Areas of Practice
Areas of Practice
PFAs and Civil Protection Orders
In Pennsylvania, there are civil protection orders that protect victims of abuse and violence and require the abuser to stay away from the victim even if no criminal charges have been filed. It is important to have an experienced attorney help guide you through the process if you are getting an order to protect yourself or if someone has applied for a protection order against you.
If you are being charged with contempt of an order, it is crucial that you obtain a lawyer to protect your rights and defend you in court.
A Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order is a protective order designed to protect you from physical, psychological, and sexual abuse from a family member or current/former intimate or sexual partner. A Sexual Violence Protective Order is specifically to protect victims of sexual abuse when the abuser is not a family or current/ former intimate partner. A Protection from Intimidation Order is appropriate to protect a victim under the age of 18 from being harassed and stalked by an adult who is not a family member or current/former intimate partner.
Protection Orders can be imposed for up to 3 years and may be extended under certain circumstances.
A person who violates a civil protection order can face penalties that may include fines, probation, and jail time. A finding of abuse will require that the accused relinquish firearms, they may be evicted from a residence, and even be restricted from certain places.
Felonies and Misdemeanors
When charged with a crime, your life and liberty are at stake. Attorney Longo is an experienced trial attorney who will work to get you the best possible outcome, and if necessary, she will fearlessly fight for you at trial.
- Drug Offenses – Possession with the Intent to Deliver, Drug Trafficking, Simple Possession, Conspiracy
- Violent Offenses- Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Harassment
- Sexual Offenses
- Theft and Receiving Stolen Property
- Gun Charges
- Probation and Parole Cases
- Bail Hearings
- Juvenile Offenses
- Summary Offenses
DUI and Traffic Violations
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges are subject to two parts in Pennsylvania: Civil and Criminal. If you are convicted of a DUI, you may be subject to jail, probation, fines, and license suspension.
DUI penalties are based on factors such as your Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) and prior DUI offenses in the last 10 years. The mandatory minimum punishments are generally for 1st time offenders:
- BAC 0.08-0.09% – Up to 6 months probation and a $300 fine
- BAC 0.10-0.159% – 48 hours and up to 6 months in jail; fines of $500 to $5,000; license suspended for 12 months.
- BAC 0.16% and up – Minimum 72 hours to maximum 6 months in jail; fines of $1,000 to $5,000; license suspended for 12 months.
Alternatives to Jail
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD) is a pre-trial diversion program that is generally available to people with no prior record. If you are accepted into the ARD program, you will be placed on probation for a period of time and you will have to agree to certain conditions.
Upon successful completion of the program, you may petition the court to have the charges dismissed and the case expunged.
Attorney Longo will review your case and discuss possible defenses, alternatives to jail, and she will explain the collateral consequences of a DUI that extend beyond jail time and fines.
Penn Dot will suspend your license for a DUI based on your BAC level.
Penn Dot will also suspend your license for other offenses such as:
– Possession of a Controlled Substance
– Underage Drinking
Attorney Longo will review your case and if appropriate, the suspension may be appealed or challenged.
You may be able to apply for Occupational Limited License which is available in limited circumstances. This license will let you get to work or to medical appointments even if your license is suspended.
A record follows you and can cost you job opportunities, housing, and even financial aid for school. If you are eligible, your record can be expunged, or wiped clean.
In some circumstances, your record may be expunged for the following:
- ARD has been completed
- Juvenile charges
- Not Guilty Verdict
- Charges Withdrawn or Dismissed
- Old Misdemeanors and Summaries
An expungement is not something that happens automatically and you must file a Petition with the Court. Call Attorney Longo to review the facts and circumstances of your case before your record costs you another job or opportunity.
Right to Know
- Assist requesters with filing requests for public records
- Advise local agencies on RTKL Compliance
- Provide an analysis as to whether records are exempt, privileged, or are subject to public disclosure
Drug offenses in Pennsylvania are serious charges with extremely harsh penalties. It is essential that an experienced litigator review your case as soon as possible because drug penalties are based on the amount and schedule of the drug and you could be facing mandatory sentences.
The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. If your search was illegal, a motion for suppression can be filed to challenge that search. If a suppression motion is successful, the government will not be able to use evidence against you because it was illegally obtained.
Attorney Longo will review your case with you and make sure that there were no unconstitutional searches or seizures and that you were not subject to other illegal means of arrest such as entrapment.