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Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC (412) 281-2146

    Case Results

    Multiple Sex Crimes Significantly Reduced for College Student

    Jun 17 2014 in 2014, 2014 Case Results, Case Results, Sex Crimes, Student and Underage Crimes

    We recently helped a college student in his mid-20s avoid the most severe penalties for multiple sex crimes – unlawful contact with a minor, two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, photographing or filming a sexual act of a child, and corruption of a minor. All of these charges are felonies, and if convicted they involve lengthy prison sentences, expensive fines, and registration as a sex offender.

    Our client was a college student who worked at a retail store to help pay for his tuition. He was living with a woman he knew from work, and her daughter – a minor – also lived there. It was reported to the police that our client was engaging in sexual acts with the woman’s daughter. The daughter testified against our client and provided the police with physical evidence, including clothing, photos, and videos that supported the Commonwealth’s position. Our client faced serious state sentences that could have easily exceeded 20 years.

    Concerned about what would happen to him, the defendant contacted Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC to represent him. Attorney Samir Sarna handled the client’s case over four court dates in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Samir thoroughly assessed the evidence and was able to get some of the physical evidence suppressed. Some of the charges also entailed a mistake of age defense. After aggressive cross-examination at the preliminary hearing, which exposed some of the weaknesses in the Commonwealth’s case, we were able to negotiate a withdrawal of all the Felony 1 and Felony 2 charges. These included unlawful contact with a minor, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, statutory sexual assault, and photographing or filming a sexual act of a child. Samir was also able to negotiate for the remaining charge, corruption of a minor, to be lowered to a misdemeanor from Felony 3. Our client was ordered to serve three years of probation with a required registration as a sex offender for 15 years. Had he been convicted for his initial charges, our client would have faced over 20 years in prison and a lifetime sex offender status.

    Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

    Mid-20s Man Found Not Guilty on Aggravated Assault Charge

    Jun 13 2014 in 2014, 2014 Case Results, Assault and Domestic Violence, Case Results

    Recently, a 25-year-old high school graduate was charged with aggravated assault, a first degree felony in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He did not have a criminal record or any arrests prior to this occasion. Aggravated assault is a serious criminal felony that comes with years in prison and sizable fines if convicted.

    Our client was worried about his future, and this was a complicated and stressful situation. He was having dinner with his new girlfriend at one of her friend’s houses when her ex-boyfriend showed up, causing problems. Our client and his girlfriend left to avoid any problems. The ex-boyfriend met our client on the street, which led to an altercation. The ex-boyfriend was stabbed 11 times in the process, and the only people present during this altercation were our client, his girlfriend, and the ex-boyfriend. Our client was accused of stabbing the ex-boyfriend and thereby charged with aggravated assault.

    We represented our client in a jury trial that took place in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Our defense focused on exposing inconsistencies and showing the Commonwealth’s lack of evidence to prove our client’s guilt. After a three-day jury trial, our client was found not guilty.

    Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

    Man Charged with Terroristic Threats Found Not Guilty

    Jun 12 2014 in 2014, 2014 Case Results, Assault and Domestic Violence, Case Results

    We recently helped a man in his mid-20s avoid multiple criminal convictions, including terroristic threats, reckless endangerment of another person, simple assault, and disorderly conduct. Terroristic threats is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison, so he was understandably stressed and upset about what would happen to him. He also had no prior criminal history, making this even more worrisome.

    He contacted Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC to represent him on these charges. As an employee in the accounting department of a Fortune 500 company, our client faced termination or other job-related ramifications. Our client also legally owns and carries a firearm. A conviction for any of these criminal charges would have prohibited our client from owning a firearm, which is something that is important to him.

    At the time of the alleged offense, our client was on a routine trip to a local home improvement store. He became involved in an altercation with another driving when he was pulling into the parking lot. Things escalated and our client pulled out his gun to bring the situation to an end. The other driver alleged that our client pointed the gun at home and said he would kill the driver’s family. Our client did not say this, but the police decided to arrest and charge our client despite his side of the story.

    We attended one court date in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on behalf of our client. Both our client and his girlfriend testified at the trial, and we helped them understand how the testimony process worked and what to expect in court. We discovered several inconsistencies in the other party’s testimony that significantly decreased their credibility. We were able to point out these inconsistencies, which greatly aided in our defense. After a bench trial, the judge found our client not guilty on all charges.

    Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

    Underage Drinking and Fake ID Charges Dismissed

    Jun 10 2014 in 2014, 2014 Case Results, Case Results, Student and Underage Crimes

    A college student at Washington and Jefferson College was recently charged with underage drinking and carrying a fake ID. Underage drinking is a summary offense, and in Pennsylvania that carries an automatic 90-day license suspension. Carrying a fake ID carries an additional 90 days of suspended driving privileges. As an education major, she was worried about jeopardizing her chances at going to grad school or finding employment related to education with a criminal conviction. She was also extremely mortified because this was the first time she had been in trouble, having never even gotten a traffic ticket before.

    Our client was at a concert with some friends, holding a beer can in her hand. Undercover liquor control board agents approached her and asked her for her ID. She handed them a fake ID that was clearly fabricated. Since she was caught red handed, we had to negotiate carefully when building her defense. We attended two court dates on our client’s behalf in Washington County. Initially, we appeared at the magistrate’s office where we were met with stiff resistance from law enforcement and the judge. Our client was scared but we explained that sometimes an appeal process is necessary to resolve a case favorably.

    Our client took our advice, and on appeal we worked out an agreement with the prosecution in Washington County Court of Common Pleas, where our client’s entire case was ultimately dismissed. Following the dismissal, her record was expunged. She will not have to explain these charges to a potential employer or graduate school admissions office.

    Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

    First DUI Results in ARD Program and No Suspension of Driving Privileges

    Jun 06 2014 in 2014, 2014 Case Results, Case Results, DUI

    A man in his mid-40s who owns his own construction company was recently charged with a first DUI, traffic control device violation, and driving vehicle at safe speed in Allegheny County. Concerned about his business and license, he hired Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC to represent him and mitigate the most severe penalties he faced. He was especially concerned about keeping his driver’s license since without it, he would face serious financial setback. Moreover, he had no prior criminal history and was concerned about clients finding out.

    Our client was out with some old friends and had a few drinks. Like many of our clients, he felt that he was okay to drive home, and so he started home on his motorcycle. While riding down a winding road, he lost control and crashed his bike. When the police arrived on scene, they noticed the smell of alcohol. Our client’s BAC came in at .104, which is high. Even with the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) DUI diversionary program, a BAC that high calls for a 30-day absolute license suspension. We negotiated to have our client moved into a lower-tier BAC and employed proper experts on BAC to convince the prosecution. We were successful in our negotiations and our client did not face any driver’s license suspension. He went through the ARD program.

    Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.