Month: December 2013

Officer on Disciplinary Leave After Arrest of Drunk Driver

Graham HoltshausenWe rely on the police to protect us from criminals. That is their job, and it’s a very tough and demanding one that can offer little thanks. The stress of having to constantly deal with criminals and the legal system can be very wearing. Some bear it with a smile, but others push a little too far and end up getting disciplined. Then there are those that push way too far and see court time where they’re in the defendant’s seat.

In a story out of Delaware and reported on the AP wire, a Bethany Beach police officer is appealing a disciplinary decision. The decision to suspend the officer without pay comes from an incident where it was said he used excessive force in the arrest of a drunk driver and falsified two police reports. The officer was acquitted of the assault charge, but has been on disciplinary leave since then.… Read More

Entrapment Harms Everybody

Wells P. Wilson

The scope of the government stings were supposed to target the worst criminals who had lengthy criminal histories. This is all being reexamined by a Philadelphia federal court. An undercover video obtained exclusively by WPVI-TV/DT Action News in Philadelphia candidly depicts the inner operations of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) which is accused of entrapping people with the stash house stings.he federal government is accused of targeting African Americans and other minorities in stash house stings. Undercover police video footage indicates that some of the defendants were entrapped in raids that were motivated by race in both Philadelphia and other areas around the United States. The video was obtained as a part of a current federal lawsuit which alleges that the ATF willingly and knowingly entrapped defendants by encouraging them to commit a crime.

The operation works when a confidential informant goes to police, offering to identify a crew of allegedly dangerous criminals with a large cache of drugs sitting in a house.When… Read More

Child Dies after Possible Drunk Driving Crash

Liz JonesA 26-year-old Chicago man, who is still currently hospitalized, has been charged early Friday morning in connection with the Christmas Eve crash that killed his own daughter. Jeffery Smith, of the 5600 block of South Wolcott Avenue, faces charges of aggravated DUI leading to an accident or death, in addition to citations for negligent driving, failure to reduce speed and a child restraint violation.

First responders found Smith’s Chevy Impala on its side against a tree on the 1000 block of West Garfield Boulevard late Tuesday night. It took more than 40 minutes to extricate Smith from the vehicle, authorities said, and it wasn’t until they were inside that they noticed the girl was also pinned inside.

Investigators stated in court that at the time of the accident, Smith had a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .137, well over the legal limit of .08.  Prosecutors also said that Smith also had cannabis in his system before the crash that killed Smith’s 8 year old daughter.… Read More

Acting as Designated Driver Doesn’t Always Work Out

Police-stationThe Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis always advocates that those individuals who have been drinking should utilize a designated driver or other means of safe transportation home. However, as the following story illustrates, agreeing to be a designated driver is not advisable if one has been drinking. According to a recent report at, a New Jersey woman ended up getting not just one, but two of her friends in hot water after she called one of them to act as her designated driver following her arrest for DUI. This incident began over the weekend in New Jersey when 34-year-old Carmen Reatequi was pulled over for swerving on Route 22 East. After failing a sobriety test, Reatequi was permitted to leave the police station, so long as she had a safe means of transportation home.

Reatequi called her friend, Nina Petracca, a 23-year-old Dunellen woman, for a ride home.… Read More

Be Careful This New Year’s Eve

Tim PearceNew Year’s Eve is the one night of the year when DUI incidents reach their peak.

Every year, more people use alcohol to help ring in the New Year. No matter what night of the year it is, however, drunken driving is never a good idea.

Jenny Robinson of AAA, affirms that the night of New Year’s Eve is the most dangerous time for drunken driving crashes: “In Pennsylvania last year, 41 percent of holiday weekend traffic deaths were related to alcohol use, compared to a 33 percent share of the total traffic deaths for the full year.”

Robinson says that those are some pretty solid number and went on to state that the rank of New Year’s Eve as any given year’s deadliest holiday in terms of alcohol-related fatalities as being consistent.

Wanting to celebrate ringing out the old year and is perfectly normal. But if you are going to celebrate, do so safely.… Read More

Country Singer Arrested with DWI

Country singer Chris Cagle has been arrested near Grreenville, Texas on a charge of DWI. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, Cagle was arrested earlier this month near 50 miles northeast of Dallas. The Texas state agency indicated that the 45-year-old entertainer was pulled over after failure to stop at a red light.

Hunt County jail records show that Cagle, of Marietta, Okla., wasn’t in custody Tuesday. The sheriff’s office didn’t immediately provide further information on the arrest. Cagle’s 2002 single “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s country music chart.

No matter what state you are in, DUI or DWI charges can hold stiff penalties if you are convicted. In the state of Pennsylvania, an experienced DUI defense lawyer will do everything possible in order to defend their clients and try to either eliminate or reduce any DUI or DUI-related charges that have been filed against them.… Read More

Driver Speeds 100 MPH Down I-295

John TalbotA New Jersey driver is now facing a number of charges after he led state police on a high speed chase through Camden County. According to reports, the incident occurred after 1:00 a.m. on Sunday on I-295 in Burlington Township.

A New Jersey state trooper attempted to pull over the driver of a Crown Victoria with Virginia tags for alleged traffic violations. Police reports state that instead of stopping, the driver sped away reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour down I-295 and Route 73 in Mt. Laurel. The driver eventually took the exit located at Creek Road, turning on to Route 130.

Police report that the driver finally pulled over at the Pennsauken Animal Hospital. He then left his vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. State troopers caught up with him and took him into custody.

We don’t know if alcohol played a role in this incident, but alcohol and high-speed chases frequently go together.… Read More

Four Vehicle Accident in Juniata

John SablemanTwo men have been injured in a four vehicle accident in the Juniata section of Philadelphia on Saturday morning. According to authorities, the accident occurred at Castor and Lycoming Avenues early Saturday morning. Police say the driver of a Dodge Charger hit a Kia, causing the Kia to flip over. The vehicle also managed to strike a parked Toyota SUV as well as a Pontiac.

Two men inside the Charger were taken to area hospitals and are currently listed in stable condition. The accident remains under investigation. Currently there is no word on whether the crash was alcohol related or if any charges are pending.

Over the holidays, it is natural to want to celebrate. A drink with a few friends is not necessarily a bad thing if you remember do so in moderation. If, however, you drink and drive and are stopped for DUI, or Driving Under the Influence, it is considered a criminal offense.… Read More

Chain Reaction Crash Leads to DUI Charge

Credit: Michael GilThe driver of a minivan has been charged with DUI after colliding with another vehicle and forcing it into a parked car in a chain reaction crash. The crash occurred around 12:15 a.m. early Friday morning in the East Mount Airy section of Philadelphia in the 100 block of East Sharpnack Street according to the news report.

Two people who were passengers in the accident, a 75-year-old man and a 45-year-old man, were taken to the hospital in stable condition.

When you drink and drive, it is a criminal offense. Being convicted of DUI offenses can have serious consequences in terms of not only insurance costs, heavy fines and jail time. A conviction can also cost your job. It is important to choose an attorney to defend you who knows the law inside and out and can help defend you against this charge.

Steven E. Kellis has over 20 years successfully representing clients and DUI cases are his specialty.… Read More

DUI leads to DUI leads to DUI

Three friends, one after the other has each been charged with DUI over the weekend. Carmen Reatequi, 34, of Whitehouse Station was pulled over by a patrolman for swerving on Route 22 East. Officers administered field sobriety tests which she failed. Police said that they would release the woman if she could arrange to get a ride for herself.

Reatequi called her friend, Nina Petracca, 23, for the ride. When Petracca arrived at the station, Patrolman Peter Serrone began to explain the potential liability form to her. Petracca stated to the officer that she had driven to the station. Patrolman Serrone noticed that Petracca was also displaying signs of being intoxicated. Serrone administered sobriety tests in the lobby of the building to Petracca, which she failed.

Petracca then called Ryan Hogan, 33 to ask him for a ride. Again, the officer was explaining the potential liability form to Hogan when police again detected the scent of alcohol.… Read More