Tomassian Pimentel & Shapazian describing their process for personal injury cases must be looked at to learn more about such cases.

While the “Limited Tort” Option is slightly less expensive then the “Full Tort” Option, you must clearly be aware that you are giving up some of your rights to sue in exchange for a relatively low premium reduction.

“Full Tort” Option:

An insured in Pennsylvania also has the option of choosing “Full Tort”, which if chosen, you and other members of your household maintain an unrestricted right to seek “full” financial compensation for injuries caused by other drivers. Under this form of insurance, you and your household members may seek recovery for all medical and other out-of-pocket expenses and may also seek financial compensation for pain and suffering and other non-monetary damages as a result of injuries caused by other drivers. This insurance also helps in handling the legal complications and makes the difficult phase easier to navigate. The experts From Highland area lawyers for personal injury can help with all the legal complications that come with such cases.

While the annual premium for “Full Tort” is higher than for “Limited Tort”, this option should be seriously considered when purchasing or renewing an insurance policy.

In many instances, while the pain, suffering an inconvenience caused by injuries such as a broken arm or leg, whiplash or other bodily fractures are not considered “serious injury” under Limited Tort, the pain and suffering and inconvenience associated with such injuries can be quite substantial. In many or most cases involving injuries in an automobile accident, the recovery available under this Option far exceeds any savings realized in selecting Limited Tort. Carefully consider this Option when purchasing or renewing your insurance policy. And while you do that, remember to check the best online first aid training to save lives.

Understanding Other Areas of Your Automobile Insurance Coverage

Pennsylvania, as well as many other states, mandates that an automobile owner purchase auto insurance for at least a State-mandated minimum. In Pennsylvania this minimum is $15,000 for injury to one person and $30,000 for all injuries caused by an incident. A basic auto insurance policy is comprised of six basic types of coverage, some of which are required by State law, while others are optional. The various types are:

  1. Bodily Injury Liability;
  2. Property Damage Liability;
  3. Personal Injury Protection (PIP);
  4. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist;
  5. Collision; and
  6. Comprehensive

Liability

Liability coverage is required in Pennsylvania and in most states. If you are at fault in an accident, your liability insurance will cover the cost of bodily injury and property damage caused to others involved in the accident, as well as the cost of your legal bills associated with the accident. It is extremely important to consider the amount of coverage you are able to afford, keeping in mind that if the injuries and property damages caused by you exceed the amount of the coverage you purchased, the injured parties may sue you for the difference between the total damages incurred and the amount your insurance company pays. The high risk car insurance plans is what one might need at times as things are pretty uncertain and unpredictable and it is safer to be prepared.

Property Damage Liability Coverage falls within the Liability Coverage which you are required to purchase. While Property Damage Liability Coverage usually repairs damage to the other driver’s vehicle, it can also cover damages to things such as lamp poles, fences, buildings, or anything else that you may have struck.

As Liability insurance is the foundation of most auto insurance policies, careful attention must be paid to be sure that you have enough coverage to avoid a short-fall in coverage which would put your savings, investments and other property in jeopardy of being lost. In short, consider being safe rather than sorry.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is required coverage in Pennsylvania. Personal Injury Protection will pay your medical bills to the extent of your coverage when injury occurs as a result of an accident while you are driving your car, someone else’s car (with their permission), and the injuries you or your family members incur as pedestrians. Additionally, PIP may cover other expenses that are related to injury in addition to medical, which include lost wages, child care and funeral costs. Ordinarily, if you have a good health insurance plan, there may be little need to buy more than the minimum required. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. PIP Coverage is relatively inexpensive and a rather small premium purchases substantial coverage in the event of injury and lost wages. When your automobile insurance carrier pays your expenses and lost wages, they are not entitled to recover the payments made to you should you make recovery against another driver who was responsible for your accident. On the other hand, if your medical bills have been paid by your Health Insurance Company, the amounts paid on your behalf may have to be paid to that health insurance company or disability insurance company that made payments on your behalf. Primary examples of payments made which must be reimbursed include payments made by Medicare, Medicaid, Public Assistance Benefits, and payments made by Health Insurance Companies through employer provided health insurance (ERISA). The right of these health care providers to recover is often times referred to as a subrogation interest.

This concept is best understood with an example: You are injured in an automobile accident and the sum of $50,000, the amount of your coverage, was paid to your healthcare providers under your PIP Coverage. You then seek recovery against the driver who was at fault and are awarded a settlement or a verdict in the amount of $100,000. In this example, the entire settlement or verdict is awarded to you with no responsibility to make any payment whatsoever to your auto insurance company for what it may have paid.

However, let’s assume the same injuries and a recovery of $100,000 with medical bills of $50,000. You have purchased PIP coverage of $10,000. Your medical bills of $50,000 were paid by your automobile insurance carrier to the extent of your $10,000 coverage. The balance was then paid by Medicare or your company-provided health insurance (ERISA).

In this example, you have no responsibility to repay your automobile carrier the sum of $10,000 it expended. The sum of $40,000 must, however, be reimbursed to Medicare or your ERISA health benefit provider before you are entitled to receive any monies as a result of your injuries. Therefore, you will only receive $60,000 of the $100,000 recovery made with the sum of $40,000 being paid to Medicare or ERISA health care in reimbursement.

The amount of PIP coverage you purchase should be carefully considered in light of the foregoing examples.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Like Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage protects you and your family when injured in an automobile accident which was not your fault. When seen in this light it is easily recognizable that this form of coverage is extremely important. While Liability Insurance Coverage is mandated by State law at a minimum amount, please recognize that many individuals drive vehicles without the required insurance or with only the minimum $15,000 coverage. In the event that an accident causing injury to you is caused by an uninsured motorist, unless you have uninsured motorist Coverage, you cannot make any recovery for your injuries except through your own uninsured motorist Coverage. Of course, you retain your right to sue the party at fault, however, if they were driving without insurance, it is very unlikely that they would have any assets with which to provide compensation to you. Uninsured Motorist Coverage also comes in to play if you are struck and injured by a hit and run driver.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) often comes in to play in Pennsylvania accidents as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania only requires a driver to carry $15,000 in liability insurance. In today’s economy and with the cost of medical care, the $15,000 required Liability Coverage is quickly exhausted. In such an event an injured insured who was not at fault can turn to his own insurance carrier to cover the difference in damages between the $15,000 provided by the underinsured driver and the amount of coverage you carry with your own insurance company. As an example, if you sustain injuries for which you are entitled to $100,000 in compensation , you would be entitled to receive $15,000 from the at-fault driver’s insurance company and the balance of $85,000 from your own insurance company if your Underinsured Coverage was $100,000.

It should be obvious that Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage is extremely important to you and your family and high coverage limits should be considered. Be reminded, however, that uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage can only be purchased in an amount equal to the Liability Insurance Coverage that you purchase for your vehicle. From a cost standpoint, carrying high Liability Coverage and equal amounts in Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage is a wise financial choice. Remember that the Liability Coverage of your policy is very reasonable and limits can be raised to a higher level without a substantial increase in your premiums.

Collision Coverage

Collision Coverage will pay to repair your vehicle if you cause an automobile accident. This coverage typically covers the actual cash value of your car, which is not the same as the car’s replacement cost. Collision Coverage is normally the most expensive component of auto insurance. The cost of Collision Coverage can be reduced by choosing a higher deductible, which is the amount you will pay out-of-pocket before your insurance company is required to make additional payment to you. As Collision Coverage is very expensive, you should carefully consider if the purchase of Collision Coverage, which is not required by Pennsylvania, is the right choice for you. Remember that should substantial damage occur to your older model auto, the insurance company may well conclude that it will “total” your car. If the cost of repairs exceed a certain percentage of the car’s worth, you will only be paid the actual cash value of your car and not its replacement cost. If you have an automobile which has an actual cash value of $1,000 and a deductible of $250, the most that you can expect to recover from your insurance company is $750. Your yearly premium costs in this situation could exceed the amount that you could recover.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive Coverage will pay for damages to your car that were not caused by an auto accident, such as theft, fire, vandalism, natural disaster or hitting a deer. Comprehensive Coverage also comes with a deductible and your insurance company will only pay up to the amount the car was worth at the time the car was damaged. Comprehensive Coverage is not a required coverage under Pennsylvania law. Hiring personal injury lawyers from Sweet Lawyers is a good idea when such accidents occur.

While Collision and Comprehensive Coverage are not required under Pennsylvania law, when you finance a car, your lender may require that your purchase Collision and Comprehensive Coverage as part of the loan agreement. Please remember that if your car is financed you will be required to pay the total amount you owe to the finance company notwithstanding that you may no longer have use of the vehicle.

Summary

The above information is not intended to be exhaustive with regard to automobile insurance coverage in Pennsylvania. However, if it provides some answers to questions regarding your insurance coverage, it has served its purpose. In conclusion, please know that insurance companies will charge different premiums for the same coverage. It is important to determine exactly what coverages you would like to purchase and in what amounts and then check the premium being charged by a number of insurance companies to be sure that you receive the coverage you desire at the best possible cost.

Charged With A Crime? Here’s What Happens Next.

Getting arrested can be a frightening experience, especially with everything that can follow — being taken by police car to a detention center, getting booked, and likely being put in jail.  Because getting arrested is a trying time, if you’re arrested you may be tempted to say or do anything to get out of the situation.  But if you’re ever arrested, it is important under these difficult circumstances to think clearly and try to protect your rights.  Here are some important things to know if you are arrested as well as key steps to protect your rights.

What Is An Arrest?

Just because you are stopped by the police for something does not mean you are under arrest. An arrest generally refers to the point at which you are taken into custody, meaning you are unable to freely leave the scene.  Police usually don’t need a warrant to arrest you — they can arrest you as long as they have probable cause to believe you have committed or are about to commit a crime (an arrest made at your home generally does require a warrant unless there’s a belief you will run away, destroy evidence or harm someone).

If you are arrested, don’t try to run away or resist, as this will only make the situation worse and lead to additional charges. Though it may be difficult, try to remain calm and not get into an argument with the officer. Be careful about your body movements, and don’t threaten to file a complaint against the arresting officer. If you feel the officer has violated your rights, you can file a formal complaint later.

Your Right To Remain Silent

As most people know from watching television crime shows, if you’re arrested you have to be read your Miranda rights by the police before they can question you. These state that:

  • you have the right to remain silent;
  • anything you say can be used against you;
  • you have the right to an attorney; and
  • if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

Miranda rights are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. They must be given to you whether you are a U.S. citizen or a non-citizen. If you are arrested and not read your Miranda rights before police start questioning you, statements you make cannot be used against you. However, this does not mean your case will be dismissed, as there can be other evidence sufficient to find you guilty.

Ask To Speak To A Lawyer Immediately

According to the elder law lawyers in San Diego, CA once you are under arrest, take advantage of your right to remain silent and don’t answer any questions (you can give your name and personal information).  Ask to speak to a Chicago car accident lawyer immediately, and don’t say anything until you have talked to a lawyer . An arrest is an emotional time and can cause you to not think clearly, and it’s easy to accidentally say something that hurts your case. You may think you can persuade the police officer to let you go, but this is highly unlikely. What is a lot more common is that the person being arrested says something that makes things worse.  Any statement you make will go into the police report and be used against you later.  Because of this, it’s much better to consult a lawyer before you say anything. According to this informative post, your lawyer can advise you what to say — or not say — to law enforcement officers so that it will not hurt your case.

Invoking your right to know What I need to do when charged with a dangerous offense? And to remain silent is easy. Just simply tell the officer “I don’t want to say anything until I talk to my lawyer,” or “I am invoking my right to remain silent” or “I have nothing to say.”

If you’re arrested, law enforcement officers can question you without a lawyer present only if you waive your right to remain silent. If you answer some questions and then decide you don’t want to answer any more until talking to your lawyer, the questioning must stop.

Physical Evidence

In some arrests, like an arrest for drunk driving, the police officer will ask for physical evidence, such as a blood, breath or urine test. All states have implied consent laws, which are based on the principle that as a condition to obtaining a driver’s license, people implicitly agree to take a test to determine the alcohol content of their blood if they are suspected of drunk driving. But laws vary between states regarding the penalties for refusing to take a blood alcohol content test. Almost every state imposes administrative penalties, like fines and losing your driver’s license for a certain time, for refusing to take the test. Some states also impose criminal penalties for refusing to take a test.

Searches

When you are arrested, the police will likely search you.  Depending on where the arrest occurs, they may also try to search your car or home.

With regard to body searches, if you are arrested a police officer is legally entitled to search you — without a warrant — for weapons or evidence.

If you’re arrested while driving, you are not legally required to consent to a search of your vehicle, and to protect yourself, you should not consent to a search.  Generally, the police are entitled to search your car without a warrant and without your consent only if there is probable cause to believe it contains illegal items or evidence.

If you are arrested at home, an officer without a warrant can generally search only the area near your (depending on the circumstances, this may mean just the room you are in). However, if the officer believes evidence will be destroyed and it’s an emergency situation, your home may be searched without a warrant and without your consent.

If you are the victim of an illegal search, a court may not allow as evidence anything obtained during the search.

After The Arrest

After the arrest, you will be taken to a detention center for booking.  It is important to continue to maintain your silence, as the statements you make not only at the time of the arrest but also elsewhere can be used against you.  Booking is the process of fingerprinting, photographing you and processing you into the system. At the detention center, you will be granted the right to make at least one phone call. That call should be to a loved one, friend or a lawyer, who can start the process of protecting your rights.

Being arrested is a frightening and confusing time.  But knowing and invoking your rights if you are arrested — especially your right to remain silent and your right to a lawyer — can help prevent the situation from getting worse.

Contact an attorney at Eddy DeLuca Gravina & Townsend today. Please call us for all your legal needs.  We offer a full range of legal services to individuals, families and businesses, including personal injury, estate planning, real estate, family law and business matters. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality legal services at a reasonable cost.

Charged With a Crime? Plan Your Next Steps Carefully.

Pittsburgh DUI Attorney

Pittsburgh DUI Attorney

Not guilty 2

Call on the Pittsburgh DUI Attorney, Steven C. Townsend if you’ve been charged with a DUI or other crime. They will help you in beating a DUI case in Florida, hassle-free.
Since the Birchfield decision ruled that BAC results are not admissible without a warrant, District Attorneys are still trying to move forward with DUI cases on the general impairment charge. Don’t fall victim to the pressure to plead guilty. There are many defenses to general impairment cases and you should contact Eddy DeLuca Gravina & Townsend to discuss your options before making your decision. Makes sure you consider a decent DUI attorney to help you out.

You can lose your license, your job, and lose your right to carry a firearm.

Commonwealth v. Dragoslovich   Driver is pulled over for an alleged firearms violation and subsequently arrested for DUI based on the smell of alcohol and failed field sobriety tests.

Result: Not Guilty

According to the criminal defense law firm based in Parsippany, NJ the consequences that can flow from a DUI arrest and prosecution include: loss of your driver’s license, heavy fines, court costs and extensive administrative fees, probation, jail or state prison, vehicle impoundment or forfeiture, an ignition interlock device put on your car, etc.  Pennsylvania treats Driving Under the Influence (“DUI”) seriously. The DUI laws are strict. For more information and assistance on criminal defense, contact criminal defense lawyers The Law Offices of Kevin Trombold

Call the TRUSTED Pittsburgh DUI attorney, STEVEN C. TOWNSEND, to fight for you and to save your license.  Don’t let a DUI destroy your life or jeopardize your job.

Posted in DUI

St. Jude Recall – Defibrillator

St. Jude Recall 

fortify

Notice regarding the St. Jude Recall.  If you have one of these devices or know of anyone with one of these defective devices, please give our office a call immediately for a Free Consultation. 

To date, of the 398,740 affected devices sold worldwide, 841 were returned for analysis due to premature battery depletion caused by lithium clusters.

  • 2 deaths (1 in the U.S.), have been associated with devices that could not provide needed shock therapy due to premature battery depletion.
  • 10 patients (9 in the U.S.), have reported fainting from devices that could not provide needed pacing therapy due to premature battery depletion.
  • 37 patients (30 in the U.S.), have reported dizziness from devices that could not provide needed pacing therapy due to premature battery depletion.

st-jude-recall

 

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Pittsburgh Attorney Defends Sex Assault

Teens Testify Against Former Beaver Co. Coach Accused Of Sex Assault

http://www.wpxi.com/news/coach-accused-of-raping-teen-girls-headed-to-trial/454713702

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After the hearing, defense attorney Steven Townsend said he thought the teens’ testimony was “suspect” and “inconsistent.”

“I think there’s a lot of holes that need to be closed,” Mr. Townsend said, raising the question of why the girls continued to have sex with Mr. Ruprecht if he was forcing them to have sex with others or hurting one of them. Mr. Townsend also noted that the two testified that they willingly had intercourse with Mr. Ruprecht.

“A lot of it just doesn’t make sense to me,” Mr. Townsend said.

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Sex Assault cases are normally won or lost based based on the testimony at the Preliminary Hearing.  Over my many years of defending sex cases, I have been contacted by defendants who either waived their right to a  Preliminary Hearing or had ineffective representation.  The questions are:  What can I do now?  Why did my attorney waive the Preliminary Hearing?  How can you help me?  

There are ways to remedy when a defendant has lost his right to confront witnesses at the Preliminary Hearing, but you must hire an attorney who handles sex assault cases and has successfully litigated sex assault cases.  Steven C. Townsend has handled hundreds of assault cases and know the importance of every step of the process.  If you have been charged or are being investigated for sex assault please contact him immediately.  You only get once chance to defend yourself against criminal charges and the consequences of choosing the wrong or inexpereinced  attorney can be devastating. The UCMJ defense attorneys help with the legalities of such cases and help people attain justice.

412-2815336

www.pghlaw.com

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