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

    Case Results

    Second DUI Penalties Reduced

    May 21 2014 in 2014 Case Results, Case Results, DUI

    Recently, a superintendent in his mid-40s was charged with a second DUI and speeding. In this matter, his second DUI was graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree. The man was extremely concerned about his job; his employer did not know about the new charge and it was important to him that they did not find out. Unfortunately, his BAC was almost three times the legal limit and he was facing a 90-day mandatory jail sentence as part of his charges. He hired Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC to represent him and mitigate the penalties he was facing. His prior DUI was out of Kentucky.

    At the time of the offense, our client had been drinking with some friends during a hockey playoff game. The home team won the game, but our client had lost track of both time and how much he had to drink. When he left, an officer clocked him at traveling more than twice the legal speed limit. When he was pulled over, the police officer immediately noticed a strong odor of alcohol emanating from our client’s car.

    We represented our client in three court dates in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Our client was caught red handed, which made defense a careful process of negotiation. The prosecution offered a plea deal for our client to spend 90 days in a rehab program. However, that would have resulted in our client losing his job. We negotiated with the prosecution and convinced the judge to sentence our client to house arrest with a work release instead. Our client was able to maintain his employment while he served his sentence, and did not lose the job that took him 20 years to obtain.

    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 of Criminal Homicide

    May 16 2014 in 2014, Case Results, Homicide, Violent Crimes

    Recently, a young man in his 20s was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and third-degree murder. He had other charges of criminal conspiracy to commit homicide, criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, and robbery. He was accused of planning and participating in an attempted robbery of the victim, who was a drug dealer. The people accusing him of criminal homicide were his ex-girlfriend, one of the victim’s friends, and one of the people with whom the client planned the robbery.

    Given a limited criminal history of simple assault committed two years ago, the man came to us worried about his future. Unemployed after being arrested and jailed while he waited for his case to go to trial in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, he wondered what could be done. Since homicide is a first-degree felony, he faced a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with no possibility of parole if convicted. He hired us to handle his case because of our extensive trial experience in the Pittsburgh area. At trial, we were able to cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses to show their bias against our client. We also were able to employ the prosecution’s own evidence against them to show that our client could not have been one of the people who actually robbed the victim.

    We represented our client on seven court dates. After a full, week-long jury trial, our client was found not guilty of criminal homicide, avoiding a life sentence in prison.

    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.

    University of Pittsburgh Student’s Possession of Marijuana Charges Dismissed

    May 15 2014 in 2014, Case Results, Drug Crimes, Student and Underage Crimes

    A University of Pittsburgh student recently returned to his house to find a party his roommates threw that had been busted by the police. Since people had been smoking pot in his room, the police accused him of possession. He was charged with possession of marijuana in Pittsburgh Municipal Court. As a college junior majoring in finance, he was extremely worried about a possession conviction affecting his future. Since he was planning to enter the workforce and earn his MBA simultaneously, this would have set him back professionally and academically.

    He came to us with these concerns, and we were able to negotiate a deal with the district attorney. Our client has no prior criminal history which helped his case, but the fact is that the police would have been unable to prove that our client had put the marijuana in his room. The district attorney agreed to postpone the matter for 90 days after the first scheduled hearing. Provided that our client stayed out of trouble for the 90 days, the charges would be dropped. Our client successfully avoided trouble and the charges were dismissed. Since criminal charges still stay on one’s record unless expunged, we also helped our client apply for an expungement so the issue is erased completely. Had we gone to trial, we are confident that we would have secured a not guilty verdict for our client.

    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.

    Mitsubishi Technician Avoids Possession of Suboxone Conviction

    May 14 2014 in 2014, Case Results, Drug Crimes

    After a concerned neighbor reported suspicious activity, a man in his mid-20s found himself charged with possession of suboxone, a Schedule III controlled substance. His car had been parked near a house suspected for housing a drug dealing operation. A police officer who investigated the neighbor’s call saw the man’s dark tinted windows and pulled him over after he left for the tinted windows. The man was very nervous and turned over the suboxone without any prompting from the police. He was charged and his case was assigned to Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

    After being charged, he contacted us to see what could be done. Our client is an electric/mechanical technician for Mitsubishi Motors, and if convicted he would have lost his job. With just a prior speeding offense, he was worried about having a permanent criminal record as well. We attended three court dates to represent our client. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the window tints are arguably not illegal, which brought into question the police officer’s decision to pull over our client. The stop and discovery of the suboxone could, therefore, be thrown out. We negotiated a deal for our client where his charges are dismissed and removed from his record following six months of being crime free. Since there was no conviction, our client did not face a driver’s license suspension or loss of employment.

    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.

    Contractor Avoids Possession of Controlled Substance & Open Container Convictions

    May 13 2014 in 2014, Case Results, Drug Crimes, DUI

    Recently, an independent contractor was driving home after making some poor decisions. After being sober for almost 18 months, he fell off the wagon. He was pulled over for speeding, crossing the center lane into oncoming traffic, and almost running off the side of the road. He was ultimately charged with a second DUI, illegally operating a vehicle that wasn’t equipped with ignition interlock, possession of a controlled substance, careless driving, and open container.

    After being charged, he was distraught. After months of sobriety, he managed to get in a lot of legal trouble in one fell swoop. With a significant prior criminal history including DUI, resisting arrest, and simple assault convictions dating back to 2001, he was concerned that more criminal charges would lead to jail or prison time. On top of that, he provided site preparation for a national retailer with new building projects. More criminal convictions would have ruined that business relationship, leading to employment issues.

    We were able to negotiate a plea deal for our client over three court dates whereby all of the charges were dismissed except for the second DUI. Our client did not have to go to jail and was able to maintain his business relationship. This was important since a second time DUI within 10 years typically involves a mandatory jail sentence of 90 days with a potential sentence of up to five years in prison.

    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.