Speedy Trial Motion Granted in Prescription Fraud Case, Not Guilty Verdict in Domestic Assault Case, and Other Recent Case Results

Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney Zak T. Goldstein, Esq.

Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney Zak T. Goldstein, Esq.

Our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys have continued to obtain successful results in the courtroom. In the last two months, our defense attorneys have obtained acquittals and dismissals at trial and in preliminary hearings in criminal cases and successfully defended Protection from Abuse (PFA) Petitions. Some of our notable recent results include:  

Commonwealth v. T.T. – Speedy Trial Motion Granted in Prescription Fraud Case Due to Delay in Arresting Defendant.

The client was arrested and charged with Forgery, Identity Theft, Possession With the Intent to Deliver, and related charges for allegedly forging Oxycodone and Percocet prescriptions and attempting to have them filled at local pharmacies. The magistrate judge initially set bail at $100,000, and the client’s family immediately hired Goldstein Mehta LLC. Attorney Goldstein moved for a bail reduction at the first listing of the preliminary hearing, and the Municipal Court judge promptly reduced bail to $25,000. Attorney Goldstein then renewed the bail motion in the Court of Common Pleas, and the Court of Common Pleas reduced bail even further, allowing the client to be released for a bail payment of $670.

Attorney Goldstein then defended the client at the preliminary hearing. At the preliminary hearing, an Agent for the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office testified that she had obtained records indicating that the defendant had attempted to fill forged prescriptions in various names on multiple occasions. However, the Agent had not actually viewed the defendant filling any prescriptions herself. Accordingly, the Municipal Court Judge held the case under advisement to determine whether the agent had sufficient personal knowledge of the allegations or whether the case should be dismissed because the Commonwealth’s entire case at the preliminary hearing was hearsay.

In addition to moving to dismiss the case due to the excessive hearsay, Attorney Goldstein also moved to dismiss the case for a violation of the client’s right to a speedy trial under Rule 600. Rule 600 requires that the Commonwealth bring a defendant to trial within 365 days from the filing of the criminal complaint. However, Rule 600 has a number of exceptions and is often not strictly enforced in cases where the Commonwealth can show that it was not the prosecution’s fault that trial was delayed. Here, the Agents conducted their investigation and filed the criminal complaint in 2014. When they first filed the complaint, they attempted to arrest the defendant, but he was not home. The police then failed to exercise due diligence in trying to find the defendant and bring him to trial, and he was not actually arrested until 2017. Accordingly, Attorney Goldstein moved to dismiss the case due to this pre-arrest delay. When police fail to arrest a defendant within 365 days from the filing of the Complaint, Rule 600 and the case of Commonwealth v. Webb require that the case be dismissed unless the Commonwealth can show that the police executed due diligence in trying to find the defendant and execute the arrest warrant. Here, there was no evidence that the police had diligently attempted to serve the warrant. Therefore, the Municipal Court judge dismissed the case with prejudice at the preliminary hearing for the speedy trial violation, meaning the Commonwealth cannot re-file the charges.

Commonwealth v. A.W. - Motion for Reconsideration of Probation Violation Sentence Granted

The client was found in technical violation of probation for theft and drug possession while represented by a different attorney. The probation judge sentenced A.W. to 11.5 - 23 months in custody. A.W. retained Goldstein Mehta LLC, and our attorneys immediately filed a motion to reconsider the sentence within ten days as required by the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The client's back judge scheduled a hearing on the Motion to Reconsider, and prior to the hearing, we were able to work with the client's family to locate a drug treatment faciity which she could attend if released. Once our attorneys presented the probation judge with the treatment option, the judge reconsidered the sentence and granted immediate parole to treatment. Our defense attorneys were able to help the client avoid a lengthy jail sentence. 

PFA Litigation – Protection from Abuse Petition Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction

Attorney Goldstein successfully moved to have a protection from abuse Petition dismissed at trial for lack of jurisdiction. The plaintiff alleged that she had had a sexual relationship with the defendant and that the defendant subsequently threatened her at a party. The PFA Act allows a plaintiff who claims that they were the victim of abuse to obtain an emergency ex parte protection from abuse order which prohibits the defendant from having any contact with the plaintiff. This order can be extremely problematic for a defendant as it can damage the defendant’s reputation, require the defendant to relinquish legally owned firearms, and can even require the defendant to be evicted from a shared residence. Although the initial order may be granted on an emergency basis without a hearing, the defendant has the right to a trial on whether the allegations are true and a final order is necessary. At the trial, the plaintiff must show that the PFA Court has jurisdiction, that abuse occurred, and that a restraining order is necessary to prevent abuse from occurring.   

Here, Attorney Goldstein was able to have the Petition dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Although the initial Petition alleged that the defendant and plaintiff had a consensual relationship, the defendant testified on cross-examination that the relationship had not been consensual. Knowing that the Superior Court has repeatedly held that PFA jurisdiction only exists in cases involving domestic partners, meaning household members, family members, and people in consensual, dating relationships, Attorney Goldstein immediately moved for dismissal of the Petition for lack of jurisdiction. The Family Court judge agreed and dismissed the Petition, thereby vacating the restraining order.    

Commonwealth v. R.B. – Client was charged with various gun charges, including Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act Sec. 6106, 6108, and 6105. Our criminal defense lawyers successfully moved for the case to be dismissed after the Commonwealth was repeatedly not ready to proceed for the preliminary hearing.  

Commonwealth v. R.T. – Unsworn Falsification Case Dismissed at Municipal Court Trial

The client was charged with Unsworn Falsification to Authorities for allegedly lying to police about being robbed in order to cover up a drug deal gone wrong. The police alleged that the defendant had not been robbed and had instead made up a story about being robbed at gunpoint in order to try to get money back which was stolen in a drug deal. The client retained Attorney Goldstein, who promptly requested all of the discovery in the case, including documents from Cherry Hill. The Commonwealth never successfully obtained the police reports from the other jurisdiction for two trial listings, so Attorney Goldstein moved to dismiss the charges. The Philadelphia Municipal Court judge dismissed the case for lack of prosecution.

Commonwealth v. Z.B. – Detainer Lifted and Client Sentenced to Time Served on Section 17 Detainer.

The client had previously pleaded no contest as part of a Section 17 pre-trial diversionary program to knowing and intentional possession of a controlled substance in Montgomery County. After getting arrested again for the same charge in a different jurisdiction, the probation officer took the client into custody and lodged a probation detainer. The client retained Goldstein Mehta LLC, and our defense attorneys immediately filed a Motion to Lift the Detainer, arguing that Section 17 probation does not give the sentencing judge the authority to lodge a probation detainer. Instead, the judge must schedule a hearing and either continue the probation or impose a judgment of sentence. In this case, the judge had not scheduled the probation violation hearing for months. After receiving the motion and recognizing that the law was unsettled as to whether Section 17 probation gives the authority to lodge a probation detainer, the judge moved the probation violation hearing up by two months. The client then stipulated to the probation violation in exchange for a sentence of roughly time served and was released shortly thereafter. By filing a creative motion on the client’s behalf, our defense lawyers were able to save the client months in jail.   

Commonwealth v. J.B. – Probation Detainer Lifted, Full Acquittal Obtained in Domestic Assault Case

The client was charged with Simple Assault, Terroristic Threats, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and other related charges in the Philadelphia Municipal Court for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. The client was on probation for similar charges, so the probation officer took the client into custody and lodged a probation detainer. If the client had done nothing, he would have had to stay in jail until the new case was resolved. Fortunately, the client retained Goldstein Mehta LLC, and our defense lawyers promptly filed a Motion to Lift the Probation Detainer with the client’s back judge. By putting together a thorough mitigation packet showing the defendant’s exemplary work record, successful compliance with probation other than the new charges, and extensive family and community support, our lawyers were able to have the client’s probation detainer lifted so that he could fight the case from out of jail.

We were then able to obtain a full acquittal for the client at trial. By cross-examining the complaining witness on the inconsistencies between her testimony at trial and the statement she had given to police and showing that she had a motive to fabricate the allegations, our attorneys were able to convince the Municipal Court judge that the complainant should not be believed. This was particularly true in light of the complainant’s lack of visible injuries and the fantastical nature of her allegations. Accordingly, our defense attorneys successfully had the client’s probation detainer lifted and obtained a full acquittal at trial.     

Commonwealth v. V.F. – Possession with the Intent to Deliver Charges Dismissed at Preliminary Hearing

V.F. was charged with Possession with the Intent to Deliver and Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana. Philadelphia narcotics officers alleged that they observed the client receive money from another person in exchange for small objects, which is the typical testimony that officers provide to describe what they believe to be a drug transaction. When officers stopped the man who handed the money to the defendant, the man had marijuana in his possession. Officers then arrested the defendant and found money, but they did not find any matching marijuana. Attorney Goldstein argued that the felony PWID charge should be dismissed because there was insufficient evidence to show that the defendant had sold the marijuana. Instead, police simply could not say what the defendant had allegedly given to the man who had marijuana on him. Accordingly, the preliminary hearing judge dismissed the felony charge and remanded the case for a trial on the misdemeanor marijuana charge.

Commonwealth v. T.C. – PWID Charges Withdrawn at Trial after Seizure Analysis Showed Marijuana Fake. 



If you are facing criminal charges, we can help. Our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers have successfully defended thousands of clients at the trial level on appeal. We offer a complimentary 15-minute criminal defense strategy session to anyone who is under investigation or facing criminal charges. Call 267-225-2545 to speak with an experienced and understanding defense attorney today.