CIVIL VERDICTS - PREMISES LIABILITY * Estate of Joan DeMarco v. The Marquis - Decedent business tenant of apartment/office complex owner murdered by former employee of defendant in violent assault during office burglary. Plaintiff's estate alleged negligent security theory of liability against defendant. Settlement negotiated with responsible insurance company in excess of One Million Two Hundred Thousand ($1,200,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. * Khaled Bakar v. Home Properties, Inc. - Plaintiff was standing on third floor balcony of friend's apartment owned by defendant, when the floor suddenly collapsed causing plaintiff to fall to ground. Plaintiff sustained fractured ribs, non-displaced tibia fracture and herniated disc, which was treated with physical therapy and multiple epidural injections. Montgomery County jury returned a verdict in the amount of Seven Hundred and Sixty Nine Thousand ($769,000.00) Dollars. Plaintiff filed Motion for Delay Damages which was granted and case was settled for Nine Hundred Thousand ($900,000.00) Dollars. * CIVIL VERDICTS - AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS * Riccardo v. Kim - Plaintiff sustained fractured cervical vertebrae at C5-6 level which required two surgeries and metal screws, arising from a two vehicle automobile accident. Out-of-court settlement negotiated with responsible insurance carriers in amount of Four Hundred Thousand ($400,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. * Estate of Robert Kane v. Joseph Falco - Decedent killed while passenger in one-car accident where intoxicated driver lost control of vehicle. Wrongful death claim settlement negotiated with responsible insurance company in the amount of Six Hundred and Sixty Thousand ($660,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. * Vinnie Moss v. Baldi Transportation/Erie Insurance Company - Plaintiff awarded Two Hundred Thirty Five Thousand ($235,000.00) Dollars by jury after trial. Defendant trucking company bankrupt and uninsured. Uninsured motorist claim settlement negotiated with plaintiff's insurance company in the amount of Two Hundred Thousand ($200,00.00) Dollars. * CIVIL VERDICTS - LIQUOR LIABILITY * Gerald & Irene Kane v. Dublin Wine and Spirits and Commonwealth of PA - Plaintiff husband and wife sustained multiple injuries in head-on collision with drunk driver. Husband-plaintiff sustained head injury resulting in brain hemorrhage and coma, with substantial recovery. Wife-plaintiff sustained broken ankle. Out-of-court settlement successfully negotiated against defendants prior to trial. Husband's claim - Two Hundred Forty Thousand ($240,000.00) Dollars. Wife's claim - Ninety Thousand ($90,000.00) Dollars. (Bucks County)* Edward Pisarek v. Adriatric Club - Plaintiff police officer assaulted while on duty by intoxicated bar patron skilled in martial arts. Plaintiff sustained permanent partial hearing loss and multiple lacerations. Non-jury trial verdict in favor of plaintiff and against defendant in amount of One Hundred Fifty Thousand ($150,000.00) Dollars. (Philadelphia County) CIVIL VERDICTS - PRODUCT LIABILITY* Keith Rosenberger v. Galoob Toys, Inc. - Plaintiff sustained temporary partial loss of vision in one eye with increased risk of future glaucoma, when struck in eye by defendants' children's toy, while plaintiff demonstrated newly purchased toy for child. Out-of-court settlement successfully negotiated against defendants in the amount of One Hundred Fifty Thousand ($150,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. (Montgomery County)* Raymond Cost v. Caterpillar, Inc. - Plaintiff sustained partial amputation of his lower leg, when his foot was crushed in an unguarded pinchpoint of rotating couplings inside engine area, while plaintiff was performing maintenance of defendant's heavy trash compactor/metal shearer. Out-of-court settlement successfully negotiated against defendant in the amount of Four Hundred Seventy Five Thousand ($475,000.00) Dollars prior to trial. (Montgomery County)

Frequently Asked Legal Questions

Q:If the police ask me to consent or agree to be searched, do I have a right to say no?

YES. Any citizen is free to refuse to give consent to be searched under Article I, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Q:Do the police have a right to search any vehicle without a search warrant?

NO, unless police have a lawful basis to impound the vehicle such as an unlicensed operator, or exigent circumstances exist in which evidence will likely be lost if an immediate search is not conducted.

Q:Do the police have to immediately read me my “Miranda rights” after I am arrested?

NO. The police do not have to read an arrestee the “Miranda rights” unless they intend to question the arrestee.

Q:Is it in my best interest to agree to answer questions from police or be interrogated without a lawyer?

NO. Almost always it is a mistake to agree to talk to the police without a lawyer if you are a possible suspect in a criminal investigation.

Q:Suppose the police tell me that I don’t need a lawyer and it is in my best interests to cooperate with them?

Remember, that your best interests are not the primary concern of the police as their objective and function is to gather evidence and make an arrest. Always tell the police you first wish to consult an attorney before speaking which is the Constitutional rights of all citizens.

Q:What is the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program in the State of Pennsylvania?

This is a diversionary program administered by the County District Attorney’s Office for first time non-violent offenders for 1st offense Driving Under the Influence charges, petty theft offenses and other non-violent crimes.

In order to be considered for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD Program) a defendant must typically waive the Preliminary Hearing and through their attorney file a Formal Application for Admittance into the ARD Program. The District Attorney’s Office will review the application and agree to the granting of the petition if appropriate.

A defendant admitted into the ARD Program will not have to plead guilty and will receive an approximate one year non-reporting probation, one (1) to two (2) month driver license suspension (unless BAC percentage is under .10%), pay fines and costs totaling approximately $1,000.00, receive a drug and alcohol recommendation and proceed with drug and alcohol counseling as recommended, attend safe driving school classes and perform community service. An ARD resolution of charges is not a criminal conviction since there is no guilty plea or finding of guilt.

However, an ARD disposition will stay on the defendant’s driver’s record and count as a “first offense” should the defendant have a second offense within ten (10) years. A person can only receive the ARD Program one time.

Q:Can I get my Driving After Imbibing criminal records expunged and destroyed after successfully completing the ARD Program?

YES. The single, biggest benefit of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program is that upon completion of the program’s terms and conditions, a Petition for Expungement of all records may be filed on the defendant’s behalf.

The District Attorney’s Office upon verifying the defendant’s compliance with the program’s terms and conditions will agree to an expungement order being granted which will be signed by the Court. Upon receipt of certified copies of this order all law, enforcement agencies and courts will destroy any and all records in their possession of the defendant’s Driving After Imbibing arrest and prosecution.

However, a record of the ARD disposition will remain on the defendant’s Penndot driver’s record as any other motor vehicle offense.

The information contained herein should not be used as a substitute for personal legal advice. You should contact the Law Offices of McMahon, McMahon & Lentz to schedule a Consultation with an attorney who will speak to you regarding your specific situation.