Juvenile cases can create a daunting challenge to defense attorneys. While the juvenile justice system requires the same due process upon arrest as adult court, juvenile offenders are more susceptible to police abuse. This can lead to the Commonwealth being less stringent finding the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Depending upon the seriousness of the crime committed, juveniles may be charged as adults which leads to adult sanctions upon a finding of guilt. R. Patrick Link has extensive experience assisting minors and their families through the juvenile justice system. While employed at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Link spent time trying cases in the Juvenile unit where he learned the nuances of the juvenile justice system. Whether the case is brought into the juvenile or adult court, Mr. Link has proven approaches to defending minors facing a variety of charges, including: homicide, aggravated assault, drug charges, robbery, gun offenses, curfew violations, and many others.
In Pennsylvania, driving under the influence of a mind-altering substance is known as a DUI. It is the job of the Commonwealth to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual was incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle due to the use of drugs or alcohol. Numerous Constitutional issues often arise that may serve to defeat a DUI case, such as whether the police made an illegal traffic stop or lacked probable cause to administer blood testing or use of a breathalyzer. Mr. Link has extensive experience analyzing the Constitutional aspects of DUI cases and attacking the legality of police actions when appropriate. His aggressive approach and legal expertise ensure that your interests are represented every step of the way.
In certain cases where there are large amounts of drugs or cash involved in an arrest there may be a Nebbia Order attached to bail. This requires that the person who wishes to pay bail to prove to the judge that the money being posted came from a “legitimate source” and not illegal activities. This is proven with bank account records, real estate holdings, and other documentation. Mr. Link has extensive experience representing defendants in Nebbia hearings.
When an individual is arrested and placed in custody it is a top priority to get the individual released from jail in a timely fashion. However, in recent months the District Attorney’s office has undertaken a public campaign to push for higher bail amounts for those arrested in Philadelphia for drug offenses, gun charges, and violent crimes. When re-examining bail, judges consider the defendant’s prior record, employment status, ties to the community, and many other factors. Attorney Link makes it a priority to obtain all necessary background information as soon as possible to be prepared to file a motion to reduce bail, and understands the laws and procedures that apply to situations where bail is excessive. Mr. Link has successfully advocated for individuals seeking bail reductions or release from jail.
Robbery & Burglary
The offenses of robbery and burglary are felonies but vary in degree depending on the facts and circumstances of each case. Robbery is the taking of property from another with force, and burglary is defined as entering a premises with the intent to commit any crime inside of the property. When prosecuting such cases the District Attorney typically relies on eyewitness testimony, although misidentification is very common. Mr. Link has fought and won many cases by convincing judges and juries that the defendant was in fact misidentified through cross examination and effective argument. Because every case is fact-specific, felony and misdemeanor theft charges require a knowledgeable and aggressive defense. Mr. Link has secured numerous acquittals for people accused of robbery, burglary, and related offenses.
Homicide charges are categorized differently based upon the circumstances of the crime. The most severe is first degree murder which is considered willful and premeditated. Second degree murder is murder that is committed while the defendant was engaged as a principal or accomplice in the perpetration of a felony. Voluntary manslaughter is a killing done “in the heat of passion” and without legal justification. Finally, third degree murder is any other kind of murder. Attorney Link has skilled investigators who will, when necessary, turn over every stone looking for facts and witnesses that can produce a not guilty verdict or a verdict on a lesser degree of homicide. Homicides in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties are prosecuted by the most talented assistant district attorneys, therefore you need a homicide lawyer to match and counter their every move. Attorney Link accomplishes this with vigorous investigation and pre-trial motions to give the client the best chance of winning the case at trial.
Assault charges are typically that of simple or aggravated assault. Simple assault is defined as attempting to cause, or intentionally causing bodily injury to another person, and aggravated assault is committed when a person causes or attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another. The main distinction between the two charges is how bodily injury versus serious bodily injury is defined; bodily injury is considered impairment of physical condition or substantial pain, while serious bodily injury creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ. Additionally, if a member of a “protected class”, such as a police officer or teacher, is assaulted the individual would be charged with aggravated assault regardless of severity of injury or intent. Often times a person charged with assault is justified in the force they employ to defend themselves, and this may be overlooked based upon the extent of injury incurred. The law protects individuals who are justified in the use of force and you need an experienced attorney to convince a judge or jury that you are worthy of such protection.
Gun or Firearm Offenses
Many weapons violations and gun offenses arise from complicated situations and are coupled with charges for violent crimes or drug dealing. A conviction on a gun charge can lead to a mandatory minimum of five to ten years in state prison. Mr. Link is a former Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney who was assigned to the Gun Violence Task force, and he will use his vast experience prosecuting and defending such cases to determine your best course of action.
Sex offenses are some of the most serious crimes that result in lasting legal, social, and professional consequences under Pennsylvania law. The testimony of one single witness, without any physical evidence whatsoever, can be enough to sustain a conviction for a sex crime. It is a common occurrence that individuals who reported a sexual assault have motive to fabricate. It is important to have a skilled attorney representing you in these cases to bring any potential motives by the complainant to light and convince a jury that the Commonwealth has not met their burden of proof. Mr. Link takes an aggressive approach to defending clients accused of sex offenses, and has won acquittals for clients facing some of the most serious sex crimes imaginable through delicate cross examination of witnesses.
Drug abuse is a growing epidemic throughout Philadelphia and surrounding counties; thus this increases the demand for illegal substances to be available. This leads to an overwhelming percentage of drug related arrests, including simple possession and possession with intent to deliver. The law involving how/when police can stop, investigate, detain, and arrest individuals before drugs are recovered is constantly changing. Attorney Link has litigated over a thousand cases involving these issues and knows how and when to claim that the police acted illegally and that all evidence should be suppressed (commonly leading to dismissal of the case). Attorney Link has proven strategies that have been successful at trial for a variety of drug related offenses.