Treatment Court

Recent Case Results - Successful Outcomes in Robbery, Burglary, Probation, Possession, and Sex Crimes Cases

Our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers have continued to obtain successful results on behalf of our clients in cases involving sex crimes, robbery, burglary, and Possession with the Intent to Deliver. These successful outcomes have included bail reductions, the dismissal of all charges, favorable results in pre-trial Motions to Suppress, and probationary and house arrest sentences. In the past two months alone, we have achieved a number of wins, including:

Commonwealth v. S.A. - S.A. was charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, and related charges. The magistrate initially set bail at an extremely high amount due to the seriousness of the charges, and SA was unable to make bail. Within 24 hours of being retained, Attorney Goldstein obtained a significant bail reduction, and the defendant was able to make bail. After the defendant made bail, Attorney Goldstein was also able to have all charges dismissed at the preliminary hearing.

Commonwealth v. H.S. - Our criminal defense lawyers were able to obtain a full dismissal of all charges in a burglary case against HS at the preliminary hearing.

Commonwealth v. S.V. - Our attorneys were able to obtain a sentence of house arrest and drug treatment for a defendant who was convicted of drug charges. After the defendant was convicted of Possession with the Intent to Deliver, our defense attorneys arranged for the defendant's other open matters, including a case for which the defendant was on probation, to be brought in before the sentencing judge so that the defendant could be sentenced on all of the cases at the same time and only have one back judge. This procedure is called a 701 consolidation, and it can be very helpful in terms of avoiding multiple probation judges and consecutive sentences for a defendant who has violated probation.

Although the sentencing guidelines called for a state prison sentence and the defendant had been on probation at the time of the new arrest, our defense attorneys were able to convince the sentencing judge to give the defendant a chance to serve a house arrest sentence and obtain drug treatment. By investigating the client's background, our lawyers learned that despite being on probation for a similar offense, the defendant had never been ordered to undergo any kind of addiction treatment. Now, instead of serving time in state prison, the client will have the chance to receive treatment in the community, and the Court will also assist the client with obtaining educational and job training.

Commonwealth v S.A. - Attorney Goldstein obtained a full dismissal of all charges in a Robbery case at the preliminary hearing. In this case, the complainant alleged that the defendant had been part of a group that assaulted him and stole his tablet. After the complainant testified that he had been under the influence of prescription medication at the time of the incident and was no longer sure if the defendant had been present, Attorney Goldstein was able to convince the preliminary hearing judge to dismiss all charges. Prior to the preliminary hearing, Attorney Goldstein obtained a significant bail reduction which allowed the client to fight the case from out of custody.

Cmmonwealth v. D.S. - Our attorneys successfully moved for a bail reduction in a felony gun possession case. After the judge at the preliminary hearing refused to reduce bail, Attorney Goldstein immediately moved for a bail reduction in the Court of Common Pleas, and the Common Pleas judge reduced bail from $35,000 to $15,000.

In Re: J.W.: We negotiated an admission to Criminal Trespass in a juvenile delinquency case where the client was originally charged with felony burglary for breaking and entering into a school after hours. After hearing the defense's mitigation evidence and recommendation at disposition (sentencing), the Family Court judge found that the client was not in need of supervision and dismissed all of the charges. The defendant will not even have to be on probation, and the entire record of the case can be expunged.

Commonwealth v. E.G. - All charges dismissed prior to trial in domestic violence case involving Simple Assault and Recklessly Endangering Another Person charges.

Commonwealth v. M.M. - Client was arrested on a potential technical probation violation. Attorney Goldstein filed a motion to lift the detainer and had a hearing scheduled within a week. At the hearing, our defense attorneys convinced the judge to find that the client had not violated the terms of his probation. The client was immediately released the same day.

Commonwealth v. W.L. - The defendant was arrested on a bench warrant due to a failure to show up for court for a preliminary hearing. Our attorneys were able to have the bench warrant lifted without a finding of contempt of court and obtain Sign on Bond bail, meaning the defendant was released without an increase in bail.

Commonwealth v B.M. - We were able to successfully have Possession with the Intent to Deliver PCP and Conspiracy charges dismissed, leaving only charges related to marijuana sales for trial.

Commonwealth v. J.W. - Our defense attorneys obtained the dismissal of charges of selling crack cocaine and conspiracy at a preliminary hearing. The defendant will now face much less serious charges related only to marijuana in a trial in the Municipal Court. A conviction for Possession with the Intent to Deliver of crack cocaine may often involve jail time, whereas even a conviction for PWID of marijuana in the Municipal Court is more likely to result in probation.

Commonwealth v. M.G. - Successfully negotiated Section 17 disposition on drug possession charges. The Section 17 program requires the defendant to plead no contest and be placed on a period of probation. If the defendant successfully completes the probation, then the charges will be dismissed and can be expunged.

Commonwealth v. A.C. - Successfully negotiated for client who was facing assault charges to obtain entry into a Domestic Violence diversion program. If the client pays a small fine, completes a number of counseling sessions, and stays out of trouble for approximately four months, the entire case will be dismissed and can be expunged. Pursuant to the terms of the program, the client was not required to enter into any kind of plea or admission of guilt.

Commonwealth v. J.H. - Successfully negotiated for client's entry into drug treatment court for client facing two cases of Possession with the Intent to Deliver. If client completes the program, the charges will be dismissed and can be expunged, and client will not have a felony record.

ARD and Other Pre-Trial Diversionary Programs That Can Help You Keep a Clean Record

I have never been arrested before. Can I keep this case off my record? 

We often represent clients who are charged with Driving Under the Influence ("DUI"), misdemeanors, or other less serious felonies who may not necessarily be facing jail time but are extremely concerned about keeping their record clean for work, licensing, immigration, or educational purposes. In many cases, if you have never been arrested before or have not been arrested for a long time, our criminal defense attorneys can help you in applying to pre-trial diversionary programs which will allow you to avoid a conviction and even have the record of the arrest expunged and destroyed. 

We are most successful in keeping obtaining entry into a pre-trial diversionary program for clients who have never been arrested before. In some cases, we are even able to obtain entry into a diversionary program even when the client has been arrested before if the arrests are relatively old. Two of the most common pre-trial diversionary programs which can be used to avoid a conviction are ARD and AMP, and we are frequently successful in obtaining ARD or AMP for our clients.

What is ARD? (The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program)

ARD is probably the most common diversionary program in Pennsylvania state court because it exists in each county in Pennsylvania. ARD is a pre-trial diversionary program which allows a defendant with no prior criminal record (or an extremely old, minor arrest or juvenile matter) to pay a fine, complete community service, serve a relatively short period of unsupervised probation, and then have all of the charges from the case dismissed and expunged. In DUI cases, the ARD program may include a short driver’s license suspension. Depending on the level of the DUI, the license suspension will be for a month or two instead of the one-year year license suspension which is commonly seen even for a first DUI conviction. 

ARD is typically offered only in misdemeanor cases. However, we have been able to obtain ARD for felony defendants with particularly deserving circumstances. ARD can be expensive, but when offered, it does provide a guarantee that if the defendant completes the conditions, then the case and criminal record will go away and the charges will be expunged. ARD is almost never offered for violent crimes, but it is commonly offered for low-level theft offenses and Driving Under the Influence. Because ARD results in dismissal of the charges and expungement, we typically recommend that clients who are eligible for ARD accept the program. However, each case is different, and in rare cases, it may be advisable to fight the charges. 

The Accelerated Misdemeanor Program ("AMP")

A second common pre-trial diversionary program which exists only in Philadelphia is the Accelerated Misdemeanor Program ("AMP"). The Accelerated Misdemeanor Program also typically allows the defedant to avoid any period of probation or jail time, and in many cases, it allows for the dismissal and expungement of charges without a conviction. Depending on the defendant's criminal record, there are two levels of AMP to which the defendant may be admitted - AMP I and AMP II.

AMP I requires the defendant to pay a fine, complete community service, and remain arrest-free for approximately two months. If the defendant is able to complete those conditions, then the charges will be dismissed and the defendant may file for an expungement. The expungement is not automatic and requires an additional filing fee and hearing, but once the expungement is granted, the records will be destroyed and the case will be removed from the defendant's record. 

AMP II, which may be offered to defendant's with lengthier criminal records, may result in a conviction or participation in a program called Section 17. In many cases, we are able to obtain Section 17 or Section 18 dispositions for defendants who have prior arrests or convictions but are admitted into AMP II. The conditions of Section 17 and Section 18 vary depending on the case, but in general, both require the defendant to plead no contest, complete a period of probation, pay a fine, and possibly complete various other conditions such as job training or drug treatment. If the defendant is successful, then the charges can be dismissed and expunged. If the defendant is not successful, then the judge may find the defendant guilty of the charges and sentence the defendant to either probation or jail time. In cases where the defendant already has a lengthy criminal record, we may be able to obtain an AMP II offer which requires a guilty plea and conviction but will not result in an actual probationary or jail sentence if the defendant is able to complete the conditions. 

Other Diversionary Programs

In addition to ARD and AMP, there are other diversionary programs both in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties. Many of the counties have specialized DUI treatment courts, drug treatment courts, Intermediate Punishment, Veteran's Courts, and Mental Health courts. The programs vary from county to county and depending on the case. 

Fighting the Case 

Finally, when the client is not eligible for ARD or other pre-trial diversionary programs, we have been extremely successful in defending misdemeanor charges both at trial in the Philadelphia Municipal Court or through pre-trial motions such as Motions to Suppress or Speedy Trial motions. If we are able to beat the case at trial or through the use of a pre-trial motion, we are typically able to move for an expungement once the case has been dismissed or we have obtained an acquittal. Additionally, summary convictions can often be expunged after five years, and some misdemeanor convictions can be partially expunged pursuant to a new limited access order law after ten years.

Whether you are a first-time offender or have been arrested before, if you are facing criminal charges, you need the advice and representation of one of our skilled criminal defense attorneys immediately. We have helped countless clients avoid conviction and permanent records both at trial, through the use of pre-trial motions, and through applications to pre-trial diversionary programs. Call 267-225-2545 for a free 15-minute criminal defense strategy session with one of our Philadelphia criminal lawyers.