Tag Archives: EVIDENCE

Can I get a new trial, or have it dismissed?

Q: The police searched my house refusing to show me the warrant for over an hour and the arrested me for possession of CP and dissemination (which the Pere to peer did on its own). They also stole my son’s firearms which were in my house (he had nowhere to store them yet). My initial lawyer said I would get the evidence to review but he never showed it to me, even when I demanded it. I then got picked up on a dubious violation and was renditioned in jail. By that I mean that I was not given the hearing in 72 or so hours or they would have to release me. The lawyer did not even make sure the hearing happened. Basically, as soon as he knew I was picked up he dropped his involvement and held on to the retainer I had already paid him for doing nothing. The 2nd lawyer (really my 4th) did basically the same thing. (never saw the evidence) As a matter of fact, I think he never looked at the evidence because he said the first lawyer wasn’t sending it to him. He delayed my trial saying his office flooded but the truth was that he did not have the evidence. I was in jail with no way to assist in a defense that my lawyer never intended to provide. I ended up having to plead guilty to everything. No due process. (Versailles, PA)

A:  If you pleaded guilty but were not sentenced, you can file a motion to withdraw your guilty plea. It will likely be granted. You can then seek new counsel. If you have been sentenced, you have 10 days to file post sentencing motions and 30 days to appeal to the Superior Court. I don’t know what happened to you and why, but you should have been able to see discovery (evidence provided by the Commonwealth) and review it with your counsel. That is pretty basic. Although you may be able to withdraw your guilty plea, remember, you answered questions in the affirmative from the judge and in writing when you entered your plea. Among these questions, you answered yes to whether you were satisfied with your counsel, has your counsel gone over all the elements of the crime and the penalties you are facing, are you pleading guilty because you are guilty. Sound familiar?

Is Sheets responsible for anything?

Q: I bought a milkshake at Sheets convenience store for my son. I took it home and he started to drink it. He noticed small hard pieces of what he thought was ice. He showed me two pieces they are about as big a grain of sea salt. They are hard. He not sure if he digested any or not but he thinks so. So far there are no issues. I did go back to Sheets and report it to a manager. She grabbed the shake and ran in the back of store with it. She wanted my bag with the objects, but I said I wanted them in case he gets sick to show any doctors. She gave me a number to Sheets customer service. I called them and explained. They gave me claim. Is this situation grounds for anything? (West Mifflin, PA)

A:  Let us hope that he has no ill effects from the shake. Personal injury cases require injury. Plus, even if the objects in the shake are some sort of poison, or harmful, you lost the evidence by giving the shake to the manager. These people are trained to hide and/or destroy any food that is returned so there is no evidence against them. I know you thought you were trying to do the right thing and they caught you off guard. At least you kept the bag. Had you kept the shake you could have taken it to a lab for testing. I would monitor your son and if he has any unusual conditions, take him to a doctor. Hold on to your bag and anything else you have, like a receipt. Make the claim and keep notes on everything. You need to demand an explanation from Sheets and verify what these foreign materials are. I would not cease to persist until you get an answer. I would demand that the material be sent to an independent laboratory. If you do not get an explanation, hire an attorney and they will move quicker.