The Video Exonerates Him!

This summer, Attorney Jacqueline Robbins persuaded the Assistant District Attorney to drop all charges against a client accused of conspiracy and assault. Upon careful review of the surveillance video capturing the incident, which occurred in a busy downtown pharmacy, it became clear that there was another male assailant, who was never apprehended. Prior to trial, Ms. Robbins presented this information to the prosecutor, arguing that the police arrested the wrong man. The video corroborated the Defendant's own account of what transpired on the night of the incident. Persuaded that the Defendant was innocent of any wrongdoing, the DA agreed to withdraw all charges. We are currently pursuing a petition to expunge the arrest from the client's criminal record. Our client will soon be free to pursue his goals without this wrongful arrest following him into job interviews or housing applications. At TRLaw, we go the extra mile on our cases. When appropriate, we use our advocacy skills outside the courtroom to achieve quick, positive results for our clients. 

Constructive Possession of Firearms

Attorney Melissa Thomas convinced the District Attorney's office to drop ALL CHARGES against her client today. Police searched her client's vehicle after he was pulled over for a minor traffic violation. They found a gun under the passenger seat where a different person was seated. The police decided to arrest her client, the driver of the vehicle, but let the passenger go free. 

Melissa worked with his client's favor to uncover evidence linking the other passenger to the firearm. Once she presented the DA's office with this evidence, they had no choice but to withdraw the charges. 

When police find a firearm, narcotics, or any other contraband hidden in a vehicle, the government has to prove that the defendant had constructive possession over the contraband. Often times, they can't make out their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

A person does not possess a firearm merely because he or she is aware of the presence and nature of the firearm or because he or she is physically close to it.  Possession means what it does in ordinary usage: someone is knowingly holding, carrying, or otherwise directly controlling the possession of the gun. A person can be guilty of possessing an item even when he or she is not holding it, touching it, or in the same area as the item. That type of possession is what the law calls constructive possession. For there to be constructive possession, it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual had both the intent to control the item and the power to control the item.

Attorney Thomas was able to persuade the DA prior to trial that the state could not possibly prove that this defendant had the intent to control and the power to control that firearm. 

Registering Under Megan's Law

Melissa Thomas successfully removed her client from the Megan's Law registry. Melissa's client pleaded guilty to indecent assault several years ago. At the time, an indecent assault conviction did not require one to register under Megan's Law. However, in 2012, the Pennsylvania legislature updated Megan's Law and included indecent assault as a new offense. The Pennsylvania State Police notified my client that he was now required to register as a sex offender, even though he wasn't required to when he pleaded guilty.

Melissa filed a petition to enforce the original plea agreement. Melissa argued, among other things, that her client had traded his right to a jury trial for a plea agreement that would prevent him from having to register as a sex offender. The judge ruled that the Commonwealth had to honor the original plea agreement and Melissa's client was not required to register under Megan's Law.

If you pleaded guilty to a non-Megan's Law offense, but have since been asked to report to the State Police, please contact us and set up a time to discuss your options.