R.L. Northumberland County 2021
R.L. was stopped for a headlight violation by the Pennsylvania State Police. After a careful and thorough review of the Trooper’s dashcam video, it certainly seemed to show that both headlights were operable at the time of the stop. In addition, the Trooper conducted an illegal search of R.L.’s vehicle. You see, R.L. has a valid medical marijuana card, allowing him to legally possess marijuana for personal/medical use. So even when the Trooper indicated that he smelled marijuana, that fact alone was insufficient to justify a warrantless search. Attorney Hoover fought this case based on the illegal stop and the illegal search by the police. The PA Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Alexander held that police need both probable cause and exigent circumstances to conduct a warrantless search of a motor vehicle. Here, the Court decided that there were no exigent circumstances and threw out all evidence acquired as a result of this illegal search. In addition, the PA Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Barr recently held that the “smell of marijuana may be a factor, but not a stand-alone one, in determining whether the totality of the circumstances established probable cause to permit a police officer to conduct a warrantless search of a vehicle.” While the Barr case was decided after R.L.’s hearing, it is important to note the extra layer of protection this new decision provides the Pennsylvania motorist accused of possession of marijuana. Call The Hoover Firm today if you’ve been charged with a crime arising out of a warrantless motor vehicle search based on the odor of marijuana.
H.C. – Dauphin County 2021
H.C. was charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Crack Cocaine as a result of an encounter with Harrisburg Police. H.C. was observed walking between houses in what is known to be a high drug trafficking area. After speaking with law enforcement, H.C. was observed to be in possession of a small bag of marijuana and a partially smoked marijuana blunt. Law enforcement then retraced H.C.’s steps and discovered a bag containing nearly 5 grams of crack cocaine along the path H.C. had just taken. Through extensive cross-examination, Attorney Hoover exposed the failure of the Commonwealth to produce DNA or fingerprint evidence to substantiate its claim that the bag belonged to H.C. Ultimately, the jury agreed the Commonwealth fell short of meeting the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt as to whether H.C. possessed the drugs in question and acquitted H.C. of the most serious felony offense.
Commonwealth v. R.B.
R.B. was charged with two separate counts of Aggravated Assault, Endangering the Welfare of a Child, and Simple Assault. After two days of testimony including an expert witness from the Commonwealth, the jury acquitted R.B. on both Aggravated Assault charges and the Simple Assault charge, convicting him only of the Child Endangerment offense. If convicted of the lead offense, R.B. would have received a jail sentence in excess of five years, now, it will be less than a year and a half. Attorney Hoover’s skillful cross examination of the Commonwealth witnesses uncovered a number of inconsistencies that proved detrimental to the Commonwealth’s case. Moreover, his ability to successfully combat the medical expert proved to be the difference in the case. Finally, Attorney Hoover’s heartfelt and passionate closing argument was the final nudge the jury needed to acquit R.B. on three of the four criminal charges, including the two most serious.
Commonwealth v. R.L. (Columbia Co. 2020)
R.L. was stopped by police after they observed a traffic infraction. During their initial encounter with R.L., the police claimed to smell an odor of marijuana. Police subsequently searched the vehicle and discovered marijuana and use paraphernalia. As a result, R.L. was charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Attorney Hoover filed a meticulously crafted pre-trial motion to suppress the evidence in this case based on the officer’s erroneous belief that the odor of marijuana alone could justify a warrantless search. Before a hearing on the issue could even be litigated, the Commonwealth elected to withdraw all charges against R.L.
Commonwealth v. D.P. (Dauphin Co. 2020)
D.P. was charged with felony strangulation, misdemeanor assault, and a summary offense of harassment after an alleged altercation with his wife in their marital home. Before the preliminary hearing, but after discussions with Attorney Hoover, the Commonwealth withdrew both the felony and misdemeanor charges allowing D.P. to enter a guilty plea to the summary offense for a small fine only.
Commonwealth v. J.W. (Cumberland Co. 2020)
J.W. was charged with Possession With Intent to Deliver a controlled substance, a felony, after the police responded to an apartment he shared with his girlfriend. While there, the police observed various items of controlled substances throughout the apartment. However, after discussion with Attorney Hoover, the Commonwealth agreed that they could not meet their burden of proving that J.W. possessed the drugs with anything but the intent to use them personally, and agreed to reduce the felony PWID charge to a misdemeanor simple possession for a short period of probation.
Commonwealth v. F.S. (Dauphin Co. 2020)
F.S. was charged with Possession With Intent to Deliver four (4) different controlled substances, as well as conspiracy to do so. The charges came after a day-long investigation into the apartment building in which F.S. resided. F.S. elected to go to trial to force the Government to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Before the case could even get to the jury, the judge presiding over the trial granted Attorney Hoover’s motion for judgment of acquittal and dismissed one of the possession with intent to deliver charges. Ultimately, the jury came back with Not Guilty verdict to the rest of the charges and F.S. was completely and totally exonerated of any wrongdoing.
Commonwealth v. W.H. (York Co. 2010)
W.H. was charged with a total of three (3) criminal offenses – including a felony – related to the alleged sexual abuse of a teen girl. W.H. was facing years in State Prison, not to mention collateral consequences such as Megan’s Law Registration. After a hard fought trial, the jury clearly saw that these allegations were completely fabricated and returned Not Guilty verdicts on all counts.
Commonwealth v. K.G. (Cumberland Co. 2011)
K.G. was charged with offenses related to an allegation of road rage involving a firearm. During trial, Attorney Hoover exposed serious inconsistencies between the testimony from each of the two individuals who reported the alleged incident, leading the jury to acquit K.G. on all counts.
Commonwealth v. C.H. (Lebanon Co. 2010)
C.H. was involved in a motor vehicle accident with C.H.’s three (3) young daughters in the vehicle. While being questioned by the responding PSP Trooper, C.H. admitted to having consumed marijuana many hours before the accident. As a result, C.H. was arrested and charged with DUI, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. At the conclusion of the trial, C.H. was acquitted of the Endangering the Welfare of a Child charges, as the jury clearly understood the deficiencies regarding the Commonwealth’s allegation of impairment without further proof. On appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court, the appellate court went a step further by vacating C.H.’s convictions as to Recklessly Endangering Another Person as well. In the end, C.H. was simply sentenced on a first offense DUI, a great result considering the initial charges C.H. was facing.
Commonwealth v. D.C. (York Co. 2018)
D.C. was charged with a second offense DUI after a motor vehicle stop late one night in York Co. While at the preliminary hearing, Attorney Hoover carefully questioned the arresting officer regarding his reason for stopping D.C.’s vehicle. Upon receiving the dash-cam footage from the officer’s patrol vehicle it became clear that the alleged motor vehicle code violations that lead to the stop of D.C.’s vehicle may not have been so clear. As such, Attorney Hoover filed a motion challenging the validity of the stop and requesting the Court suppress the evidence garnered as a result of this illegal stop. When Attorney Hoover and D.C. appeared to litigate the motion to suppress, the prosecutor approached them with an offer D.C. could not refuse: the DUI offense would be withdrawn in exchange for a guilty plea to a single count of disorderly conduct. D.C. went from facing a mandatory 30 days in jail on top of a one year loss of his driving privileges to neither of those penalties, not to mention the avoidance of a second DUI conviction, an important consideration given the recidivist nature of PA’s DUI Laws.
Commonwealth v. D.T. (Fulton Co. 2012)
D.T. was charged with a second offense DUI. After Attorney Hoover exposed the arresting officer’s lack of knowledge regarding the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, the jury returned a Not Guilty verdict on the DUI charge. This case is a prime example of how Attorney Hoover was able to put his extensive knowledge, training, and experience with the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests to work for D.T. with another excellent result.
Commonwealth v. M.B. (Dauphin Co. 2017)
M.B. was charged with Felony Aggravated Assault and other lesser-included misdemeanors as a result of a shooting that occurred after a road rage incident in Harrisburg City. From the outset, M.B. claimed self-defense, as he believed the other individual involved had reached for a firearm. There was a complicated trial with lots of back and forth testimony from the alleged victim as well as local police officers involved in taking reports from both the individuals involved and a few witnesses to the incident. Throughout the course of trial, and especially in his closing argument, Attorney Hoover painstakingly explained to the jury the law of self-defense and how it applied to M.B’s case. Ultimately, the jury found M.B. Not Guilty of the Aggravated Assault; a conviction on such an offense would have sent M.B. to State Prison for multiple years.
Commonwealth v. M.B. (Lebanon Co. 2009)
M.B. was charged with DUI based on an alleged breath alcohol concentration of 0.085%. Rather than simply take that alleged fact at face value and stipulate to it’s accuracy, Attorney Hoover held the Commonwealth’s feet to the fire and made them prove the accuracy of the chemical test result. In so doing, during the course of the bench trial, the officer involved in performing maintenance on the breath testing instrument admitted that shortly after M.B.’s test was performed, mold was found within the device. As such, Attorney Hoover successfully argued that the result therefore cannot be trusted and the Judge agreed and found M.B. Not Guilty of DUI.
Commonwealth v. J.K. (Lebanon Co. 2011)
J.K. was charged with DUI based on an allegation of controlled substances being found within his system. Again, rather than simply stipulate to the accuracy of the chemical test results, Attorney Hoover fought against that fact at trial. During the course of the trial, it became clear the charges levied against J.K. were inappropriate due to the nature of what was actually found within J.K.’s blood. As such, Attorney Hoover made a motion to judgment of acquittal at the close of the prosecutions case in chief. Attorney Hoover successfully argued that due to the charging error, the Commonwealth had failed to offer sufficient evidence to prove the DUI offenses charged. An result like this was only achieved by careful examination of exactly what offenses were charged and the knowledge and understanding of what exactly was found within J.K.’s blood.
Commonwealth v. L.R. (Dauphin Co. 2010)
L.R. was charged with a first offense DUI as a result of a motor vehicle stop shortly after midnight for an alleged license plate light being out. Ultimately, it was discovered that L.R.’s license was suspended at the time of the stop. While at the police station, L.R. submitted to a breath test where it was alleged that her BAC was 0.083%. At trial, Attorney Hoover successfully argued that such a result is not sufficient basis for a DUI conviction where the standard margin of error would take the test result below the legal limit 0.08%. In addition, Attorney Hoover successfully argued that the Commonwealth offered no additional evidence to prove impairment by alcohol to a degree that rendered L.R. incapable of safely driving. Finally, at the time of trial, the Judge found L.R. guilty of driving on a suspended license, a summary offense that carries a one-year suspension of L.R.’s driving privilege. Attorney Hoover filed a post-sentence motion challenging this conviction by arguing that the Commonwealth had failed to prove that L.R. received actual notice of the suspension, which coincidentally began literally minutes before L.R. was stopped. All in all, L.R. was found Not Guilty of three (3) serious charges.
Commonwealth v. J.H. (Lebanon Co. 2013)
J.H. knew he was guilty of Recklessly Endangering Another Person as a result of his conduct. That being said, the Commonwealth sought to have a lengthy prison sentence imposed. Attorney Hoover and J.H. vehemently disagreed with such a punishment. In response, Attorney Hoover filed a voluminous Pre-Sentence Memorandum in Mitigation with the sentencing Judge. Ultimately, J.H. was sentenced to a period of probation without incarceration as a result.
Commonwealth v. J.S. (Cambria Co. 2011)
J.S. was charged with a second offense DUI. A conviction to this offense would have ruined J.S.’s military career, aside from the legal penalties including jail-time and significant loss of license. Attorney Hoover filed pre-trial motions and appeared in court to litigate them. On the date of the hearing the Commonwealth agreed to withdraw the DUI charges in exchange for a guilty plea to a Recklessly Endangering Another Person charge, a conviction that would jeopardize none of J.S.’s career, freedom, or ability to drive.
Commonwealth v. S.S. (Lebanon Co. 2013)
S.S. had been charged with a third offense DUI and as such was facing a potential State Prison sentence. After hiring Attorney Hoover, the case quickly changed. Attorney Hoover met with the prosecution and explained the perceived issues with the legality of the motor vehicle stop and even whether the officer had the requisite probable cause to make an arrest. After lengthy negotiations, the Commonwealth agreed to withdraw the DUI charges in exchange for a guilty plea to Recklessly Endangering Another Person. Here again, S.S. avoided a lengthy prison sentence, loss of driving privileges, and a harmful DUI conviction, all because he choose the right attorney.