Chester County Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP)

In our culture today one of the most common criminal charges, one that fills county dockets across state of Pennsylvania, is Driving Under the Influence (DUI). While many first-time offenders may be eligible for the ARD program (read more by clicking the link) there are many times where this is not offered or an individual is not eligible – possibly due to the facts and circumstances surrounding the DUI charge, possibly because of a prior criminal offenses or possibly it is not a first offense driving on the influence charge for the accused. In all of these cases, individuals who have been charged with a Driving Under the Influence / DUI offense face the potential of harsh mandatory incarceration sentences, potential supervision and conditions.

Mike DiCindio West Chester, PA Attorney
West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer

In these circumstances in Chester County, the Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP) is set up in a manner that allows first, second and potentially third offense Driving Under the Influence / DUI offenders to apply and, if deemed eligible and accepted by the court, receive a much less harsh imprisonment sentence mixed with electronic home confinement and community service.

While this Chester County Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP)  does not reduce the potential license suspension in these matters, it is a beneficial program when there are no legal arguments of merit that can be viewed as likely to win the case either before or at trial. In these matters, a skilled criminal lawyer may recommend this as the most beneficial potential outcome for a client.

It should be noted, in Chester County there are more offenses that may be eligible for the IPP program – still, the vast majority are DUI and DUI related suspension matters.

To read more about the IPP program or to see Chester County’s IPP chart go to the Chester County IPP website or contact DiCindio Law, LLC to speak to Mike DiCindio about your case today.


 

The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale

 

 

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. Awarded the 2015 Top 10 Under 40

DiCindio Law, LLC attorney Michael D. DiCindio, Esq.  was recently awarded the 2015 Top 10 Under 40 in Pennsylvania Award for criminal defense lawyers by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

criminal defense and personal injury
West Chester Criminal Defense and Personal Injury lawyer Michael D. DiCindio, Esq.

Michael DiCindio, Esq. handles all types of criminal defense matters and represents people in West Chester, Chester County, Montgomery County and throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area.  Michael also is actively involved in representing individuals who have been injured by the negligence of others in personal injury matters.

If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense, contact DiCindio Law, LLC to speak directly with attorney Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. and discuss your case today.

Heroin Overdose Cases

A major focus of law-enforcement recent years and especially in recent months has been in preventing heroin overdose deaths from occurring. Heroin overdose cases have become an epidemic that law-enforcement, legislators and the communities at large are trying to combat. With the vicious effects of a heroin overdose, people must act fast. It is not uncommon to have two users together when one of them overdoses. Many times, people would be fearful to report the overdoses for fear of prosecution in the matter – and people would lose their lives. Recently, legislation has been enacted which is aimed at ending these types of situations and deaths and stopping the risk of certain criminal charges in these situations.

Chester County criminal defense
Contact Chester County Criminal Lawyer Mike DiCindio to discuss your case today

The recently enacted law permits individuals to call law-enforcement, emergency medical services or 911 and report a heroin overdose. If they provide their name and identifying information and stay with the individual who is overdosing they will be immune for prosecution for certain minor offenses (those are enumerated in the amended law) and the individual who overdoses is also immune. It should not be viewed and is not intended to be viewed as a license to commit illegal conduct, instead, it is aimed at helping to minimize the frequency of deaths from heroin overdoses.

If you or a loved one has been arrested or prosecuted in the circumstance that seems similar to the one described above contact criminal defense lawyer DiCindio Law, LLC today law speak in detail to Mike DiCindio about the facts and circumstances and determine whether or not the amended legislation applies to your specific situation.


 

The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale

Underage Drinking Expungement

Underage Drinking Expungement

When someone has been convicted of an Underage Drinking offense it may have harmful consequences their future, their job prospects, their educational prospects and/or any licenses and certifications they may seek to obtain.

What many people do not know is that upon turning 21, if the sentence has been completed in full, including the license suspension, they are entitled to an expungement of the Underage Drinking conviction under Pennsylvania law.

West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer
West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer Mike DiCindio

Expungements are very commonly misunderstood. Many people believe that expungement’s are done immediately and automatically – they believe that as soon as the case is closed it is expunged. Instead, while they may be entitled or eligible for an expungement, a petition for expungement still must be filed.

Other people often mistakenly believe that upon turning 21 the case is immediately and automatically expunged – also not true.

Anyone who is now 21 has was charged and convicted with underage drinking offense is now entitled to an expungement in Pennsylvania if all conditions of their sentence/punishment have been fulfilled.

Contact DiCindio Law to begin the process of clearing your record today.


The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale

Driving Under Suspension DUI Related

Under Pennsylvania law and the Pennsylvania vehicle code a person who is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance will usually face a suspension of his driving privileges. If someone’s driving privileges are suspended due to a prior driving under the influence arrest and conviction now under what is commonly called “Driving Under the Influence – DUI Related Suspension.”

West Chester DUI Lawyer
West Chester DUI Attorney Michael D. DiCindio, Esq.

Once someone’s license is suspended based upon a prior DUI conviction, your license remains suspended “DUI related” until their privileges are restored. In the event that a “DUI Related Suspended” driver is caught operating a motor vehicle he will be subject to mandatory incarceration of up to 90 days and a mandatory fine. This is called “Driving Under Suspension, DUI Related,” and is charged under 1543(b) of the Pennsylvania vehicle code.

For someone who has been charged under 1543(b) Driving Under Suspension DUI Related, there are often times many ways to defend the case. The Commonwealth must prove that there was valid notice of the suspension given to the Defendant. The Commonwealth must also prove that the driver was in fact the suspended individual. Over everything they also must have had a valid read reason to stop the vehicle.

A skilled criminal defense lawyer will be able to determine whether or not there is a plausible defense theory either to the law or to the facts of a specific situation. If there is not, negotiations may secure a plea to a charge without mandatory incarceration or drastically reduced incarceration – depending on the county as well as the facts of the specific case.

If you or a loved one has been arrested or cited for Driving Under Suspension DUI related under 1543(b) contact DiCindio Law, LLC today, speak directly to Mike DiCindio and begin preparing your defense.

 

 


 

The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

 

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale

What are the Types of Bail?

Bail in Pennsylvania is meant to ensure that the Defendant appears in Court at all future proceedings. There are a few different types of bail that may be imposed – based upon the rules of criminal procedure. Some require that the Defendant post money to be released pending trial and others do not. Nonetheless, it is important to have a criminal defense by your side when arguing bail in order to ensure that the Commonwealth is not asking for bail solely as a means to ensure that the defendant remains incarcerated until trial. Ever-so-often, there is a fine line between ensuring appearance and punishment before a verdict. Having an attorney who understands the principles and purpose behind bail and who is able to effectively argue for just and proper bail on your behalf may be the difference between remaining incarcerated pending trial and not.

The types of bail, as according to Pennsylvania law are as follows:

Chester County Criminal Lawyer
Chester County Criminal Defense
  • Release On Recognizance (ROR): Release conditioned only upon the defendant’s written agreement to appear when required. No money need be posted.
  • Release on Nonmonetary Conditions: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s agreement to comply with any nonmonetary conditions, which the bail authority determines are reasonably necessary to ensure the defendant’s appearance and compliance with the conditions of the bail bond. No money need be posted.
  • Release on Unsecured Bail Bond: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s written agreement to be liable for a fixed sum of money if he or she fails to appear as required or fails to comply with the conditions of the bail bond. No money need be posted – BUT if the defendant failed to appear or otherwise violates bail, he/she will be liable for the amount of money bail was set at.
  • Release on Nominal Bail: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s depositing a nominal amount of cash which the bail authority determines is sufficient security for the defendant’s release, such as $1.00.
  • Release on a Monetary Condition: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s compliance with a monetary condition imposed. The amount of the monetary condition shall not be greater than is necessary to reasonably ensure the defendant’s appearance and compliance with the conditions of the bail bond. (If bail is set at 1,000 dollars the entire amount must be posted before the defendant may be release on bail).

There are numerous times during the criminal process when bail may be address by the Court. Therefore, it is crucial to have an understanding of the types of bail, the requirements of each and to have a criminal defense attorney who can help argue to ensure a reasonable bail is imposed under the circumstances.

 

 


 

The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

 

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale

Entrapment – I know the word, but what does it really mean?

West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer
West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer Mike DiCindio

 

It is not uncommon for someone who as been arrested to believe that they were entrapped. It is a word that is generally known, but not generally understood by those who are not involved in the criminal justice system.

 

In order for an entrapment defense to succeed, the person being prosecuted must prove by a preponderance of evidence that his conduct occurred in response to entrapment. That begs the question . . . what is entrapment?

 

Under the Pennsylvania Crimes code, entrapment is clearly defined and requires the following (Taken from Pennsylvania Criminal Code § 313):

  • A public law enforcement official or a person acting in cooperation with public law enforcement.
  • Acting for the purpose of obtaining evidence of the commission of an offense
  • He induces or encourages another to engage in conduct constituting such an offense by either of the following:

1.  Making a knowingly false representation designed to induce the belief that such conduct is not prohibited

OR

  1. employing methods of persuasion or inducement which create a substantial risk that such an offense will be committed by persons other than those who are ready to commit it.

There are numerous considerations that must go into the decision to argue the entrapment defense. Again, while it is generally a known word – the understanding and applicability of it should be analyzed by a criminal defense lawyer before deciding to further the defense.

 


The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

 

Michael DiCindio is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale

 

 

Search Warrant – What is required and how is one challenged

West Chester Criminal Lawyer
Contact Chester County Criminal Defense and DUI lawyer Mike DiCindio today.

Drug cases, gun cases and many other countless cases in the criminal system begin with a search warrant. At times, some of these cases also end with a search warrant. If a search warrant is involved in a criminal case, a criminal defense attorney should review the warrant in depth and with a fine tooth comb for all potential flaws and/or legal deficiencies.

Before a search warrant is approved, a law enforcement officer must allege facts in an affidavit of probable cause. The evidence and facts in support of a warrant must lead to the conclusion that probable cause exists to believe the items the officers are looking for are connected with criminal activity and that the items will be found in the place that to be searched under the warrant. If a neutral judge finds that probable cause exists – the search warrant will be approved.

Within the request in the warrant – the items/person being sought and the place to be searched must be described with particularity. Meaning, there should be nothing left to the discretion of the officers when they are describing the “things” to be seized AND it should give the officers ample information and description in order to allow them to identify the things and places to be searched and seized. “General” warrants are frowned upon in our system.

As a criminal defense attorney, it is important that whenever a warrant is involved in a matter, all portions and documents of the warrant must be obtain and reviewed thoroughly. If any of the requirements of the rules and constitutional protections governing the issuance of warrants seem to be lacking a motion should be filed to address this matter before the Court. If the warrant is found to be legally deficient or defective and no exception to the warrant requirement is present – the remedy may be suppression of the evidence seized.

If you or a loved one has a criminal case involving a search warrant, call West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer Mike DiCindio to schedule your free consultation.


 

The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  Please contact DiCindio Law for a consultation and to discuss what law is relevant to your case.

Mike DiCindio is a criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale as well as in Montgomery County, Lancaster County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County, Bucks County and Berks County.

Drug Paraphernalia..Do they have to prove it was to be used with drugs?

West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer
West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer Mike DiCindio

Under Pennsylvania law, there is a statute that prohibits possessing anything for:

 

“The use of, or possession with intent to use, drug paraphernalia for the purpose of planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packing, repacking, storing, containing, concealing, injecting, ingesting, inhaling or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of this act.”

 

It may seem like a statute that encompasses a lot of circumstances and items – and it does. Still, what must be understood is that while many different items may seemingly “fit” under the statutes verbiage – the Commonwealth still has the burden to prove that the alleged drug paraphernalia was exactly that – drug paraphernalia.

 

How do they do that and what does it really mean? There is case law that states the Commonwealth must prove a specific intent that the item possessed or delivered was to be used with controlled substances.

 

Now, what does this mean – practically speaking?

 

The Commonwealth must provide more than the item itself. They must prove that there was the intent to use the item with/for/etc. a controlled substance. Further, a skilled criminal defense attorney should cross-examine the Commonwealth witnesses and potentially point out legal uses for the items claimed to be drug paraphernalia.

 

While there are many cases where there is other circumstantial or corroborative evidence that the item claimed to be drug paraphernalia was in fact just that – the law must be understood, and a knowledgeable and skilled criminal defense attorney will be aware of what the law requires and make sure the Commonwealth is made to meet its burden fully and completely.

 

Are they credible? IMPEACH THE WITNESS! Prior Convictions and credibility…

West Chester criminal defense
Contact West Chester criminal lawyer Michael DiCindio, Esq. to discuss your case today

The trial binder is complete, the opening ready, the closing prepped and the jurors are in the jury box.  It is time now to go through the process our justice system calls a trial.  Both sides have a chance to present evidence – through the form of documents, exhibits and most importantly and commonly – witness testimony.  But how are we able to show the jury that certain witnesses may not be credible? That some witnesses just shouldn’t be believed?  Among many other things, one great way to attack a witness’s credibility is to elicit evidence of their prior convictions. But is it all of their prior convictions that we should/could introduce?  No.  Why?  Because the crimes that Pennsylvania law permits for impeachment directly correspond with honesty.  A good trial attorney will not miss a chance to attack a witness with an applicable conviction when they take the stand.

Under Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence 609(a) an attorney may attack the credibility of any witness, including the defendant with evidence that the witness has been convicted of a crime if it involved dishonesty or false statement. Pa. R. Evid 609(a). Therefore, under Pennsylvania Rule of Evidence 609(a) they shall be admitted to impeach the credibility when a witness chooses to, or does, testify at trial. See, Pa. R. Evid. 609(a

A prior crimen falsi conviction is per se admissible for impeachment purposes if the later of either the conviction date or the last day of confinement falls within 10 years of trial. See, Pa. R. Evid. 609; see also, Commonwealth v. Trippett, 932 A.2d 188 (Pa. Super. 2007).

When a prior conviction is older than 10 years old, that does not end the inquiry as to admissibility.  They are per se admissible when the last date of confinement was within the past ten years.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has held that a crimen falsi conviction may be used to impeach the credibility of a witness if he has been confined for that conviction within ten years, even if the incarceration was due to recommitment for a parole violation. Commonwealth v. Jackson, 585 A.2d 1001 (Pa. 1991) (emphasis added).

Further, when there is confinement within the past ten years, it is not necessary for the trial court to engage in a case specific balancing inquiry as to admissibility. See, Commonwealth v. Jackson, 561 A.2d 335 (Pa. Super. 1989) affirmed, 585 A.2d 1001 (Pa. 1991).

Being a trial attorney takes skill, common sense, determination, and knowledge of the law.  Being effective on cross examination is no different.  When a witness has a crime of dishonesty on their record – a skilled trial attorney will know how and when to properly impeach their credibility.


The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

Michael DiCindio is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale