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Jason S Dunkle
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Jason Dunkle’s Answers

172 total


  • Will I be charged?

    My friends were smoking marijuana rolled in joints outside and I was talking to them. The police came and my friends were charged with small possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. They police then found another joint on the ground and asked me...

    Jason’s Answer

    In Pennsylvania, it is illegal for a person to "possess" drugs or related paraphernalia. Possession is not ownership. Instead, a possession charge can be filed if the police believe that a person could have taken control over the illegal substance. In your scenario, the joint was on the ground near you, so the officer could charge you. The officer probably administered the eye test to see if he could determine whether or not you have actually been smoking marijuana. If the officer believed that you had been smoking, then the officer is more likely to believe that you may have been smoking the joint that was on the ground and thereby could have possessed that joint. If the officer does not believe that you were smoking, then he is less likely to believe that you possessed the joint, and thereby less likely to charge you with a possession offense. Your precise question as to whether or not you will be charged is a decision that will be made by the investigating officer. Whether or not the officer has a good case is a different issue from whether or not you can be charged.

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

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  • Effects of misdemeanor convictions on part-time job application

    Hey, I pled guilty to two third degree misdemeanors- open lewdness & disorderly conduct. The Penn State Math Department is offering a proctoring job. But the Human Resources Department application asks us to disclose our criminal convictions from ...

    Jason’s Answer

    In general, I recommend to my clients that they answer questions like that honestly. Most likely, the employer is going to run a background search and find the charges. If you disclose the charges, you at least have a chance that the employer will overlook them and hire you. If you fail to disclose and the employer finds them, then you have no hope of getting the job because you lied or were deceptive. An employer does not want to hire someone that they believe lied.

    When you do report a prior offense, you are generally asked to describe and explain. I generally recommend that clients provide minimal amounts of information and do not get into great detail. I routinely take calls from former clients that are completing job applications or educational applications and discuss how to respond to such questions. I am familiar with the facts and circumstances in those cases and can readily advise my clients. In your case, I would highly recommend that you contact your lawyer and ask him how best to explain the situation.

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

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  • Dui felon can i own a muzzle loader for hunting, i'm still on probation in pa

    can find laws for felons can i own a muzzle loader

    Jason’s Answer

    I believe that you may be permitted to possess are muzzleloader as it could fall under the "antique firearm" exclusion to the definition of "firearm" under Federal law. The description of an antique firearm is very detailed, so you should review it very closely to see if your muzzleloader fits that description. For more info about this and references to the appropriate Federal law, check out the link below.

    If you are on probation, you may need to get permission from your probation officer to possess the muzzleloader. In counties in which I practice in Central Pennsylvania, most probation departments do not permit the possession of any guns as part of the sentence, so a person would not be permitted to possess a muzzleloader in this area while on probation.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire
    State College, PA 16801

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  • Can i get an underage switched to a disorderly ?

    I received an underage and was very cooperative with the officer, he actually wrote that on my ticket. My friend however was not and he received a whole list of charges. I guess what I'm asking is, is it possible for him to change the ticket into ...

    Jason’s Answer

    It all depends. If it was a Penn State officer, the officer is not permitted to change the charge to anything else. State College, Ferguson Township, and Patton Township officers have that authority. The next issue is which judge. Some State College judges are willing to accept agreements IF you get the officer to approve. A new judge will be taking over on Pugh Street in January, and no one really knows what that judge will permit.

    You also might want to reconsider changing the charge to a Disorderly Conduct. If you plead guilty to such a charge, the charge would appear on criminal background searches for the next 5 years. In some situations, we can negotiate a dismissal of the Underage that also results in an avoidance of the license suspension. I just did it last Friday. My client has to complete 40 hours of community service, but the charge will be dismissed and the license will not be suspended. I talked to an officer today in court about a similar resolution for another pending case that I have.

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  • Will I be cited for public drunkenness if I was transported by ambulance to the hospital?

    I was walking home from the bar (I'm 21) with a friend and about a block from my apartment I fell because there were 5 inches of snow on the ground and I was wearing heels. A cop witnessed this and insisted I stop and called an ambulance and said...

    Jason’s Answer

    There is a very good chance that you will be charged. The police often summon an ambulance and mandate that a person goes to the hospital for liability purposes, primarily the officer doesn't want to get sued for not ensuring someone's safety, either from the fall or from a possible over-intoxication. The officer may call you to advise as to whether or not a citation is going to be filed. I do not generally recommend that you talk to the officer because they will often question you about where and when you were drinking. If you are charged, anything that you told the officer is admissible at a summary trial against you. If you have not been in trouble in the past and you were semi-cooperative with the officer during the initial encounter, we can often reach an agreement with the judge and officer to allow you to perform community service and pay court costs in exchange for a dismissal of the charge. After the charge is dismissed, you can then have it expunged from the record. I have a case later this week in which my client was charged with Public Drunkenness by a State College officer, and he has agreed to such an arrangement. I simply need to appear with my client before the judge to formally accept the agreement.

    Jason S. Dunkle
    PSU Alum & State College Criminal Defense Attorney
    (814) 954-7622 or email jd@mystatecollegelawyer.com

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  • Can I voluntarily remove myself from ard and pay the initial misdemeanor fine?

    I was accepted into ard program but I cannot afford the program fees. Can I remove myself from the program and plead guilty and just pay the fine

    Jason’s Answer

    In many counties, the cost of a conviction are very similar to ARD costs. Many people mistakenly believe that a conviction only results in the payment of a fine, which is much less than the total ARD costs and fees. What you may not realize is that many of the ARD costs and fees would also be added to your case if you plead guilty. For example, you must pay for the Alcohol Highway Safety School, costs of the blood test, probation supervision fees, and other mandatory DUI-related costs and fees as part of ARD or as part of your sentence if you are convicted. Do not think that you would only be required to pay the minimum fine and thereby save a lot of money.

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

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  • We just got offer to apply for ARD program for son who got caught with marijuana in college. What does program involve?

    Do I need a lawyer to apply for the program>

    Jason’s Answer

    There is a difference between what you "need" and what you should do. I do not "need" a mechanic to fix the knocking sound coming from my car engine, and I do not "need" a contracting to build a house, but if I want to make sure that it is done and done right, then I would hire a professional. An ARD disposition is not overly difficult for an experienced attorney, just as changing brakes on my vehicle is not overly difficult for an experienced mechanic. People routinely ask me what I would do if it were my children. If the case were outside out the 3-4 counties in which I practice, I would hire an attorney with experience in the county in which my little one got into trouble. I would would want to know that everything was taken care of properly to ensure that my child appeared in court when necessary, was aware of all ARD components, my questions were answered, and, probably most importantly, the attorney took care of the expungement process upon completion of ARD. A possible criminal record is something that is too important to just try to wing it on one's own.

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

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  • Will a public intoxication charge in Pennsylvania show up on a background check when i just paid a fine after pleading guilty?

    I was charged with Public drunkenness and similar misconduct. It said i was drunk to the point that i can be a danger to myself and to others around me. They did not arrest me. I got a fine of 247 $ which i paid with pleading guilty as i wanted to...

    Jason’s Answer

    Pennsylvania summary non-traffic offenses like Underage Drinking and Public Drunkenness can show up on a criminal background search. It simply depends upon how deep of a background search is run. Records are the case are readily accessible on a free database maintained by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC), and many private background search companies access or purchase access to the AOPC. I would recommend that you be prepared to discuss the case with prospective employers at interviews in case it does come up. I was previously contacted by someone that had pleaded guilty to the same charge and was not accepted into an accelerated nursing program because of the conviction.

    Jason S. Dunkle, Esquire

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  • My brother was arrested for DUI but taken straight to hospital for BAC and sent home after. Never booked or read rights. Help???

    He was never read Rights Never given information or booked or taken to police station. Cited or anything

    Jason’s Answer

    I address the questions that you have posed and a few other common DUI questions in great detail on my website. I recommend that you check them out by clicking on the link below. Then you should contact Philadelphia DUI lawyer to discuss precisely how cases are handled in that area.

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

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  • Second dui

    I had a dui 7 years ago and i wasnt able to get ARD cuz i was at the legal limit so i got the min on everything. I just got my 2 dui in aug. Am i able to get ARD considering i couldnt with my first dui?

    Jason’s Answer

    No. The fact that you did not participate in ARD in the past is not the primary factor. ARD is simply not available if you have a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania within the past 10 years. You are prohibited by law from being considered to participate in the ARD program.

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

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