(717) 202-2277
  • Case Results & Testimonials

    Amy and Michael Ivan were my attorneys during the year of 2013. They were excellent in giving me guidance and information during the time I was dealing with my court case. It was a confusing time for me, and if I had not had them to call and explain things to me I would have been lost. It would have been easy for me to make mistakes because I wasn’t familiar with the law. Because they were easily available to me, I felt at ease and was confident that Amy and Michael Ivan were taking care of me.

    I would recommend them at any time as attorneys. They are caring, efficient attorneys who will fight for you. No matter what the outcome, you will feel that you have had the best representation you can get.

    October 13, 2014

PFA and Assault In Pennsylvania

Domestic violence is a serious problem in our country and one that should be aggressively addressed. People can be falsely accused, however, resulting in harsh consequences that can change lives forever. If you have been charged with assault or are facing a restraining order brought against you by a person you are alleged to have assaulted, you need to understand exactly what you’re up against.

Assault in Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania Law, there are two basic charges you could face for assault in Cumberland County: simple assault and aggravated assault. Generally speaking, simple assault is a misdemeanor of the first, second or third degree with the possibility of up to five years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000, if you are convicted.

Aggravated assault is a much more serious charge and is a felony offense in Cumberland County. Aggravated assault charges can range from first to third degree felonies, and a conviction means a prison sentence of up to 20 years, as well as up to $25,000 in fines.

Whether you are facing a simple assault charge or an aggravated assault charge, it’s important to understand that you can be convicted even if you didn’t actually harm or intend to harm the alleged victim. The authorities can charge you with assault in the following situations:

  • You attempted to cause harm to someone.
  • You put someone in fear of imminent bodily injury.
  • You negligently or recklessly injured another person.

Assault charges can cover a wide variety of actions and many people are shocked when they learn that they are being charged with assault.

How Assault Charges and Restraining Orders Are Related

Domestic disputes often result in allegations of abuse and may lead to a charge of simple assault or aggravated assault.PFA Assault In addition to the abuse allegation, the alleged victim may then pursue a restraining order.

A restraining order or ‘Protection From Abuse Order’ is a legal decree that prohibits one person from having contact with another person. It typically prohibits someone from coming within a certain distance of the alleged victim. Additionally, the order can also prohibit any contact with the victim whatsoever, either directly or through an intermediary (other than the police or the court). A restraining order can also contain other restrictive provisions, including requiring the accused to move out of his or her home, as well as dictating how and when the accused can see his or her children.

Domestic violence includes a broader spectrum of relationships than just husband and wife. In Pennsylvania, it is possible for the following people to seek a restraining order against you:

  • A spouse or former spouse
  • A current or former member of your household
  • Someone you have dated or are currently dating
  • Someone with whom you have a child

Needless to say, a restraining order could seriously impact your day-to-day life. If you’re facing a PFA order, speak with a Cumberland County restraining order lawyer as soon as possible.

Two Separate Legal Proceedings

If you are charged with assault and the alleged victim is seeking a restraining order, it is important to understand that the assault charge and the restraining order will be handled by two independent legal processes. This means that you have to defend yourself in both proceedings, held in separate courts with different judges.

Do not assume that the restraining order will be resolved if you prevail in your criminal case, or vice versa. Both actions will require a separate defense.

Understanding the PFA Process

Once you are charged with assault in a criminal case, you could follow two basic courses of action: (1) attempt to resolve the case by entering into a plea agreement with the prosecutor, or (2) proceed to trial where the prosecutor will have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The restraining order process is quite different. Here is a broad overview of how the restraining order process works:

  1. Your accuser fills out the appropriate forms and files them with the court. It will be given to a judge for review. If requested, and if the judge believes that your accuser is in immediate danger, a temporary protection from abuse order (TPFA) will be entered which will go into effect immediately.
  2. The police will serve you with a copy of the TPFA and seize any and all firearms in your possession. You will be required to comply with TPFA’s terms immediately.
  3. A hearing will be scheduled to take place within 10 days of the date that the TPFA was issued.
  4. The hearing will determine whether or not a final restraining order (PFA) is appropriate. You will have the opportunity to attend the hearing to hear the evidence against you and defend yourself.

The restraining order process differs from a criminal proceeding in a few significant ways:

  • If the judge enters a PFA, that PFA will remain in effect for as long as the court says it does. It does not go away if you reconcile with your accuser. You must file a petition with the court requesting that the PFA be rescinded or modified.
  • Your accuser does not need to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
  • Your case will be decided by a judge, not a jury.

Why You Need a Lawyer for Both

An aggravated assault charge is serious – you are potentially facing years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted. While the consequences of a restraining order may not be as serious, it could drastically change your life. You may be prohibited from going places you typically frequent, you may have to move, or your ability to see your children may be severely restricted. If a PFA is entered, you will also be prevented from legally owning a firearm in the state of Pennsylvania.

You will suffer serious consequences if you neglect either of these cases. Unfortunately, both proceedings are complex and confusing for those not familiar with the laws surrounding them. A simple misstep can jeopardize your case and ultimately your rights. If you’ve been charged with assault and are facing a restraining order, you need a criminal defense attorney who understands the significance of both proceedings and can defend you in each one.

Contact a Cumberland County Assault and PFA Attorney

If you’ve been charged with assault and are facing a PFA, your life and your future are at stake. Don’t face these challenges alone – talk to a Cumberland County criminal defense lawyer who will fight for your rights and get you a fair result. Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney Sean Quinlan has experience fighting assault charges in both criminal court and restraining order hearings. For a free consultation, call us at 717 202-2277 to discuss your case and how we can help. Call us at 717 202-2277 to schedule a free consultation today.

Benefits of the ARD Program

Benefits of the ARD Program

You will not be “convicted” of a crime if you enter the ARD program. Furthermore the loss of your operating privileges will be for a short period of time, rather than the full year for a first
time DUI conviction.

For example, if your blood alcohol is between a .10 and .159, your driving privileges most likely will only be suspended for one month (depending on summary offenses and other variables).

If you blood alcohol level is above a .16, then your suspension period will most likely be for two months. The maximum period for ARD is tow years, but for most DUIs the period is one year. Some counties even shorten this period to six months if you have completed all of your requirements.

Another advantage is that completing the ARD program allows you to answer “no” on job applications that ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime. (You can also safely answer “no” to any question about whether you have ever been in an ARD program – employer’s don’t have the right to ask this, and they don’t have access to the court records – they are sealed in the office of the District Attorney).

Additionally, 30 days after completion of the program, you can go to court to get the arrest record and ARD record expunged- cleaned up completely and removed from your past. Only the District Attorney will know, and it will not come back to haunt you, unless you are subsequently arrested for DUI or another crime (in which case you will be treated a second time offender unless ten years have elapsed). Be aware, however, that it takes longer to clean up your record with PennDoT.

If you or a loved one have been charged with DUI or a non-violent offense, ARD may be an option. Call Attorney Quinlan today at 717 202-2277 to discuss your case. Consultations are always free and we sincerely enjoy helping good people through tough times.

What do Pennsylvania police look for before they stop someone on suspicion of DUI?

In Dauphin and surrounding counties most DUI arrests occur at night. The following is a list of
indicators that state and local police use to suspect someone might be DUI. The list is based
upon research conducted by the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA):
• Turning with a wide radius
• Straddling the center of lane marker
• Almost striking an object or vehicle
• Weaving
• Swerving
• Going more than 10 mph below the speed limit
• Stopping for no reason in a traffic lane
• Following too closely
• Drifting
• Running tires on the center line or lane marker
• Braking erratically
• Driving into opposing or crossing traffic
• Signaling in a way that doesn’t match driving
actions (for example, signaling left and then turning
right)
• Slow response to traffic signals
• Stopping inappropriately
• Turning abruptly or illegally
• Accelerating or decelerating rapidly
• Driving with the headlights off (at night)
If you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI call Attorney Quinlan today at (717)202-2277 or visit us online at http://www.harrisburgduiguy.com.

Does the car have to be moving for me to be found guilty of DUI?

Does the car have to be moving for me to be found guilty of DUI?

No. In Pennsylvania, you can be convicted for DUI even if you’re not actually driving the car.

The key is whether you had the capability and power to dominate, direct, or control the
vehicle.  It doesn’t matter whether you were actually exercising that power at the time.

In other words, simply sitting behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition can lead to your arrest for DUI because you are in actual physical control of the car.  There are, however, exceptions to this general rule which must be considered before simply applying for ARD or pleading guilty.

Arrested for DUI? Contact Attorney Quinlan at 717 202-2277 or visit our website at www.harrisburgduiguy.com

What is a DUI?

http://harrisburgduiguy.com

Being charged with a DUI in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has very serious repercussions. It is important to find a Harrisburg DUI attorney that will do everything in their power to ensure that a DUI conviction does not haunt you for the rest of your life. The best Harrisburg DUI lawyers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania are often able to get a DUI charge expunged leaving you with a license and a clean record to police and employers. Make no mistake, if not taken seriously a DUI charge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will have lasting consequences that is capable of affecting your employment, future, and freedom.

Under what circumstances can an individual be charged with a DUI?

What are the penalties if found guilty of a DUI?

How will a DUI defense lawyer help an individual? What line of defenses can be formed?

The vast majority of people who have been charged with a DUI do not have a past criminal record and deserve a second chance without having the “book” thrown at them.

In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania it is not illegal to drink and drive as long as the person operating the vehicle is not impaired and does not have a blood alcohol content above .08. With that said it is important to understand that it is not safe to drink and drive. The best DUI defense attorneys will know the most effective ways to defend a client who has been charged with a DUI.

Knowing and understanding the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania DUI laws as well as the proceedings that take place in a courtroom for DUI cases is nothing short of a challenge. The best DUI attorneys in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area will use clever and innovative ways to help their clients achieve the best results in court.

The experience that comes with hiring a DUI defense attorney will prove to be priceless when it comes to fighting a DUI charge in court. The best Harrisburg DUI attorneys have a reputation for being able to aggressively defend their clients while helping them achieve favorable outcomes.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for driving under the influence in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania it is important that you know that there are options. An individual should never plead guilty without consulting closely with an attorney from a DUI law firm. The best Pennsylvania DUI defense attorneys are the ones who have a practice that primarily defends individuals who have been charged with a DUI. DUI defense attorneys who do this are usually better when it comes to strategic planning that will help their clients walk away without having to face repercussion.

Every DUI case in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is going to have two cases filed. The first case is an administrative hearing that deals with an individual’s driver’s license and the second case filed is the criminal case that ultimately decides the punishment that a defendant will have to face. A DUI law firm with very experienced DUI defense attorneys will give a defendant the best chance at retaining their privilege to drive in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as well as having the charges brought up against them reduced or completely dropped.

Fourth of July Sobriety Checkpoint? ‘Tis the season!

Long summertime holiday weekend?  Yup, take it to the bank – there will be checkpoints set up over the next few days.  Cumberland Count alone already set up “sobriety checkpoints” over three separate weekends during the summer of 2013.  Typically, they’re set up at locations along major thoroughfares that have high numbers of restaurants/bars, concerts/stadiums that lead to or from Interstates 81, 581, 83 and 283.

Though roadblocks are not permitted on interstates, the police know that most traffic will seek access to an interstate to travel home.  So, the police will try to set up the sobriety checkpoints along one of these “feeder” roadways.  Police decide when and where they will place the roadblock and then converge at an appointed hour, typically between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., to block traffic on that road.

Roadblocks will usually be established around a bend in the road or over the crest of a hill, so that cars approaching the site will not have a side street to use to avoid passing through the checkpoint.  Each roadblock typically also has a “chase” car, an officer waiting in an idling cruiser at a strategic place to see any vehicles that attempt to avoid the roadblock.  These “chase” officers assume that any vehicle turning away from the roadblock is trying to avoid detection for possible impaired driving.  Appellate courts across the US have found that drivers who do not wish to be delayed at a night time construction site, or who believe they have happened upon an accident scene that is delaying traffic may find a safe way to leave and not pass through the safety or sobriety checkpoint.  However, if you make an abrupt, unsafe or illegal maneuver in turning around, this will usually justify the chase car pulling you over.

Remember, the best way to avoid a DUI charge is to not drink and get behind the wheel of a car.

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, give us a call as soon as possible.  Time is of the essence and we sincerely enjoy helping good people through tough times.

DUI Attorney Harrisburg PA

DUI Attorney Harrisburg PA

Being charged with a DUI in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has very serious repercussions. It is important to find a Harrisburg DUI attorney that will do everything in their power to ensure that a DUI conviction does not haunt you for the rest of your life. The best Harrisburg DUI lawyers in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania are often able to get a DUI charge expunged leaving you with a license and a clean record to police and employers. Make no mistake, if not taken seriously a DUI charge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will have lasting consequences that is capable of affecting your employment, future, and freedom.

Under what circumstances can an individual be charged with a DUI?

What are the penalties if found guilty of a DUI?

How will a DUI defense lawyer help an individual? What line of defenses can be formed?

The vast majority of people who have been charged with a DUI do not have a past criminal record and deserve a second chance without having the “book” thrown at them.

In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania it is not illegal to drink and drive as long as the person operating the vehicle is not impaired and does not have a blood alcohol content above .08. With that said it is important to understand that it is not safe to drink and drive. The best DUI defense attorneys will know the most effective ways to defend a client who has been charged with a DUI.

Knowing and understanding the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania DUI laws as well as the proceedings that take place in a courtroom for DUI cases is nothing short of a challenge. The best DUI attorneys in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area will use clever and innovative ways to help their clients achieve the best results in court.

The experience that comes with hiring a DUI defense attorney will prove to be priceless when it comes to fighting a DUI charge in court. The best Harrisburg DUI attorneys have a reputation for being able to aggressively defend their clients while helping them achieve favorable outcomes.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for driving under the influence in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania it is important that you know that there are options. An individual should never plead guilty without consulting closely with an attorney from a DUI law firm. The best Pennsylvania DUI defense attorneys are the ones who have a practice that primarily defends individuals who have been charged with a DUI. DUI defense attorneys who do this are usually better when it comes to strategic planning that will help their clients walk away without having to face repercussion.

Every DUI case in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is going to have two cases filed. The first case is an administrative hearing that deals with an individual’s driver’s license and the second case filed is the criminal case that ultimately decides the punishment that a defendant will have to face. A DUI law firm with very experienced DUI defense attorneys will give a defendant the best chance at retaining their privilege to drive in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as well as having the charges brought up against them reduced or completely dropped.

DUI Checkpoint: Can they do that?

Yes.  Yes, they can.  In Pennsylvania, the legality of police DUI checkpoints is governed by the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.  Roadblocks, as in every traffic stop, must withstand judicial scrutiny.  And, in order to do so, the police must have a legally sufficient reason to stop your car.  The reason can be observation of a traffic offense, defective equipment, expired tags or inspection, or some other visible sign that a crime is being committed.  In Pennsylvania, roadblocks have been approved for use in stopping impaired drivers, so long as the roadblock is legally established and operated under strict guidelines.

In Pennsylvania, roadblocks are valid based on the Commonwealth’s police powers to insure the roads are safe from drunk drivers.  The Supreme Court upheld this authority as constitutional so long as citizens rights are protected.  Generally, the roadblock decision-making must be made by supervisory personnel rather than by law enforcement officers in the field.  Also the execution of the roadblock must be carried out pursuant to specific procedures requiring all passing vehicles to be stopped.  Finally, the delay imposed on motorists must be minimal.

Therefore, if not precisely executed, your checkpoint DUI arrest can be challenged as a defense to the charges against you.  Generally however, to challenge the legality of the roadblock, you’ll need the testimony of an expert to support the challenge.

D’oh! I refused the chemical test…

So you were arrested for DUI and refused to have your blood, breath or urine tested by the police after he or she informed you – repeatedly – of your implied-consent obligations and attendant consequences for refusal. Your license is now suspended by PennDOT. A frequent question arises in almost every instance this happens. Is there a “work license” or “limited license” option available? The short answer is yes but getting one isn’t easy.

What’s an OLL? OLL stands for Occupational Limited License. According to PennDOT, an Occupational Limited License is a limited driver’s license issued to a driver whose Pennsylvania driving privilege has been suspended.

So, does a suspension for refusal to submit to chemical testing qualify for an OLL? Yes, but getting one isn’t easy. PennDOT will only issue an OLL under the following circumstances:

1. It must be an 18-month suspension.
2. The applicant has no more than one prior DUI offense within the past 10 years.
3. The applicant has served 12 months of the 18 month suspension.
4. The applicant has satisfied all restoration requirements.
5. The applicant has the ignition interlock installed on their vehicle.

Fun, right?

Remember, the DUI laws are designed to deter drunk driving and the best way to avoid a DUI is to not drink and get behind the wheel of a car.

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, give us a call as soon as possible. Time is of the essence and we sincerely enjoy helping good people through tough times.

What happens if I refuse to perform the field sobriety tests? Will I lose my license?

There is no requirement for you to perform any of the field sobriety tests and there is no automatic mechanism for the police to suspend your driver’s license if you decline to attempt these evaluations.  But having a driver’s license is a qualified right, one that can be continuously reviewed by the State.  Though roadside agility tests are not required in Pennsylvania, police may compel a suspect to provide a blood, breath or urine sample but only after he or she has been arrested for DUI.  Pennsylvania’s DUI law provides that a chemical test of a driver’s blood alcohol content can’t be performed by police unless he or she first establishes a “reasonable basis” upon which it can be demonstrated that the driver was operating a vehicle under the influence. Police use field sobriety tests to help develop this “reasonable basis” to submit motorists to chemical testing.

If you refuse to take the field sobriety tests, and are eventually convicted of DUI, you will lose your license as part of the criminal court proceeding.  However, that is likely months away from the time of your stop, and may never occur if an experienced DUI attorney helps you with your case.

So, what if I refuse the chemical tests after I’ve been arrested?  Will I lose my license?

Yes.  As mentioned earlier your license will, in all likelihood, be suspended. Though you are entitled to a hearing to challenge the suspension.  At this administrative hearing you have the right to challenge whether or not you refused to be tested.  If you lose the administrative hearing, your license will be suspended for at least a year.

If you refuse the chemical testing, you may still be entitled to get a temporary license issued as a stop-gap license to allow you to drive until you get your PennDOT hearing.  The continuation of driving privileges almost always lasts only until a decision is reached on your administrative license suspension AFTER you have properly and timely requested a hearing.

If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, give us a call as soon as possible.  Time is of the essence and we sincerely enjoy helping good people through tough times.

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