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Jason S Dunkle

Jason Dunkle’s Answers

168 total


  • When are the laws going to change about DUI M1 for purchasing a weapon?

    DUI's in 1994 & 2004 and plead guilty to both. Received ARD for for one and second one M1. I cant buy or possess a weapon in PA but Ive been serving in the Army Reserves since 2006 as a Military Police officer carrying weapons. I train soldiers o...

    Jason’s Answer

    Your firearm prohibition is actually not based upon Pennsylvania law but is instead based under Federal law under 18 U.S.C. 922. That law prohibits a person convicted of an offense exceeding one year from possessing a firearm. You must also look at 18 U.S.C. 921 to see that the definition of crime exceeding one year is actually a crime exceeding 2 years if it is a misdemeanor offense in a state. The misdemeanor 1 offense carries a 5 year maximum sentence, which obviously triggers the ban. Your primary option is to seek a governor's pardon of the DUI conviction. If you are able to obtain a pardon, then the conviction is set aside, and then you are no longer prohibited from possessing a firearm.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    JD Law, P.C.

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  • Will my license be suspended in CA.

    I received an underage drinking citation in Pennsylvania and plan on pleading guilty. I know my license will be suspended in Pennsylvania but will it also be suspended in California.

    Jason’s Answer

    If you have a Pennsylvania license, then a suspension in Pennsylvania requires that you surrender your license to PennDOT in order to serve that suspension. If you do not surrender your license, then your Pennsylvania driving privileges will remain suspended until the license is surrendered. If you currently have a California license, then Pennsylvania can only suspend your Pennsylvania driving privileges. Pennsylvania will contact California about the conviction in Pennsylvania. In my experience, most states do not impose reciprocal suspensions for relatively minor crimes code violations like Underage Drinking and Fake ID. I cannot definitively tell you what California will do because I am not licensed to practice in that state. However, as a lawyer near Penn State, I can tell you that I have represented hundreds of clients charged with Underage Drinking, and I cannot recall a single case in which the home state suspended.

    Aside from the suspension, I agree with another responder attorney that you should look into the possibility of avoiding the conviction. Too many people think that offenses like Underage Drinking do not appear on background searches, but that simply is not the case. And other people think that an expungement of the conviction allows them to state that they were never convicted or pleaded guilty to the charge, but that simply is not the situation. An expungement does not change the fact that a person pleaded guilty to or was convicted of the charge.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    JD Law, P.C.
    State College, PA 16801

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  • Why did I get an underage fine?

    I was leaving a house a few weekends ago and had a beer in my hand, I saw a bike cop coming towards me so I set the open can on the sidewalk, he handcuffed me and asked why I had set it down. I was never asked if I had consumed alcohol and was nev...

    Jason’s Answer

    While we generally call the charge "underage drinking," the law actually prohibits a person under from 21 from possessing, consuming, attempting to purchase, or transporting alcohol. In your case, the officer is probably charging you with possession and not necessarily consumption, meaning drinking. I would recommend that you contact a lawyer in the West Chester area to discuss your case. Some areas have first time offender programs for which you may be eligible. Or, an attorney may be able to negotiate some sort of resolution in your case. An attorney may also be able to fight the case and win. If the officer didn't touch the can, then you may have an argument that he cannot prove that you possessed alcohol as that term is defined under the law. He has evidence that you possessed a can, but without evidence that the can contained a liquid, then you may be able to win. Also, I have had cases in which the officer testified that the beer was a particular brand, such as Coors Light, but the officer failed to bring a copy of the PA Bulletin to prove to the judge that the beer contained a sufficient alcohol content to make it illegal for a minor to possess in PA. Retaining an experienced underage drinking lawyer often increases the likelihood that you can get a favorable result. I believe that Attorney Brian Fishman from Philly may venture in Chester County.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    JD Law, P.C.
    State College, PA
    (814) 954-7622

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  • Underage drinking citation

    I am 18 and was stopped by police as I walked home from a party. I received an underage drinking citation. I was not tested for or in possession of alcohol or any other illegal substance. What are my options if I want to plead not guilty.?

    Jason’s Answer

    Your options are to plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, the case is scheduled for a hearing, and we can appear at that hearing to either fight the charge or negotiate a favorable resolution. I recommend that you call a local State College lawyer and discuss the precise facts and circumstances in your case. You have 10 days from receipt of the citation to formally enter a plea.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    814-954-7622

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  • WHEN DOES THE 10 YEAR TIME SPAN FOR ALLOWANCE OF YOUR NEXT DUI WITHOUT INCARCERATION START?

    AT THE ACTUAL DATE OF ARREST, OR AT A GUILTY TRIAL VERDICT OR AFTER APPEALS HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED. PLEASE TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM ASKING.

    Jason’s Answer

    The 10 year window runs from date of "conviction, adjudication of delinquency, juvenile consent decree, acceptance of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition or other form of preliminary disposition" on the first offense to the date of offensive conduct on the new offense. Basically, that means from the date of conviction on the first offense to the date of the DUI incident or arrest on the new offense. See 75 Pa.C.S. 3806.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    JD Law, P.C.
    814-954-7622

    See question 
  • Can penndot run my suspension separately for offenses that happened at one time?

    I was arrested for a dui and possession of marijuana charge and pled guilty. They call for a year suspension each but since it all happened on one arrest can both year hits be ran together meaning I only do a year license suspension?

    Jason’s Answer

    While the 2 charges stemmed from one incident, the charges are completely different. That means that the 2 separate suspensions are lawful. Because the drug suspension is for 1 year, I presume that this is a 2nd offense. Under 1532(c) of the Vehicle Code, a 1 year suspension is a result of a 2nd offense of drug possession charges.

    With regard to whether or not those 2 suspensions can be run consecutively or concurrent, I believe that PennDOT is actually required by law to run suspensions consecutively. The answer to your question is NO, the suspensions cannot be run concurrently.

    You may be eligible to receive an Occupational Limited License (OLL) for the DUI suspension, but you are not eligible for an OLL for the drug possession suspension. If this is a first time DUI offense, you may be eligible to obtain an OLL to allow you to drive to/from work and school after you serve 60 days of the 1 year suspension. The OLL may at least allow you to drive to and from work after you serve the first 1 year suspension for the drug charge and then 60 days on the DUI charge.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    JD Law, P.C.
    State College, PA 16801

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  • Does expunging an underage after turning 21 and completing required license suspension cost any money?

    Turning 21 soon. Wondering what exactly I have to do to get underage expunged. Thanks

    Jason’s Answer

    You have to file an expungement petition with the Prothonotary or Clerk of Courts in the county in which the charge was filed. You will need to comply with the rules regarding the expungement petition, which require you to attach a PA State Police background search report. That report costs $10.00. You will also need to pay the filing fee charged by the court. You can have both the criminal and driving records expunged if you have turned 21 and have successfully served the sentence, which means that you must have served the license suspension and restored your PA driving privileges. I would recommend that you contact an attorney that handles expungement in Cambria County to take care of this issue. If the expungement petition is not completed correctly, it may be denied outright. If you fail to list all the appropriate government agencies or departments in the expungement petition, then you will not actually get the record expunged completely. I would recommend Joel Peppetti based out of Altoona.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    JD Law, P.C.
    State College, PA 16801
    (814) 954-7622
    jd@mystatecollegelawyer.com

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  • I was cited for underage drinking, whats my best bet for proving myself innocent?

    I was stopped by police for urinating in a bush, and lied about my age. The police stated that I had alcohol on my breath and that my eyes were bloodshot. The police did not administer a breathalyzer test but still gave me a citation for underag...

    Jason’s Answer

    The police do not need to administer a breath test, blood test, or field sobriety tests to have evidence that you had consumed alcohol and were underage. Even if a breath test were administered, if an appropriate objection was made, such evidence is not admissible at Underage Drinking hearings. In order to have sufficient evidence, the officer would present circumstantial evidence of intoxication. In your case, the odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes, and admission to having consumed alcohol as collective evidence would probably be sufficient to have a judge find you guilty. If you want more information about Underage Drinking, I recommend that you check out the link below.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    JD Law, P.C.
    State College, PA 16801

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  • How many years after 2nd DUI must pass to be able to get ARD

    I had 2nd DUI 24 years ago, also had minor traffic accident on this charge

    Jason’s Answer

    I believe that the current policy in Centre County is that the DA does not approve ARD for a 2nd DUI if the prior was within the past 20 years, so I believe that the DA would consider your application for admission into the program. With regard to being in an accident, that factor is not good but generally does not preclude ARD placement. I had a client placed just last week that was involved in an one-car accident that was placed on ARD. Generally, an accident would result in an outright denial if people were injured. Over the years, I have had clients involved in accidents involving other cars, and those clients were approved for ARD. If you have been crime-free, or relatively crime-free for the past 24 years since your last DUI, I believe that based upon the limited facts that you have presented that you have a decent likelihood of being approved to participate in ARD.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    JD Law, P.C.
    State College, PA 16801
    (814) 954-7622
    jd@mystatecollegelawyer.com

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  • I am getting my 2nd underage drinking citation. Will i get my license suspened?

    I was found quilty for my first underage drinking citation a few months ago and my license was suspened for 3 months. If i am found quilty this time, am i guaranteed to lose my license for a year? Can the suspension be reduced?

    Jason’s Answer

    If you are convicted of the Underage Drinking, the judge is required to complete and send a DL-21 form to PennDOT. PennDOT will then suspend your license for 1 year. You are not eligible to receive an Occupational Limited License (OLL) for a 2nd offense. The suspension cannot be reduced IF you are convicted because PennDOT does not negotiate on suspensions. The only way to avoid the suspension is to avoid the conviction of the Underage charge. You should contact an experienced Pittsburgh attorney to see if you may be able to fight the case or work out an agreement that requires you to plead guilty to some other charge to avoid the suspension.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    JD Law, P.C.
    State College, PA 16801

    See question