If You Are Facing Criminal Charges, You Need Strong Defense
Being charged with a crime is a frightening situation with your freedom and future at stake. We will aggressively work to protect your interests and obtain a successful outcome. The attorneys at Hummel, Lewis & Smith, LLP will utilize their courtroom experience and knowledge of criminal procedure and the crimes code to represent your interests and guide you through the criminal process.
Our attorneys are skilled in the courtroom and have successfully defended various charges, from aggravated assault and sex offenses to DUI and drug crimes. Though past success does not guarantee a future outcome, we will leverage every resource and pursue a favorable outcome for your situation. Attorneys Barry Lewis and Rebeka Buczeskie devote a large majority of their time to criminal defense work to help clients who are facing these charges and need strong legal representation.
Defending Accused Students
We have helped many college students enrolled at Bloomsburg University and Bucknell University minimize the consequences that a conviction for drug or alcohol offenses, assault, shoplifting and other serious crimes can have on their lives. Contact us to discuss programs that might preserve your driving privileges and keep a regrettable incident from going on your criminal record and potentially impacting your post-graduate employment.
A Former Police Officer On Your Side
Our criminal defense practice is led by Attorney Barry Lewis, who served 10 years as a police officer before practicing law. He has extensive training in alcohol- and drug-related crimes and criminal investigations. He knows many of the arresting officers as well as whether they have a reputation for going by the book or performing substandard police work. He also knows most of the county prosecutors and where they have drawn the line in past plea negotiations. Mr. Lewis is well-acquainted with the tendencies of the judges who will hear your case – what evidence they have admitted, how they have ruled on motions and how they have sentenced people convicted of similar crimes.
Mr. Lewis’ familiarity with law enforcement gives him insight into the process. He is well aware of how the police and prosecutors have performed in the past, what evidence to attack and what could happen at trial.
We Provide Criminal Defense For All Charges
We defend against a wide range of criminal charges, including:
- DUI and DWI: Whether you are charged with your first DUI or as a repeat offender, Mr. Lewis explores all possible defenses to avoid jail time, license suspension and other consequences that you can face upon conviction. He examines the probable cause for the traffic stop and the breath test results to try to have the charges dismissed or reduced.
- Underage drinking or furnishing alcohol to minors: We represent minors and college students who are facing all types of alcohol-related charges, including underage drinking or DUI and possession of a fake ID.
- Drug offenses: We have defended clients charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and felony possession of heroin, cocaine or prescription narcotics, as well as possession with intent to sell large and small quantities of drugs. Mr. Lewis will challenge the legality of the search, credibility of informants and circumstantial evidence linking you to the drugs. The severity of the consequences you face will depend on the type and amount of drug involved in your case.
- Theft and burglary: Our attorneys have handled a wide range of theft crimes, from shoplifting to robberies and fraud schemes.
- Violent crimes: We defend clients charged with violent crimes such as assault, battery and domestic violence.
- Computer crimes: We have the knowledge and resources to defend you from charges involving computer and internet crimes spanning from identity theft and phishing scams to child pornography and online solicitation.
- Fraud and white collar crimes: White collar crime is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of crimes involving fraud in the workplace, including embezzlement, mortgage fraud, bank fraud and other charges.
- Sex offenses: With the majority of sex offenses, from rape to child molestation to downloading pornography involving minors, you can face serious penalties and be registered as a sex offender if you are convicted. We can provide you with a defense from these charges and attempt to minimize the Megan’s Law reporting requirements.
- Parole and probation violations: If you are facing charges for a violation of parole or probation, we can assist you in turning yourself in to the police, attempt to minimize the penalty and defend you from criminal charges for your violation.
- Traffic violations and license issues: We can help you with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) if your license has been suspended and defend you from all types of traffic violations, from reckless driving to speeding tickets.
Do You Qualify For Diversion Programs?
We can often help eligible first-time offenders for DUI, drug or alcohol sales and other nonviolent crimes earn acceptance into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program in lieu of jail time and other penalties. After a probationary period, the charges can be expunged from your record. We can also obtain a dismissal of underage drinking charges through the Youthful Offenders Program.
In Columbia and Montour Counties, the Court has established four basic diversion programs:
- ARD is a program that is usually associated with first-time DUI offenders. However, ARD is also appropriate for nonviolent misdemeanor crimes, including possession of marijuana and paraphernalia and theft. Successfully completing the program can mean a dismissal and expungement of the charges from your record.
- Drug Court is a 30-month program for crimes that result from an addiction to drugs. The focus is to get the offender “clean” and understanding their addiction, including ways to combat and treat addiction. The charges can include felonies such as burglary and theft, as long as the charges have been the result of the person’s addiction.
- DUI Court is for people with at least a third DUI within a 10-year period. Under normal circumstances, the person is looking at a one-year state jail sentence. With DUI Court, the jail sentence may be as little as 14 days with requirements for rehabilitation and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) attendance, intensive probation and frequent reports to the Court. A new DUI Court program for offenders with second offenses at the highest rate (>.16) is now available that provides for a 48-hour sentence instead of 90 days of incarceration.
- The felony diversion program allows offenders with a nonviolent felony charge to have the felony withdrawn for a plea to a misdemeanor charge after a period of probation. There are restrictions on the types of felonies that will be eligible for this program.