Case Results


Bail Conditions Removed & Felony Charges Dismissed in Strangulation Case

Mar 16 2018, by Michael Fienman in Assault & Domestic Violence, Case Results, Legal Blog, Violent Crimes

Dealing with criminal charges in Pennsylvania is difficult and frustrating at virtually every turn. However, by partnering with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney, you can find a clear and favorable resolution.

For example, a man from New Jersey was recently involved in a dispute with his fiancé outside of a casino in Northampton County. Unfortunately, things got out of hand and the police were called. When the fiancé made comments that he had put his hands around her neck, the situation escalated and he was suddenly charged with various domestic violence crimes, including disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia, assault and a particularly serious felony for strangulation. When combined with the prior convictions on his extensive record, this ultimately left the man exposed to a real possibility of serving significant time in a state correctional facility.

The original bail conditions governing the man’s release were harsh, comprising of a no-contact order with his fiancé and mandatory participation in pre-trial reporting. The latter of which required him to either travel from New Jersey for weekly drug testing or submit to testing closer to his home, but at his own expense. Since both options were so problematic and expensive, the man contacted Fienman Defense to find a solution. Hopefully, one that would spare him from time behind bars.

When attorney Fienman and his client arrived for their first court appearance, they learned that a continuance was issued; however, Fienman and his client were not properly notified. While this was a major inconvenience for his client, Fienman took a level-headed approach. This not only led to a new court date, but Mr. Fienman also was able to secure a meeting with the judge, where he argued to lift his client’s restrictive bail conditions. By illustrating the undue expense and hassle his client was experiencing and having the alleged victim speak directly to the judge via telephone, attorney Fienman successfully had the no-contact order and all the pre-trial conditions removed. This was a huge weight lifted off his client’s shoulders, but attorney Fienman still needed to address his client’s charges.

At their the next court date, attorney Fienman aggressively argued the facts of the case with the prosecutor. It became clear that the incident was not a valid strangulation case and shouldn’t even be considered an assault. As a result, through Fienman’s strategic negotiation, the most severe charges were withdrawn, leaving only the disorderly conduct and paraphernalia offenses. While these were relatively minor charges, they could still end with time in custody based on the sentencing guidelines for someone with his client’s prior record score that classified him as a repeat felon. To set his client up for the best possible outcome, he further negotiated to amend the police criminal complaint so the case would be presented to the sentencing judge in an optimum light.

On the day of sentencing, under the guidelines, his client was still facing a jail sentence and over a year of probation. The prosecutor argued for jail time. However, attorney Fienman passionately advocated for his client, articulating his need to remain employed, so he could provide for his family and a child with significant disabilities. In the end, the judge handed down a probationary term of only six months and spared Fienman’s client from any incarceration.

The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.