Recently in Two Hour Rule Category

May 16, 2011

What a Nice Day the Delco Way

Mondays are always busy at my office. Not only do we get a lot of new clients calling that
got in trouble over the weekend, Mondays are the day for pre-trial conferences in Delaware County. We are usually double and triple booked for Mondays in Delco. In addition, my secretary is usually texting me all the new clients that called over the weekend. I try to get back to everyone on my cell phone in the courtroom hallway in between cases. I have to hustle between courtrooms to get to everyone. It can be stressful at times, but it is well worth it at the end of the day when you provide a good service for your clients and make a good living at it. To me, being a criminal defense lawyer in Pennsylvania is not work. I love what I do, and will never work a day in my life as long as I am doing this.

Today, I started out in Media, District Court. I was scheduled in front of District Judge Klein at 8:30 for a delco possession of marijuana case. My client was charged with
Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. I called the police officer the week prior, and asked him if we could drop the case down to a Disorderly Conduct. Disorderly conduct is a summary offense and is a great disposition for a possession of marijuana/paraphernalia cases. It allows you to pay a fine and move on with your life. No probation, no community service, no more court dates, nor more nonsense - it's that simple, just pay the fine and move on. The officer explained to me that Judge Klein does not like to accept guilty pleas for Disorderly Conduct when drug charges are dropped. The judge does have the power to reject the plea agreement. After negotiating with the officer, he said his department doesn't normally do this, but he would speak with his sergeant about dropping this down to a Disorderly Conduct. I also called the DA that would be prosecuting the case, and got her on board with the D.C. plea. When I arrived in the courtroom, the place was packed with defendants, police and attorneys. Everything went smoothly. In court, the cop and the DA both agreed to the D.C. plea. Now we just had to get in with the judge. We slipped it in fast before she could even blink.

Continue reading "What a Nice Day the Delco Way" »

October 27, 2010

Two Hour DUI Motions in Philadelphia are Just Plain Lip Service

In order for a defendant to be found guilty of a DUI in Pennsylvania, his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test must be performed within two hours of driving or having "actual physical control" of a motor vehicle. In other words, the police have a two hour limit to take you back to the station to perform the breathalyzer or blood test. However, the DUI law also states that there are exceptions to the rule. The police may be late giving the suspect the BAC test if good cause is shown by the police. The following would be examples of good cause for failure to give the defendant a BAC test within two hours: there was traffic on the way to the DUI processing center, the officer's vehicle broke down, the officer had to restrain a violent defendant, there was a natural disaster etc. These are only examples that the judge or jury may consider as good cause to miss the two hour deadline. "Good cause" is a question for the finder of fact to determine.

Continue reading "Two Hour DUI Motions in Philadelphia are Just Plain Lip Service" »