Q: I need to pick up my property from my last arrest, but I currently have warrant. If I go to the county jail and attempt to get my stuff, will I be arrested? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: There is one way to find out. Bring your tooth brush just in case. No, seriously, there is a good chance. Perhaps you can have your attorney draft a Limited Power of Attorney which authorizes another person to pick up your stuff at the jail.
Q: My son was in the vehicle and never got out of the vehicle when an acquaintance broke into a home to steal marijuana the homeowner was home and shot the kid in the leg my son hopped in the driver’s seat of the perpetrators car and drove him out of there was immediately arrested and has been incarcerated since December they are taking it to trial my son has no representation and is facing some Hefty charges. (West Mifflin, PA)
A: Even without a prior record, these charges could result in a jail sentence. I’ve had similar cases and the facts are different in every case, so you cannot necessarily say he will get jail or he will not get jail. Working against you is that it is likely believed that your son was involved and not merely present at the scene by some misfortune. In one of my cases, the kids broke into a local pot grower’s home, hit him with a bat, broke his arm, rolled him up in a carpet and were running out the door with marijuana plants when the police arrived. My client was hiding under the cellar steps when the police arrived. He wouldn’t come out, so they let a German Shepard loose on him. By the time of trial, the co-conspirator that was to testify against all the defendants OD’d and died and because the victim was as drug dealer and less sympathetic in the eyes of law enforcement, the DA and cops allowed my client to plead to receive probation. I think the police also went a little easy on my client because he was pretty chewed up by the dog. (lacerations, stitches, nerve damage, etc.) The point is that every case is different. Perhaps your son’s attorney can distance your son from the other guy and perhaps the police and DA do not like the alleged victim if he is a known drug user or dealer. Your son is no doubt young and has no criminal record, which will work in his favor. He needs an attorney whether private or public.
Q: If a person is arrested and in the county jail, goes to the ER for a car accident injury that happened 5 days prior to arrest, will the person’s insurance pay for the medical expenses? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: Auto insurance is the primary coverage for medical benefits relating to injuries arising out of motor vehicle accidents. If the person has some credible proof that the injury is related to the car accident, at least evidence of car accident. Was there an accident report filed? Was the insurance company notified? Are there photos? If there is no record of the car accident and the person was taken to ER because of a jail fight, it is not going to happen.
Q: I was in subway with friend and they got into a fight. I was pulled in middle of situation but, didn’t have anything to do with me. We both were arrested. Now I go to court. I didn’t start anything just defended myself. (Castle Shannon, PA)
A: You need to inform your probation officer. Normally, he or she will wait until the preliminary hearing and see if your case is held for court or not, before he or she will file for a violation. Your goal is to get your case dismissed or at the most pleaded down to a summary conviction at the preliminary hearing. If it is dismissed, you may not face a probation violation. If you end up pleading to, or being found guilty of, a summary Disorderly Conduct, the PO may or may not file for a violation given that a summary conviction on probation is considered a technical violation of probation. I would get a lawyer for the preliminary hearing. A lot of times, victims in these situations do not show for court.
Q: I walked on train tracks and Port Authority police were called because I was told to get off due to a trolley coming. I got off but got back on after it passed. I was depressed and confused. They told me I wasn’t getting charged, until I got papers in the mail and found out. I’m 18 and people are scaring me saying I might be put in jail for this. It is considered defiant trespass. I was a bad juvenile when I was younger with a record but this is the first thing I’ve gotten charged with at 18. Do you think it’s likely I’ll be put in jail? I went to talk to a psychiatrist at a hospital that night because I knew that’s what I needed. I’m just worried because Port Authority is serious and has good lawyers. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: One cannot be convicted of “Defiant Trespass” unless there is prior notice to the defendant such as a previous verbal warning or posting of a sign. This should not be a jail case if defended properly, which will be accomplished better with legal representation. If you were my client, my goal would be to get you out of this with no conviction. It would require you to get a mental health evaluation and follow any recommended treatment before your court date.