Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Pittsburgh Defense Attorneys Question Sandusky Strategy"

Attorney Paletta's view:

"Two veteran Pittsburgh defense lawyers questioned the decision by former Penn State University assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky's lawyer to waive his client's right to a preliminary hearing today.

Another Pittsburgh defense attorney, Joseph Paletta, said waiving the hearing "was certainly a reasonable decision under the circumstances."

One reason lawyers will do that is if an accuser doesn't appear or isn't available for the trial, the prosecutor could introduce the transcript of the witness's preliminary hearing testimony "to remedy that unavailability," Mr. Paletta said. Without it, the witness's no-show creates an "automatic win" for the defense at trial, he said.

Another reason supporting a decision to waive the hearing is that the victims' testimony was likely to be ugly and traumatic "with the likelihood that the case would be held for court anyway," he said."

Source: PostGazette, "Pittsburgh defense attorneys question Sandusky strategy" Jon Schmitz, Dec. 13, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pennsylvania Crimes - General: Texting While Driving Ban -

Pennsylvania Crimes - General: Texting While Driving Ban -: Driving Law / update A new law has been passed that will go into effect March 2012, banning drivers from texting while driving. This new...

Driver's License Suspension


Many individuals who contact our office regarding a suspension of their Pennsylvania driver's license have very little information on:

*the time remaining in the suspension period
*the underlying conviction or convictions that may have caused the suspension
*the steps that need taken to lift the suspension and have their license reinstated

To help us and our clients gain insight on the above items, we suggest that they visit the PennDot website and driver and vehicle services to request a copy of their complete drivers history in addition to a copy of their restoration letter.

Once these documents are in our possession, we are able to have a better picture of what needs done to attempt to get the license reinstated. This will also allow us to see specific and detailed information about fines owed and citations that have been unresponded to.

If you have questions such as the ones discussed, you should order these documents and contact us as soon as possible to discuss you case with Attorney Paletta.

Texting While Driving Ban -

Driving Law / update

A new law has been passed that will go into effect March 2012, banning drivers from texting while driving. This new law will allow police officers to conduct a traffic stop and issue a ciitation to any driver that is seen texting while behind the wheel. The bill that was signed by Governor Corbett makes this a primary offense and calls for a $50.00 fine.

Information used in this blog was found at:


Visit the above link for more information and for the full article.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Search Warrant Defense Attorney in Pittsburgh

Criminal Lawyer Joseph A. Paletta

Can I still defend against searches with a warrant?

Yes, you can defend against a search that was made pursuant to a warrant.  A defense attorney can help you do this.
For example, it could be shown that the search was illegal because the search warrant itself was flawed because it failed to specifically describe the places to be searched or the items to be seized.  Or, it could be shown that the warrant was executed in a flawed manner because it lacked "probable cause" supported by sworn affidavits.  "Probable cause" means a reasonable belief, based on the surrounding facts and totality of circumstances, that an illegal activity was occurring or that evidence of a crime was present.
Joseph Paletta can render assistance in defending such cases, and he will aggressively fight for the protection of your constitutional rights.
Contact me by phone or email so we can discuss your case today.

Warrants to Search a Vehicle

Warrants to Search a Vehicle in Pittsburgh

Under what circumstances can a police officer execute the search of automobiles and other vehicles without a warrant?

Under the Pennsylvania Constitution, a police officer may execute a warrantless search of a vehicle only when the officer has both a reasonable belief of criminal activity and exigent circumstances.  Exigent circumstances arise when there is a need for immediate police action.  For example, if the officer reasonably believes that evidence is likely to be destroyed or physical harm is threatened against the officer or the public.  An officer is prohibited from conducting a search of a vehicle for investigative purposes, and full inventory searches may be performed only when the vehicle is impounded.

Contact me by phone or email so we can discuss your case today.


Pittsburgh Search Warrant Laws

What are the exceptions to the search warrant requirement?

In general, the U.S. Constitution requires that police officers have a warrant in order to execute a search or seizure.
However, there are several exceptions to the warrant requirement when an officer has a reasonable belief that a crime has been or is being committed.  A search or seizure without a warrant may also be proper, even without probable cause of crime, where objects are in plain view, a person consents to the search, or an administrative search is made of a closely regulated business.  Circumstances may excuse the warrant requirement when an emergency calls for prompt police action.

Contact me by phone or email so we can discuss your case today.


Parole and Probation Law in Pittsburgh

What is the difference between probation and parole?

Probation involves no imprisonment, and it is a conditional release of the defendant by the trial court after his or her conviction, under the control of the probationary officer.  Parole is a provisional release from confinement.



Do I have the right to challenge a police search of my home, business, or other place?

Yes, you have the right to challenge a search if it involves a violation of your constitutional rights.

You must assert a reasonable subjective expectation of privacy in the place to be searched. Generally, you may object to any search that is made without a warrant, and those searches made pursuant to a warrant must be strictly limited to the places, items, and times specified in the warrant.



If you have ever been arrested and/or charged with a crime and the charges against you were Withdrawn, Dismissed, Nolle Prossed, or you were found Not Guilty, you may be under the INCORRECT assumption that these charges will disappear from your record.

You MUST understand that even if you have been found NOT GUILTY of a crime that you were charged with, you may still face future losses or consequences due to the allegations that were once against you.

In Pennsylvania, when you are charged with a crime regardless of the disposition, case information will still appear on your record which could have an impact on certain aspects of your life.

You may be ineligible for employment opportunities & professional licenses. You may also be incapable of reaching certain academic goals.

Attorney Paletta has worked with hundreds of clients who find themselves in a situation similar to one above and is here to help you.

If you have charges on your record that were Withdrawn, Dismissed, Nolle Prossed, or you were found Not Guilty, it is important to contact Attorney Paletta to have these charges Expunged from your record and diminish the future consequences that may arise.