A large part of my 16 years of practice has been spent representing serious felony offenders, i.e. those charged with assault, drug trafficking, murder, rape and robbery. I have tried cases to jury successfully on many occasions. While it is my hope that you or a loved one never faces a serious felony offense, it’s comforting to know that experienced counsel is available for free consultation. In addition, I understand that all cases, whether it be retail theft, drug possession or an alcohol-related offense is serious when it involves you or somebody you care about. At Terry Hess Law, every criminal case receives the same thorough defense and advocacy.
A Driving Under the Influence conviction can be extremely debilitating. If convicted of DUI, you can go to jail, lose your license and pay thousands of dollars in fines and costs. Some of the hidden costs include the inability to get affordable auto insurance, loss of employment or marketability for employment, loss or inability to get certain professional licenses and the prohibition from carrying a firearm. If cited for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs of abuse, call my office.
Pennsylvania’s points-based penalty system can cause you to lose your license more quickly than in other states. For instance, for accumulating only 6 points, PennDOT will require you to take a written examination to test your knowledge of safe driving practices. If you accumulate 11 or more points, your license will be suspended for at least two months. You can accumulate 3 points for such common traffic violations as exceeding the speed limit by 11 miles an hour, improper stopping and failure to yield. Meanwhile, it takes 12 full months without any traffic infractions to remove 3 points off your driving record. So, before simply signing the Guilty line on your citation and paying the fine, call my office. I’ve had a great deal of success in helping drivers avoid points-based convictions, enabling them to stay on the road.
A common misconception is that a child’s record is wiped clean on their 18th birthday and they get a whole new lease on life. This is simply not true. In fact, if over the age of 14 and charged with an offense that would be a felony as an adult, anyone can see the record of that offense in the future. A juvenile record can affect a young adult’s ability to enlist in the military, get a job, get into college or obtain financial aid, be eligible for public benefits and get a driver’s license. If you receive a call or a knock on your door from a police officer, notifying you that your child has been arrested, please call me immediately.
How Does This Process Work and What am I Paying For?
Typically, legal fees can be determined during your free consultation.
The amount of the fee depends on several factors, including but not limited to:
▶ The severity of charges
▶ The number of charges
▶ The number and length of anticipated court hearings
▶ The distance of travel from State College to those court hearings
Cases based on a flat fee:
▶ I accept criminal, DUI, traffic and juvenile cases on a flat-fee basis. The flat fee means you will not be asked for additional money while your case proceeds.
▶ For criminal and DUI cases, the flat fee covers all matters of your defense through pre-trial hearing or through sentencing should your case resolve by way of plea bargain prior to or during your pre-trial hearing.
▶ For juvenile cases, the flat fee covers all matters of your defense through disposition hearing.
▶ For traffic cases, the flat fee covers all matters of your defense through summary trial.
The flat fee is a payment for services rendered regardless of the outcome of the case.
What are you responsible for?
All restitution, fines and/or court costs if applicable at the conclusion of the case.
What if I go to trial?
Should your criminal or DUI case go to trial and you would like me to continue to represent you at trial, a separate agreement for legal fees will be proposed to you. This will take into consideration:
▶ The number and severity of counts that remain
▶ The number of pre-trial motions and hearings that will be necessary
▶ Whether a bench trial or jury trial is more appropriate
▶ Length of time the trial is expected to take
Price quotations for legal fees through jury trial are available upon request
Any fees received in excess of the initial flat fee for representation through pre-trial will be held in a client trust account until the client and I agree that they should be released for use in preparation for jury trial.
▶ All college and high school students with cases in Centre County courts will receive a 10% discount on legal fees.
▶ Students with cases in counties contiguous to Centre County will receive a 5% discount on legal fees.
Payment can be made by cash, cashier’s check, money order or major credit card. A 3% convenience fee will be charged for credit card transactions completed over the phone.