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Andrea E. Mertz
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Andrea Mertz’s Answers

544 total


  • Am I automatically disqualified from working in a hospital in Pittsburgh PA of I was convicted of a felony 30 years ago?

    My employer is now requiring background checks on everyone due to state law. I was convicted of a felony 30 years ago and it was a possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. I have worked in a hospital for the past 20 years and now ...

    Andrea’s Answer

    Look to see if previous convictions or pending charges are addressed in your employee manual.

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  • Should I plead not guilty to public drunkenness?

    I was drunk and fell asleep on a bench waiting at the bus stop I am of age and blew a .100. Is this going to appear on my record if I plead guilty? Can I plead not guilty and try to plead down to get a lesser offence? If so what offence? Thank you...

    Andrea’s Answer

    Public drunkeness is a summary offense. A conviction will appear on your permanent record. You can petition for expungement of a summary offense after five years. With that, consider hiring an attorney.

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  • I've been charged with a dui and a 1543b does that mean I have to do jail time no matter what?

    My liscence was suspended for a dui 17 years ago, I've had a few driving under suspensions since then. And I have 2 dui pending. One has not been scheduled for court yet and I just got the other a couple weeks ago.

    Andrea’s Answer

    IF convicted of the two DUIs and the 1543(b) offense you will spend time in jail. However, if you do not challenge the charges and instead plead guilty, then there are programs you can participate in to reduce any incarceration time. Talk with an experienced DUI attorney in your county and discover whether you have any room to challenge the underlying DUIs. Good Luck!

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  • Second arrest in PA for Retail Theft

    I was arrested in PA for Retail Theft ten years ago, completed an ARD program, and had my charges expunged. The charge was graded as an M-1 ($282). I was recently re-arrested for a Retail Theft, but the charge has not yet been graded. Th...

    Andrea’s Answer

    Second Retail thefts are by statute M-2s if the value of the merchandise is less than $150. You will be finger printed to confirm if there you had any prior arrests for Retail Theft.

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  • Can a magistrate ban me and my friend from social media and not provide a reason?

    My friend and I just got banned from all social media for 3 months, until the review of the case, or for forever, and if we use any social media that we would go to jail. I'm 17 and my friend just turned 18. My mother asked her reasoning and she s...

    Andrea’s Answer

    Hopefully, you had an attorney with you when you were before the Magistrate. If so, your attorney would know how to file a motion to modify that condition. Most likely, it is a condition of bail and a violation will mean that your bail is revoked and you would be put in detention or jail till the case is complete. I have seen courts ban internet access totally in situations where the alleged offense is one that involved internet use.

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  • What do you do if your court appointed attorney was suspended and you have a VOP?

    I recently missed a contempt of court hearing due to mail issues, paid the bail, warrant was cancelled, attended the hearing and put on civil probation. I had a case from 2002 that I now received a VOP for this warrant and failure to pay fines. I ...

    Andrea’s Answer

    He absolutely cannot represent you until he finishes his suspension.

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  • Expunging a misdemeanor charge

    Last time I spoke with an attorney I was told that the charge I had on my record, in order to get rid of it, I needed a governor's pardon, I was wondering what is the process of getting this and if this truly is the only method of expunging a mis...

    Andrea’s Answer

    Pardon is the only way to have something considered "off your record". Pardons take a long time and there is no guarantee that you would be pardoned. If you with multiple other offenses, but those were withdrawn or dismissed (i.e. no guilt finding), you can petition to expunge those charges that did not result in a finding of guilt.

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  • If someone commits a crime against you, if it's a misdemeanor or even a felony, you file those charges at a magistrates, right?

    Where would you file Federal charges against someone? Would 'Witness Tampering' (18 USC- 1512) be the same as 'Witness Intimidation'? Also, is that considered a Federal crime? One other question: If a Judge found out, a witness in a hearing was...

    Andrea’s Answer

    Call the local police and report the crime. If police do not file charges, you can fioe a private criminal case at the District Attorney s office in tge county where crime occured.

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  • Do I need an attorney for a summary trial?

    I am the victim and have pressed charges. The person that I pressed charges against pled not guilty and it is now going to summary trial. Should I obtain an attorney to prosecute/represent me and what type of law should they specialize in? Thank you!

    Andrea’s Answer

    Ifvthe alleged crime is a summary and defendant is challenging, the Commonwealth will be represented by the arresting officer, no district attorney usually.

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  • Another underage drinking charge. Facing jail time?

    Am I likely to get jail time? Last November, I got picked up for underage drinking and agreed to go to outpatient counseling as part of my plea. Last week, I got picked up again for a bunch of minor charges, like disorderly conduct and public drun...

    Andrea’s Answer

    The first offense was taken care of by an agreement that you go to treatment and the charge was held in abeyance until you completed treatment. The understanding was that you not be involved in any police contact. Yoh were. So, the first charge comes back. If you are scheduled for arraignment, you are facing misdemeanor charges. This could bring long term consequences. You will lose you lidense for at least 3 months. Speak to a local attorney.

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