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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 89392
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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Please Help! My husband was charged with a 3rd degree felony

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Please Help! My husband was charged with a 3rd degree felony in Pennsylvania, a 6111 carge of sale or transfer of a firearm. In June of 2009 he went to a store to buy a .22 target pistol to go to the range with my brother. His purchase was denied. A few weeks after this he recieved a letter from the state police that he had 2 previous 302 involuntary commitments from 2000, and was prohibited from owning a firearm. When he went to the hospital those times he had voluntarily signed himself in, but the records state that the doctors filed 302 paperwork, which he was unaware of. The charges state that he "knowingly and willfully tried to decieve" My husband has been a nurse since 2002, is licensed in two states, has has countless background checks, including FBI checks. He has had clearances to work in a jail. The nursing boards asked the same question " Have you ever been involuntarily commited?" which he always answered no. He refuses to do anything about this and just says that he is screwed. He had an arrest in 1999 for theft charges in which he was placed on ARD and his record expunged. Will he go to jail? I have been to a dozen lawyers and have heard everything from this is no big deal to he will do 7 years. He has no disiplinary action on either nursing license and in the year and 3 months it took for them to charge him he hasn't even had so much as a parking ticket. What can I realistically expect?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 years ago.
Good morning,

Are you asking whether he will go to jail over the attempt to get the .22 target pistol---or are you talking about something else? If so, what are the facts surrounding the new charge?

Doug
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They also charged him with unsworn falsification, but that will not affect his license. The felony will have his license revoked, but more importantly it could send him to jail. We have 2 small children and he is the only one that works. I am just tring to figure out if jail is a real possibility. Some of the lawyers said that this will be reduced to two summeries, some say he will do 7 years on a weapons charge, some say he could get ARD again because the last time he was in trouble was over 10 years ago. The ones that said he would go to jail wanted huge retainers and the others who said it was no big deal wanter as little as $250. I am most worried about the jail time. He is a male nurse, they will kill him in jail. He has spent his life caring for people, he doesn;t have it in him to survive jail.

Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 years ago.
Please respond directly to my 2 simple questions. If you ignore what I ask, I can not help you because I don't have a clue what the facts are. Keep in mind that I must also depend on what you say. If you say that he had no idea that he was involuntarily held---then I will presume he can prove that.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Here are the facts: The PSP sent the case to the local police because the 302 information was not complete, the local police had to serch for old medical records to see that the doctors had recommened a 302. Then they state that the doctors ordered a 302. The only proof we have is that my father-in-law was with him when he went to the hospital and the hospital gave him the choice of either going voluntarily, or they would have to have a 302 hearing. He went voluntarily and didn't think anything like this would happen

Expert:  LawTalk replied 3 years ago.
I'm going to opt out and allow another expert the opportunity to assist you. I wish you and your husband well.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Your previous expert has asked me to assist you. First, the reason you have some attorneys telling you he could do 7 years is because that is the maximum sentence for the first offense and when they are able to negotiate it down (as the other attorneys said would likely happen) they will look like a hero to you. Also, some attorneys always tell the clients the worst scenario because this way the client cannot come back later if the attorney cannot get the charges reduced and accuse the attorney of making promises they cannot keep. Second, while these charges are serious, if he has mitigating facts here to show that the involuntary commitment was never perfected even if the doctors may have suggested it, then the chances are better than not that his attorney will be able to argue that no involuntary commitment was ever actually served and that he had no way of knowing that one was every even suggested by the doctors. While nobody can predict the outcome here, if the facts are as you say, then chances are a good attorney will be able to negotiate with the prosecutors to something that is at the very least a minimal offense and likely could get a dismissal (but none of this is a guarantee, which is what the attorneys telling you 7 years are trying to make you understand). What you need to do is just get him an attorney, pick one that is in the middle of the pack, not the cheapest not the most expensive, and then give them all of the information and evidence you have available for them to negotiate his case. This is the best you can do for him.

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Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 89392
Experience: Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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