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Jason S Dunkle
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Jason Dunkle’s Answers

176 total


  • In Pennsylvania will you lose your driver's license for possession of a "small amount of Marijuana" ?

    Caught with possession of less then a gram of marijuana

    Jason’s Answer

    If you plead guilty or are convicted of Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana under 35 P.S. 80-113(a)(31), there is a mandatory license suspension under 75 Pa.C.S. 5132(c). For a first offense, the suspension is 6 months. In order to avoid the suspension, you must avoid a conviction of that charge. You should talk to an attorney in that area to see if there is anyway to avoid the conviction.

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  • If an officer doesn't hand you a citation for underage drinking, can you still receive one?

    Last night I went to a party with my friends at Penn State. On the way home my friend urinated on a building. An officer saw this and stopped us. There was no one sober to take me home so the officer called me an ambulance. After I got into the am...

    Jason’s Answer

    You are likely to receive an Underage Drinking citation, and possibly a Public Drunkenness citation, in the mail. It is pretty routine that people that are transported are not given a citation immediately because the police are concerned that they person may be too drunk to keep track of the citation. People are often cited and released generally or cited and released to a sober friend. Within the next week or so, you are likely to receive the citations in the mail and will have 10 days thereafter to enter a plea.

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  • First time offense, and a was given one year for refusal AND one year for a DUI. Is the Refusal the automatic one year?

    Co worker who I now give a ride to everyday had his license suspended for an event in which he refused the chemical test. Was given 1 year by DMV for the refusal. The court found him guilty for DUI and was given another year suspension. Seems a ...

    Jason’s Answer

    A refusal to the blood test does trigger a civil, administrative suspension from PennDOT that is 1 year for the first refusal. A person is not eligible to obtain an Occupational Limited License (OLL) for this suspension. The person also faces a suspension based upon the DUI charge in criminal court. With him being convicted, he would face another 1 year suspension for the criminal charge. He is eligible to obtain an OLL to give him limited driving privileges after serving 60 days of the suspension.

    Depending upon how long ago his case was handled, he may be able to use the recent Supreme Court opinion in Birchfield to challenge the suspensions. He should talk to his lawyer that provided representation to see if Birchfield may apply.

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  • Does a state trooper have to read you your rights when arresting you for a dui

    I got arrested for a dui the other day and The officer never read me my rights. And the only paper that I signed was for my blood work.

    Jason’s Answer

    Miranda warnings are only applicable if a person is in custody and being interrogated, meaning questioned about criminal activity. A person is not in "custody" during the initial traffic stop, so Miranda warnings are not applicable. Police can question the person about how many drinks were consumed and do not need to Mirandize at that time because the person is not in custody. When a DUI suspect is arrested, the police generally stop questioning until after the blood test.

    If the officer did question you while you were in custody, it does not result in the dismissal of the charges. A violation allows you to seek suppression of your statements.

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  • Can I do this on my own or is a lawyer necessary

    I was given a citation for underage alcohol possession in 2014. I am now 21 and would like to have this expunged. Do I use form 490 or 790. It took place in Columbia county PA

    Jason’s Answer

    Because an expungement is important, I recommend that you hire an attorney to take care of it. While expungements are not overly complicated, I often see cases in which they are not handled properly and thereby are opposed by the DA and rejected by the court. Also, while the expungement law is uniform across the state of PA, every county has their own quirks in how expungements are handled. In some counties, additional documents, aside from the standard PSP background search report, must be attached in order to be considered. Some counties schedule hearing on all expungement requests, where as other counties grant the expungement without a hearing if the DA does not oppose the expungement. In some counties, the petitioner is required to send certified copies of the expungement order to all the government agencies and departments, but, in other counties, the clerk of courts take care of it for you. The moral of the story is that the expungement law and the forms make the process appear easy, but it is often not easy in practice if you do not know the details of processes in the particular county involved.

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

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  • Do I have to participate in the VRP? Should I call to get my BAC? Should I get an attorney? Do I need to report to my employer?

    I was arrested for DUI 11 days ago. I have not received my charges, result of BAC, or fines in the mail. I attempted to contact the officer who stopped me, but no return phone call. I was just going to wait but I received a referral to the VRP fro...

    Jason’s Answer

    In the long term, you should hire a criminal defense attorney. In the short term, you should speak with an attorney that specializes in professional licensing. While the criminal charges and the nursing issue are related, the two processes are handled separately. The best licensing attorney that I know in the area is William "Skip" Arbuckle at Mazza Law Group in State College.

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

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  • Can an expunged underage be removed from my driver's record?

    I received an Underage Drinking charge my senior year of high school, and before I turned 21 I completed the process of having it expunged (my license was suspended 90 days and I took a class). All seemed well. Now upon reviewing my driver's recor...

    Jason’s Answer

    I have represented thousands of Penn State students charged with Underage Drinking. You are able to expunge and Underage charge from both the criminal record and the driving record as long as you have turned 21 and have served the sentence, which means paid the fines and restored your PA driving privileges. The issue is probably that PennDOT was not served with a copy of the expungement order that would have been signed by the judge. If PennDOT was not served with a copy of the expungement order, then PennDOT would not expunge the notation of the suspension from your driving record. If you have a copy of the expungement order from the criminal charge, send it to PennDOT.

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

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  • 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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