Thursday, May 26, 2016


If you are being prosecuted for any crime, including crimes such as Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) or Possession with the Intent to Deliver (PWID) Narcotics, you as the Defendant have many critical decisions to make.  The first decision you must make is which lawyer to hire.  When making this decision, be certain not to confuse a lawyer who is a good marketer/advertiser with a lawyer who actually knows his profession and performs his job well.

 One aspect of being a good criminal defense lawyer and performing that job well is knowing the tendencies of the Judge to which your case is assigned.  This is significant for purposes of informing the Client of what to expect in the worst case scenario.  For example, for a DUI conviction, certain Judges will not permit Home Electronic Monitoring or “House Arrest” for a third (3rd) DUI conviction.  Also, for a Narcotics conviction, certain Judges will sentence an older person more harshly than a younger person because an older person should make better decisions.  Retaining a lawyer who is familiar with these tendencies helps the lawyer to advise the Client to make better decisions.  

To discuss this topic further, you are invited to contact Attorney Joseph Paletta to schedule an office consultation.  E-mail  or call 412.391.7999.
Joseph Paletta, Esq.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Juvenile sex offender law

Friday, March 28, 2014

Message from Attorney Paletta

This is Attorney Joseph Paletta.  As a trial lawyer concentrating my law practice in the area of criminal defense, I have many opportunities to witness how the delay in retaining a lawyer can affect a person’s legal rights and options.  In fact, if you have looked at my website at, you have seen that on almost every page, I strongly suggest to readers to contact me immediately to consult about their legal problem.  I provide that advice for the following reasons.
If Police are conducting a criminal investigation and want to speak to you, the general rule is to tell police that you would like to consult with a lawyer first before making a statement.  The reason that you want to consult with a lawyer first is that anything you say can and will be used against you as evidence in a criminal prosecution.  You have a right against self-incrimination guaranteed by both the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions, and as a non-lawyer, people often do not realize that statements made to police will frequently be to their disadvantage.
Furthermore, police will frequently pressure and entice people to make statements before speaking with a lawyer.  A common example is when police say that if you do not speak with a lawyer but instead cooperate in the investigation, they (police) will recommend a low bond following arrest, or they will recommend Probation.  That may very well be true, so you will likely receive a short-term benefit.  However, not consulting a lawyer first and making a statement will likely be to your long-term disadvantage, reducing your options at trial and eliminating defenses that you may not even know you have.  Do not sacrifice your long-term benefit and criminal record for a short-term benefit.
However, please be advised that this general rule has exceptions.  The first and most common example of this exception occurs during an arrest for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Controlled Substances.  For a D.U.I. arrest, you do not have a right to speak to a lawyer before submitting to a chemical test of your blood or breath.  If you are arrested for D.U.I., police will read you something known as the “O’Connell Warnings” which includes the fact that you have no right to speak to a lawyer before taking a chemical test of your blood or breath, and that if you say anything other than “Yes” to taking the test, that will result in a refusal and a one year suspension of your driver’s license.
More reasons exist to consult with an attorney immediately, and they will be addressed in a future statement.  Until then, remember, when you have a medical problem, you consult a doctor.  When you have a legal problem, consult a lawyer.  The sooner, the better.
Joseph Alexander Paletta, Esq.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Commonwealth v. M.N. (Warrants, Faillure to Attend A.R.D. Hearing)

Commonwealth v. M.N. (Warrants, Failure to attend A.R.D. Hearing)

A former Client who was offered admission into the A.R.D. Program failed to appear at a scheduled A.R.D. Hearing before Judge Gallo. A Warrant was issued and Client faced the possibility of having his A.R.D. offer revoked, which meant that Client's case would proceed to trial and he would risk having a conviction of these charges on his record.
Client was charged with:

75§3802§§A1 - Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol  
75§3736§§A - Reckless Driving

Parents of this Client contacted Attorney Paletta for assistance with the situation. Attorney Paletta explains to Parents & Client that this is a very urgent matter since an active Warrant exists. With an active Warrant, Client risks being picked up in his home state and held in jail until Allegheny County makes transportation arrangements to pick him up and transport him to the Allegheny County Jail. Parents of Client retain Attorney Paletta to help resolve this situation. Attorney Paletta then met with the District Attorney's Office and was able to negotiate re-admission into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (A.R.D.) Program. Arrangements were made to accelerate the process and work everything out so that Client was able to travel into Pittsburgh and accomplish everything in one trip. Attorney Paletta managed to arrange it so that upon arriving in Pittsburgh, Client would turn himself in on, go before a Judge to have the Warrant lifted, and finally go before Judge Gallo to be formally re-accepted into the A.R.D. Program.

Criminal Defense Attorney for College Students

Criminal Defense Attorney for College Students
I am a Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney who represents college students charged with crimes such as DUI, Public Intox., and Possession.
Having worked with many college students and professionals such as Doctors and Nurses who have been charged with crimes which could jeopardize their college education and professional career, I understand how important it is for my clients to receive the best possible outcome available and one that will not damage their record.  For this reason, I work closely with my clients to develop a strategy that will assist in receiving an outcome most favorable to them.
If you are a college student or recent graduate who is just starting your professional career and you have been charged with a crime, don't take the chance of harming your future by proceeding without an Attorney or at least consulting with one first.  Your future is too important; contact me to discuss your situation.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Attorney Paletta's Legal Guide - Criminal Justice System

If you are facing criminal charges in or around Allegheny County and have general questions about the Court Process and what to expect, we have drafted a Legal Guide on our Avvo profile to provide some general information and help explain the process.

To view this Legal Guide, visit:
Let us know if you have any questions or need any additional information!

Law Office of Joseph Alexander Paletta