This is a recent pending criminal case in Delaware County, Pennsylvania at the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.
Please note that the information contained in the following article is taken from public sources such as court documents and newspapers in order to protect client confidentiality. No confidential information was used in writing this article.
You may recall in the news last November when an elderly man from Miami, Florida named John Felder attempted to kidnap and hold for ransom a wealthy resident of Villanova at the Montgomery Scott Mansion. My office represented Mr. Felder at his preliminary hearing last year and secured his pre-trial release. He was represented by his third attorney on the case at his most recent sentencing hearing. Although I represented Mr. Felder at the start of his case, I did want to highlight how my office had Mr. Felder released on bail.
This case was covered in all the major news networks and newspapers. The case was covered in media outlets as far as Miami and San Francisco. The headlines read that Mr. Felder went to the Montgomery Scott Mansion in Villanova posing as a flower delivery man. A member of the McNeil family of McNeil Pharmaceuticals (the inventors of Tylenol) lived in this mansion. When Mr. McNeil answered the door, Mr. Felder tased him in the chest where McNeil fell on his doorstep. The plot was unsuccessful and Mr. McNeil escaped the incident and Mr. Felder left the scene. A parking ticket in front of the flower shop led police to Mr. Felder up in the Poconos where he was attending a gun show. Mr. Felder was caught by Radnor Police with a ransom note, a list of other wealthy executives, 2 stun guns, a taser, a mask, .38 caliber revolver, night vision security equipment and the list goes on. The Radnor police cited financial difficulties as the motive for the kidnapping. Read More
As I said in previous blogs, it is possible to have charges such as simple assault, harassment or disorderly conduct dropped or reduced to a summary charge. In order to achieve this goal, the DA’s office or the court may want you to attend anger management classes. Anger management is typically ordered by the court in domestic violence situations. In Delaware County, Pennsylvania there are various anger management programs that are convenient and cost-effective. The following is a summary of the programs available in Delaware County.
Rose Tree Counseling Center
1033 N. Providence road
Media, Pennsylvania 19063
Rose Tree is a private counseling center. It offers individual counseling for your court ordered “anger management” requirement. Eight individual sessions will normally meet your obligation. The cost of each session is $75.00 each. Rose Tree Counseling may accept your insurance to help offset this cost. Read More
Last week, I had a Disorderly conduct citation dismissed by Judge Farmer in Oxford District Court in Chester County. I wanted to write about the strategy used to get this citation thrown out. This same strategy can be applied to Pennsylvania Simple Assault cases at preliminary hearings. The facts are as follows*: my client, a prevalent executive at a marketing firm, was cited for Disorderly conduct stemming from an incident that occurred while he was picking up his daughter from her boyfriend’s house. The short version of the story is that the boyfriend’s father was drunk and shouting obscenities at my client’s wife who was sitting in the car. My client approached the boyfriend’s father, pushed the father, the two shouted obscenities back-and-forth and eventually got the boyfriend’s father in a choke hold before being jumped by other members of the family. The boyfriend’s father and my client were cited for disorderly conduct. I was prepared to take this case to trial based on the premise that my client was defending his wife. Just as you are allowed to defend yourself in a self-defense case, you are allowed to use the same force to defend 3rd parties from harm. My client stated that the boyfriend’s father was pointing at his wife and “going after her.” His daughter and her boyfriend told police that this was not true. The attorney representing the boyfriend’s father approached me in the hallway and we decided to request a cooling off period to have the charges dismissed. I spoke to the Pennsylvania State Police Trooper and he was alright with this disposition to the case. My client was obviously happy that the charge would be dismissed. Rather than going through a trial, my client agreed to this disposition. Read More
When I worked in the District Attorney’s Office in Chester County, I prosecuted several underage drinking cases and they would usually go down as follows. A cop would bust a party at a frat house or apartment. Let’s say it happened in West Chester. They would always line the kids up and make them stand against a wall. The cops would then id the kids and if they were under 21 they would administer what is called a portable breath test or “PBT” for short. This test is similar to a breathalyzer used in a DUI prosecution. The test requires the subject to blow into a mouth piece. Once the subject blows, it will immediately give the officer a digital blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading. This test works similar to a breathalyzer but it is not nearly as accurate. The test is convenient for police because it is easy to administer and it saves the officers time. Unlike a breathalyzer or blood test in a DUI prosecution, there was no necessity to bring the underage drinker back to the station to administrate the test. All of the students at the party could be tested and cited on spot.
When I was a prosecutor it was easy for police to obtain underage drinking convictions in court. All the police had to prove was that you were under 21 and that the PBT showed a positive reading. Last October of 2010, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Case of Commonwealth v. Brigidi came out and changed everything. In this case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court states that PBT’s are NOT admissible in a judicial proceeding for evidentiary purposes. This means that PBT’s should not be admitted into evidence in an underage drinking case. Read More
I wanted to write about a preliminary hearing in Linwood, Pennsylvania that was held last week that is worth noting.
A lady from Camden, New Jersey dropped her 1999 Kia Sephia off at a Leonard’s Body Shop in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania in March of 2010. She paid $1500 to have her car repaired. My client who was the shop owner’s girlfriend, worked the front end of the business. She took the customer’s cash and wrote out a receipt for the$1500. Her boyfriend owned the shop and performed all body work. After she dropped the car off months went by and no work was ever performed on the car. Subsequently, the owner was forced out of the shop and was forced to put the building up for sale. The customer could not locate her car. The police found out that the owner/boyfriend moved the car to his residential garage, never gave the car back and never contacted the customer. The shop owner basically kept the woman’s car and never told her where it was. The Marcus Hook Police charged the boyfriend/owner and my client with Theft by Unlawful Taking, Theft by Deception, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Disorderly Conduct. Read More