6 Ways to Get Arrested Over the Holidays in Pittsburgh | Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC

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6 Ways to Get Arrested Over the Holidays in Pittsburgh

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but not if you’re in the back of a Pittsburgh police cruiser.

Many charges over the holidays are related to alcohol or drug use, and with COVID-19 adding to the standard holiday stresses, it’s easy to see how mistakes can happen. An arrest during this time of year can also be complicated to deal with. The process will be slower, and if not done right, your arrest may have life-long consequences.

No matter your situation, if you’re arrested in or around Pittsburgh this holiday season, Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, can help. Call (412) 281-2146 24/7 for a free and confidential consultation with one of our criminal lawyers.

6 Ways to Get Arrested Over the Holidays

1. Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (DUI)

Under Pennsylvania law, you can be charged with DUI if a breath or blood test determines your BAC is 0.08 percent or higher. You may think your tolerance is good enough to have a few drinks at your office Christmas party, and if you’re pulled over, it shouldn’t be a problem.

That’s not how it works. Your BAC can be lower, and you can still be arrested if the officer has probable cause to believe your driving is impaired by alcohol. You can also be arrested if your impaired driving is caused by over the counter or prescription drugs.

2. Disorderly Conduct

Drugs, alcohol, and disorderly conduct often are connected. You may be charged if you’re in public, saying or doing something that will upset, anger, or antagonize those around you. Loudly arguing, fighting, screaming, and making obscene gestures can get you arrested.

You need not cause a genuine threat to others. It can happen at family get-togethers that turn ugly, in bars when someone is belligerent or a combination of alcohol and strong political opinions mix.

3. Domestic Violence

This can happen at any time of the year, but especially around the holidays, if stress and substance abuse take over. Pennsylvania has a wide-ranging domestic violence law. It applies to several relationships, including family members (including ex-spouses, blood relatives, or people related by marriage), household members, current or former sexual or intimate partners, and those who have children together. It covers many actions, such as rape, sexual assault, simple assault, stalking, and harassment.

4. Shoplifting

Pennsylvania law states retail theft is taking merchandise from a retail business without paying the full retail value with an intent to deprive the merchant. You can be charged if you leave the store without paying for an item, change price tags, hide more valuable merchandise into a package for something cheaper, or tamper with security devices with criminal intent.

5. Trespassing

A defiant trespasser is someone who, knowing they’re not allowed to do so, enters or stays in a place after they’re given notice by communication, postings, fencing, or other enclosures meant to keep out intruders.

If you come to someone’s home, an argument starts, and the owner or tenant tells you to leave, but you refuse, you may be charged with trespass. You may be arrested for criminal trespass if you’re told you’re not allowed to enter a building, but you do it anyway.

6. Sexual Assault

A prosecutor may charge you with sexual assault, a felony, if there’s not enough evidence to prove rape. Still, there may be enough evidence to show you committed a sex act against another without their consent. This can be unwelcome groping or touching of a sexual nature.

Don’t Go Through the Justice System Alone

The evidence needed to convict you of a crime is much more than what an officer may think justified an arrest. You are innocent until the prosecutor carries their burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you’re guilty.

While the process may be slower and stresses higher after a holiday arrest, you still have options, and there is a lot an experienced Pittsburgh lawyer can do. You may have a strong defense that could result in the charges being dismissed or a plea agreement that will allow you to move on with your life with minimal consequences.

If you are charged with a crime, call Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC today at (412) 281-2146 for a free and confidential case consultation 24/7.