Case List 3

Attorney Patrick F. Lauer, Jr. can guarantee no results in any particular case because each case has its own unique characteristics. Just because Mr. Lauer might be able to get charges against one client dismissed, he may not be able to get another client's charges dismissed for the same reasons.In no manner should this analysis of cases be interpreted as a promise, guarantee, or representation that a client will receive any particular result.

Commonwealth v. B The Defendant was stopped for speeding in Dauphin, Pennsylvania.The Defendant was requested to submit to field sobriety testing and he told the officer he could not perform the tests.The Defendant was arrested for DUI and at the Preliminary Hearing, Attorney Lauer was successful in getting the DUI charge dismissed.

Commonwealth v. W The Defendant went out to dinner with his wife and became extremely intoxicated. When the Defendant came home, he became very belligerent and destroyed all the property within the house. The Defendant also began to make threats that he would harm his wife. The Defendant was charged with simple assault. Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at a preliminary hearing and the charges were reduced to a summary offense of harassment.

Commonwealth v. K In May of 1999, the Defendant was stopped, seized, and arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police in Dauphin County for allegedly operating his vehicle erratically. The police officer did not give the Defendant any field sobriety test sprior to arresting him. the defendant was taken to the booking station and it was alleged that he refused the breath test. At the preliminary hearing, Attorney Lauer was able to get the DUI charge reduced to a summary offense of public drunkenness. the defendant received one year probation, community service, and alcohol counseling with safe driving courses. the defendant received a fine of $377.00.

Commonwealth v. A The Defendant approached a roadside field sobriety test on June 3, 2000. The Defendant was requested to take field sobriety tests and he was subsequently ask to take a breath test. The Defendant's breath test result indicated a .10%.

Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at the preliminary hearing held on August 10, 2000, and the charges were reduced to a summary offense of public drunkenness. Attorney Lauer was able to save the Defendant from going through the ARD program, being on probation for one year, and potentially higher insurance rates.

Commonwealth v. W The Defendant was stopped by the Lower Allen Township Police Department for allegedly committing a motor vehicle violation. Subsequent to the Defendant's arrest, he was requested to submit to breath testing and the first result at 3:30 a.m. was .11%. A second series of test were conducted at 4:00 a.m. with a result of .097%.

The police officer alleged that the Defendant failed all field sobriety tests, yet through cross-examination it was established that the Defendant was not intoxicated.

Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at a preliminary hearing and hired an expert toxicologist to testify that even though the two results were different for statistical purposes, that they in fact were the same result and one could not say that the blood alcohol level was higher than .10% at the time of driving. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, all of the charges were dismissed against the Defendant.

Commonwealth v. A The Defendant was arrested by a Mt. Holly Springs police officer on March25, 2000. A blood test was done in this case with a result of an alleged reading of .22%. The blood test results came back from the government on April6, 2000, but the complaint was not filed until May 18, 2000. Attorney Lauer moved to dismiss all charges at the preliminary hearing on the basis that his client was prejudice and that he did not have an opportunity to have an independent blood test because of the late filing of the complaint. All charges were dismissed with prejudice.

Commonwealth v. O The Defendant was involved in a motor vehicle accident in February of1999. The Defendant was operating his vehicle on a roadway where it had recently snowed and the Defendant's vehicle slid into a fence. the defendant went to the door of the owner of the property and informed him that he had hit the owner's fence. Unfortunately, the owner of the property was a detective from the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office and he notified the local police department. The police officers from the Harrisburg area arrived at the scene and they asked the Defendant to get into their vehicle because it had been snowing and raining at the time. The police officers did not perform any field sobriety tests, but they did give the defendant a portable breath test. the defendant was placed under arrest and transported to the Harrisburg Hospital for blood testing and the reading was .14%.

Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at the preliminary hearing in an attempt to get the case dismissed.

Attorney Lauer further represented the Defendant and filed a suppression motion at the Dauphin County Court to challenge the legality of the arrest. All charges were dismissed against the Defendant on the basis that there was no probable cause to arrest. Since there was no field sobriety tests conducted and there was no indication that the Defendant was impaired, the Court agreed with Defense Counsel and dismissed the charges.

Commonwealth v. G On July 2, 2000 at 1:41 a.m., the Defendant was approaching a DUI checkpoint. The Defendant pulled his vehicle over in a Dairy Queen parking lot just prior to the checkpoint. The police officers left their check point and approached the Defendant in the Dairy Queen parking lot. The officers detected an odor of alcohol and subsequently asked the Defendant to submit to field sobriety testing and a breath test. The Defendant blow into the breathalyzer with a result indicating an alleged .22%. Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at the preliminary hearing in Dauphin County and argued that the Commonwealth lacked probable cause to stop the Defendant and also that the breath test was not conducted in accordance with regulations and procedures. The charges against the defendant were dismissed.

Commonwealth v. B The Defendant was observed by a West Shore police officer in Cumberland County driving through a stop sign. The Defendant was subsequently given field sobriety tests and a blood test. A result of the blood test indicated a .12%. Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at the preliminary hearing and was successful in getting the police officer to agree to modify the charges to a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment. Through negotiations of Attorney Lauer, the DUI was dismissed and the defendant avoided receiving a thirty day jail sentence as this was a second offense for mandatory sentencing purposes. The Defendant received no jail sentence.

Commonwealth v. M The Defendant was stopped by the York County Regional Police Department for driving through a stop sign. At the time the Defendant was stopped he was under suspension in New Jersey for a DUI and his license were suspended in the courts with the uniform reciprocal compact act. Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at a Summary Trial in York County and was able to establish that the police officer did not comply with regulations in admitting evidence pertaining to the driving record into evidence. Attorney Lauer argued that since the evidence was not offered to be admitted into trial, that the court could not find him guilty. The court found the Defendant not guilty and the Defendant was spared serving ninety days in jail.

Commonwealth v. M The Defendant was observed in her vehicle in the parking lot behind a church in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The police officer, believing that suspicious activity was occurring, rolled up on the vehicle and began to speak with the Defendant. The police officer detected the odor of alcohol and blood shot eyes, etc. The police officer gave the Defendant a field sobriety test and she failed. The Defendant subsequently submitted to a breath test with a result of .24%.

Attorney Lauer negotiated an agreement with the police and the district attorney's office and was able to get the DUI charge modified to a charge of reckless endangerment. the defendant was facing a minimum of thirty days in jail, a one year loss of license and having the guardian interlock installed in her car subsequent to getting her license back.

Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at sentencing and was able to obtain a probationary sentence and the Defendant did not loose her driver's license.

Commonwealth v. L the defendant was charged with driving under the influence, driving under suspension, DUI related, fleeing and eluding, minor possession of alcohol and careless driving.

Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at the Preliminary Hearing and was successful in negotiating with the state police officer to get the driving under suspension, DUI related charge modified to driving under suspension charge. Through these negotiations, attorney Lauer saved the Defendant a mandatory three month jail sentence. The minor possession of alcohol charge was also dismissed. All other charges were bound over for court, but the Defendant was successful in avoiding a mandatory three month jail sentence.

Commonwealth v. L The Defendant, was stopped by the Pennsylvania State Police for allegedly operating her vehicle in an erratic manner. The Defendant was requested to submit to field sobriety tests and it was alleged that she failed those tests. the defendant was then requested to submit to blood testing and the Defendant refused to submit to any blood testing. the defendant contacted Attorney Lauer via his voice mail and Attorney Lauer immediately responded to the telephone call and spoke with the Defendant after she had refused the blood testing. Attorney Lauer immediately spoke with arresting State Trooper and requested the Trooper to take the Defendant back to the hospital and have her to submit to the alcohol results. The Defendant did submit to the blood testing based upon the advice of Attorney Lauer and a result was in excess of .10%.

Had the police officer not taken the Defendant back to the hospital at the request of attorney Lauer, the Defendant would have lost her license for one year for refusing to take an alcohol result. As a result of Attorney Lauer's persuasiveness and the agreement of the arresting Troopers, the Defendant was eligible for the ARD program and only lost her license for one month as opposed to eighteen months.

Commonwealth v. B In July of 2000, the Defendant was observed parking her vehicle at the Harrisburg International Airport. the defendant was observed striking another automobile and standing in the rain and she appeared to be dazed according to the witness.

The Defendant left her car in the parking lot and proceeded to the terminal. The witness followed the defendant to the terminal but did not keep his eye on her the entire time and the witness went to the airport police. The airport police were summoned and approximately fifteen minutes after the accident they confronted the Defendant. Shortly after speaking with the Defendant, the officers detected the odor of alcohol on the Defendant and requested her to submit to blood testing. No field sobriety tests were completed because of the rainy conditions.

The Defendant submitted to a blood test with a result in excess of .20%.

Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at the Preliminary Hearing and attempted to get the case dismissed on the basis that there was a lack of probable cause to arrest. The case was bound over for court and attorney Lauer entered his appearance in Dauphin County Court and filed a suppression motion challenging the validity of the arrest. Prior to a suppression hearing being held, the district attorney's office withdrew the DUI charge and amended the charges to a summary offense of public drunkenness. The Defendant avoided a thirty day jail sentence and one year loss of license.

Commonwealth v. P The Defendant was observed by a Carroll Township Police Officer in York County driving erratically. the defendant was stopped seized and arrested after he was given field sobriety test which the officer said the Defendant failed. The Defendant submitted to a blood test result where the Commonwealth alleged it was a .117%.

The Defendant had an independent blood test completed with a result showing a .105%. The Defense and the Commonwealth reached an agreement that the DUI would be dismissed and the charges would be amended to a summary offense of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. Attorney Lauer saved the Defendant the cost of going to a trial, the possibility of receiving a jail sentence, and higher insurance rates as well as a DUI on his record

Commonwealth v. H The Defendant was observed operating his vehicle on July 26, 2000 by an individual who worked for the Carlisle Fire Department. This individual supposedly observed the Defendant driving erratically. This individual called 911 and the local police officer eventually found the Defendant in some woods where his vehicle had been parked. The officer gave the Defendant field sobriety tests and arrest the defendant shortly thereafter. the defendant gave two breath test samples with one being a .10% and the other was.89%.

Defense counsel represented the Defendant at a Preliminary Hearing and established that the Defendant's driving was not erratic and the Defendant had done well on the field sobriety tests. All the charges were dismissed at the Preliminary Hearing. This was a second offense for the Defendant and he was facing a thirty day jail sentence and a one year loss of license.

Commonwealth v. M The Defendant was observed getting out of his vehicle after parking illegally in Harrisburg. the defendant was arrest for the offense of DUI on October 12, 2000 after the police officer gave the Defendant field sobriety testing. A blood test was given to the Defendant with a result of .167%. Attorney Lauer negotiated an agreement with the police officer to have the charges amended to a charge of reckless endangerment, which saved the Defendant his driver's license and any mandatory jail sentence.

Commonwealth v. O The Defendant was stopped by the Penn Township Police Department on December 5, 2000. The Defendant was traveling by the officer while he was giving another individual a ticket. The officer indicated the Defendant's vehicle came close to him but never left the land of travel. The officer immediately chased the Defendant and pulled him over. The Defendant's blood alcohol level was .21%. Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at the Preliminary Hearing and argued there was no probable cause to stop the Defendant or arrest him. The District Justice agreed with defense counsel and dropped all charges. The officer agreed he would not refile the charges.

Commonwealth v. H The Defendant was operating his ATV on a roadway at night which was illegal. The officer stopped the defendant and gave him a field sobriety test after detecting an odor of alcohol. The arresting officer gave the Defendant field sobriety tests and eventually testified at the Preliminary Hearing that the Defendant had failed all the tests. The Defendant subsequently refused to submit to any breath or blood testing. Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant in York County on January 3, 2001, and Attorney Lauer argued to the District Justice that the defendant passed the field sobriety tests. The District Justice did agree with defense counsel and all the DUI charges were dismissed against the Defendant.

Commonwealth v. K The Defendant was pulled over for driving under the influence of alcohol. The police officer had some of the defendant's blood drawn for testing, and the Defendant was sent home. The test turned out to have an alleged blood alcohol content of .11%. But, the Defendant was not formally charged in the criminal complaint until six months after his arrest. The Defendant, not knowing whether he was going to be charged, never received the blood test results until after he was charged.

Routinely hospitals or agencies will preserve blood for thirty days, so that an individual can have it independently test ed. However, the Defendant had no knowledge that he was even going to be charged or that the blood was going to be destroyed within thirty days, and he did not retain counsel until well after he was charged with the offense.

Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at his preliminary hearing and moved for a dismissal of the charges pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure, Rule 102, in that the Commonwealth failed to file the charges within five days of the arrest. In order for a Defendant to have charges dismissed for a violation of this Rule, counsel would have to establish that his client was prejudiced by the delay. Attorney Lauer argued to the judge that since the charges were not filed until six months after the arrest, and since the blood was destroyed allowing no opportunity to complete an independent blood test of the blood withdrawn from the Defendant, that the charges should be dismissed.

All of the charges against the Defendant were dismissed, and the court found that the Defendant was prejudiced. The Commonwealth can appeal to the Court of Common Pleas regarding this matter, and the court will have to determine whether or not the charges can be refiled, but the Commonwealth will have to overcome the issue of prejudice.

Commonwealth v. C.A.T. The Defendant was charged with driving under the influence in Dauphin County in 1996 when he was stopped by the police for allegedly making an improper turn. The Defendant was allegedly argumentative and admitted to being drunk. His breath test resulted in a .22% blood alcohol content. Moreover, the Defendant allegedly failed all field sobriety tests. Attorney Lauer did not represent the Defendant at a preliminary hearing, but was retained to represent the Defendant after he was arraigned.Attorney Lauer filed a suppression motion on the case, arguing that the police officer lacked probable cause to stop the Defendant because there was nothing improper about the turn. Attorney Lauer had the scene photographed to establish that everyone traveling in that area made the same type of turn that the defendant did, and that there was nothing irregular or erratic about the turn.The court of common pleas dismissed the DUI charge against the Defendant.

Commonwealth v. P The Defendant was involved in an automobile accident and rolled the vehicle. The road was wet and no one actually observed the driving in the case. When the police arrived at the scene, the Defendant was already in the ambulance and appeared to be coherent, cognizant, and had no slurred speech. The officer did smell the odor of observed blood shot eyes. Based upon the accident and those two observations, the officer requested alcohol and the Defendant to submit to blood testing.The Defendant's blood alcohol level was .30% within an hour of the accident.Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at the preliminary hearing and was unsuccessful at getting the charges dismissed. He also represented the Defendant at a suppression hearing and was again unsuccessful in getting the charges dismissed. Subsequently at a jury trial, however, defense counsel argued to a jury that the Defendant clearly did not show any signs of being intoxicated and clearly did not show physical signs that he could be impaired to the point that he was three times over the legal limit. The jury found the Defendant not guilty of having a blood alcohol content in excess of .10 percent. The jury, however, did find the Defendant guilty of 3731(a)(1).

Commonwealth v. M The Defendant was stopped by a local police department in Cumberland County for allegedly driving erratically. The Defendant was subsequently requested to submit to field sobriety tests. The officer smelled an odor of alcohol and noted that the defendant had blood shot eyes. The officer thought the Defendant was under the influence of some type of narcotic substance. The Defendant was later video taped regarding the field sobriety testing at the booking center. The Defendant was then charged with driving under the influence of alcohol as well as having presence of cocaine in his blood system. Attorney Lauer represented the defendant at his preliminary hearing and his suppression hearing, but was unsuccessful in getting the charges dismissed. The Defendant did not testify at trial, and Attorney Lauer retained two expert witnesses to testify regarding the issues of absorption of alcohol, elimination of alcohol, and the effects of cocaine in one's system. The Defendant's blood alcohol at the time of testing was .09%. After a two-day trial, the jury deliberated the matter and found the defendant not guilty of all charges.

Commonwealth v. P The Defendant was asleep in his vehicle at a large pull-off area along a highway. His vehicle was at least forty or fifty feet from the roadside itself. But, the pull-off area was accessible to the public and therefore considered to be part of the system of public roads. The Defendant's vehicle was not running, but the keys were in the ignition and in the "on" position. The police officers in the case woke the Defendant up. No field sobriety tests were conducted by the officers.The officers testified that they detected the odor of alcohol, blood shot eyes, and slurred speech. The officers then placed the Defendant in custody and transported him for breath testing where they obtained a result in excess of.20%.

Because no one observed the Defendant actually drive or operate the vehicle, the Defendant was not charged with 3731(a)(1). Section 3731(a)(1) is the part of the DUI law which prohibits the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to a degree that renders one incapable of safe driving.

Instead, the Commonwealth attempted to find the Defendant guilty merely on the basis of the breath testing under section 3731(a)(4) of the DUI law. Pennsylvania law requires a police officer to continuously observe a person for twenty consecutive minutes prior to administering to a breath test.(Note: This does not apply to blood testing.)

Through cross-examination of the officer at the suppression hearing and at trial, Attorney Lauer was able to establish that the officers only observed the Defendant for about eighteen or nineteen minutes. Attorney Lauer argued that the Commonwealth did not comply with the rules and procedures.After the initial trial, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.Attorney Lauer was able to negotiate reduced charges on the Defendant's behalf.

Commonwealth v. G The Defendant was operating his vehicle and approached a road block. The officers at the check point detected the odor of alcohol on the Defendant's breath. The Defendant submitted to field sobriety testing, and there was an issue as to whether or not he failed the test. Nonetheless, the officer did testify that the Defendant failed the field sobriety test and required him to submit to blood alcohol level testing. The Defendant's breath test taken approximately twenty-five minutes after he was stopped indicated a blood alcohol result of .10%. The Defendant was charged with 3731(a)(1) and (a)(4). Defense counsel argued at the preliminary hearing that there was insufficient evidence to bind the charges over on 3731(a)(1) because there was no evidence of unsafe driving and in fact the Defendant did not fail the field sobriety testing. All of the charges against the Defendant were dismissed.

Commonwealth v. K In 1999, the Defendant was observed operating a motor vehicle in Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. It is alleged that the Defendant saw police officers and took off at a high rate of speed, violating numerous vehicle code section including travelling in excess of 70 mph. It was alleged that the Defendant's vehicle was all over the highway, and in fact the Defendant's vehicle did crash into an embankment.

The Defendant was charged with fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, aggravated assault, and DUI. The Defendant did refuse to submit to any and all blood testing because he felt that he was beaten by the police officer and was not going to cooperate any further.

The case was taken before a jury and the Defendant was found not guilty of the serious charges of DUI and aggravated assault.

Commonwealth v. D.R. The Defendant was observed by a Mt. Holly Springs Police Officer in a vehicle that was stuck in the snow with a portion of the tires on the curb of the sidewalk. The officer immediately approached the Defendant and told him to get out of the vehicle because he smelled the odor of alcohol within the vehicle. The officer arrested the Defendant within a minute of talking to him outside of the vehicle and no field sobriety tests were conducted. The officer in fact wrestled the Defendant to the ground.

The Defendant was charged with driving under the influence, resisting arrest, reckless endangering, felony aggravated assault, and public drunkenness. The officer was allegedly seriously injured as a result of the scuffle with the Defendant, but it was discovered the injury was a minor bruise.

Subsequent to the arrest, the Defendant was requested to submit to a breathalyzer test or blood test and the Defendant refused because he claims that he was beaten by the police officer. Subsequently to the Defendant refusing the breath test, the officer then obtained a search warrant ordering the Defendant to provide a blood sample. The blood sample revealed a result of.18% four hours after the arrest.

At the preliminary hearing, Mr. Lauer was able to get the reckless endangerment charge dismissed and the sub-section dealing with the blood alcohol level dismissed. All of the other charges were bound over for court.

The Commonwealth attempted to amend the charges to include the count for the blood alcohol level but Mr. Lauer again filed a motion to keep that excluded as evidence because the Commonwealth cannot require a person to submit to blood once they refused if there is no serious automobile accident or death involved in the case.

Prior to the pre-trial issues being litigated in court, the Commonwealth withdrew the felony charge of aggravated assault, the DUI charge, the disorderly conduct charge, and the public drunkenness charge. The Defendant plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest and avoided a sentence in excess of three years.

Commonwealth v. M.T. In 1999, the Defendant was operating his motor vehicle and was being followed by the state police and it was alleged that the Defendant operated his motor vehicle in excess of 100 m.p.h. The officer detected blood shot eyes and the odor of alcohol and slurred speech and requested the Defendant to submit to field sobriety tests. It was alleged that the Defendant failed all of the field sobriety tests. The Defendant subsequent refused to submit to alcohol testing.

Mr. Lauer was able to get the police officer to drop the speeding charge which would have mandated a license suspension and waived the DUI into court. The speeding charge was reduced to traveling 65 m.p.h. in a 55 m.p.h. zone.

Mr. Lauer filed suppression motions and the suppression motions were denied. Prior to trial, the Commonwealth agreed to dismiss the DUI charge against the Defendant and he plead guilty to a minor traffic violation of careless driving and failure to obey the posted speed limit. The Defendant received minor fines, avoided jail, and higher insurance rates for a DUI conviction.

Commonwealth v. J.S.U. The Defendant was charged with criminal homicide for allegedly assaulting a 78 year old man. The Defendant was approximately 33 years of age. The Commonwealth alleged the Defendant assaulted the victim without provocation and caused the elderly man to fall and suffer trauma and caused his death. Attorney Lauer represented the Defendant at the Preliminary Hearing and at the jury trial in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.

The defense in the case was self defense in that the elderly man provoked the fight and that the Defendant came to the aide of a third party to protect him. Moreover, a witness was discovered by the defense which established reasonable doubt that the Defendant in fact even caused the fall which lead to the death of the victim.

The Defendant was acquitted of all charges.

Commonwealth v. W.D. The Defendant was charged with driving under the influence in Perry County, Pennsylvania. It was alleged by the Commonwealth that the Defendant was operating his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol to a degree that rendered him incapable of safe driving. The defense contending that Defendant was not intoxicated at the time of driving and after an accident went into his house and consumed alcohol after the accident.

The Defendant was unfortunately convicted at trial and given a sentence of four to eighteen months for offering a defense that was "preposterous, frivolous, derogatory in all respects, and a front to the court".

The Defendant, for sentencing purposes, was subject to a mandatory minimum of two days incarceration, but the trial court sentenced the defendant to a four to eighteen month sentence.

Attorney Lauer appealed the sentence to the State Superior Court, citing twenty-seven drunk driving cases over four years where defendant's were sentenced to a mandatory minimum when they had pleaded guilty in Perry County Court. Attorney Lauer argued that the trial court judge abused his discretion and accessibly sentenced the Defendant merely for exercising his constitutional right to trial.

The three judge Superior Court panel, in an opinion written by Judge Popovich, said the trial judge's action would create a chilling effect on those exercising the constitutional right to a jury trial.

The Superior Court stated "we may not, and cannot permit this type of penal retribution to continue in the face of constitutional right to exercise appropriately by the accused, which unfortunately may end in a guilty verdict".

The case was remanded for sentencing and the Defendant was given a minimum sentence.

Commonwealth v. M.D. The Defendant was charged along with a co-defendant of raping a girl they met at a local bar. The "victim" had cerebral palsy. The victim claimed she was raped by the two men. The victim suffered a bruise to the face. The defense argued the bruise occurred after consensual sex when the woman became upset and embarrassed after having consensual sex. One Defendant was acquitted of all charges. The jury was hung on the charges for Mr. Lauer's client. The charge of rape was withdrawn against Mr. Lauer's client and he pled to a reduced charge of simple assault.