The Mazza Law Group, P.C.
2790 W. College Ave., Suite 800
State College, PA 16801 March 10, 2016
(814) 237-6255

Criminal Trial Success

The criminal trial success stories of criminal defense attorney Steve Trialonas are summarized below:

Somerset Man Accused of Indecent Assault Found Not Guilty of All Charges

Somerset, Pennsylvania man accused of inappropriately touching his niece over the course of three years was charged with 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3126 Indecent Assault, and 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3127 Indecent Exposure. The client had married into the family, and a large faction didn’t like him and resented his wife. At the preliminary hearing, criminal lawyer Steven P. Trialonas asked multiple questions of the 13 year old complainant concerning the details of the alleged assault. During the discovery phase of the case, the report and notes of the forensic interview was obtained as well as police reports recounting what the young lady told officers. The next step was to interview family members who were able to offer a motive for the young lady’s father to plant the seed of a false accusation.

During negotiations, it became evident a plea was out of the question. The client remained steadfast in proclaiming his innocence, and his prior record score would have required 5-10 years in prison if he pled or was found guilty of the charges; a jury trial ensued.

During jury selection, criminal lawyer Steven P. Trialonas made sure all the jurors who would decide the client’s fate could be fair and impartial. At trial, multiple witnesses were cross examined and the defense called several witnesses. On cross examination of the complainant, attorney Trialonas walked through each time she had told her story and how it had changed each time. Under the skillful cross examination of defense attorney Steven Trialonas, the complainant added a new fact to the story, one that she hadn’t told anyone previously although she recounted the story many times.

After a two day jury trial, the jury returned verdicts of Not Guilty to all counts charged, and the client was cleared of the allegation. [/EXPAND]

Aggravated Assault Trial stemming from Domestic Dispute Exposes Gender Bias and False Reports; Client Found Not Guilty of All Counts

Client, a Penn State Student, returns to the apartment he shares with his girlfriend after going home for break. Client’s girlfriend is waiting for him and is very upset, the two had a phone argument in the car on his way back. Girlfriend physically assaults client multiple times before he is able to call his mother for guidance. Before that can occur, girlfriend calls police and tells them that she has been abused, and chocked to the point she thought she was going to die.

Client is promptly charged with 18 Pa.C.S.A. §2702(A)(1) Aggravated Assault, (a felony of the first degree punishable by up to 20 years in prison), 18 Pa.C.S.A. 2702(A)(1) Simple Assault, 18 Pa.C.S.A. §2702(A)(3) Simple Assault, and 18 Pa.C.S.A. §2702(A)(1) Recklessly Endangering Another Person. Defense attorney Steven P. Trialonas immediately took action and began the initial investigation. At the preliminary hearing, the complainant was cross-examined about the details of the alleged assault. The arresting officer was also crossed concerning the lack of injuries on the complainant to support the Aggravated Assault charge. Ultimately the magistrate decided all charges would be bound over into the Court of Common Pleas.

Turning down the initial plea offer of 2-4 years in state prison, criminal lawyer Steven P. Trialonas began to prep the case for trial. Photos of the apartment were taken during a visit where a reenactment was staged. It became clear this was a case where the client had been victimized and the complainant was exaggerating parts of the event and completely lying about other parts.

During the jury trial, criminal lawyer Steven Trialonas took his time cross-examining the complainant, where he confronted her with her prior testimony, the 9-1-1 call recording, the recorded interview with the lead detective, and photos of the apartment. It became clear to the jury that this young lady was lying. In fact, one juror asked to be excused because she had already made up her mind the client was not guilty and didn’t feel she could be fair to the prosecution if permitted to remain on the jury.

The only just verdict, Not Guilty on all counts, was returned by the jury after a short deliberation.

Penn State Fraternity President charged with Lying to Police Found Not Guilty of All Counts after Jury Trial

Client, a Penn State Student and president of a prestigious fraternity, was startled when a fire alarm went off in the house. Upon further inspection, the client discovered that two uninitiated pledges were in the basement alone when the fire started. As the pledges were supposed to be initiated by the date of the fire, the client knew that if the governing body found out, the fraternity would be sanctioned. When the fire inspector and police arrived the client told them that two different fraternity brothers were in the basement and started the fire for fun but it got out of control. The other brothers confirmed. Without counsel, all parties involved provided written statements to the police containing the false information concerning who was in the basement when the fire broke out. As the newspapers began to pick up the story, it looked like the two who were trying to take the fall for the pledges were going to be charged. To correct the situation, the client provided the police with a second statement admitting the first statement was a lie.

The client was then charged with 18 Pa.C.S.A. §5105 Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, 18 Pa.C.S.A. §4904(A)(1) False Reports to Law Enforcement Authorities, and 18 Pa.C.S.A. §4906 Unsworn Falsification to Authorities. Skilled criminal lawyer Steven P. Trialonas immediately took action.

The client was studying business and had already interned with governmental offices. A misdemeanor on his record would have eliminated many great opportunities. Turning down the plea offer of 4 years probation for two misdemeanor offenses, State College criminal lawyer Steven P. Trialonas began to prep the case for trial. Of the four defendants charged, two agreed to cooperate and testify against the client at trial, making the job even more difficult. Attorney Trialonas reviewed hours of recorded interviews between the police and those charged, combing evidence that would support the defense.

During the jury trial, criminal lawyer Steven Trialonas thoroughly cross-examined each witness called by the government. Once the government completed their case-in-chief, attorney Trialonas moved to dismiss the Hindering charge due to insufficient evidence. The trial judge agreed and that charge was dismissed.

With just two charges being submitted for consideration by the jury, Centre County criminal lawyer Trialonas focused on the elements which the Commonwealth would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Chipping away at each charge with evidence presented at trial, during closing attorney Trialonas summarized the defense – not every single falsehood made to authorities is a criminal offense. Each statute demanded more than a simple lie from a defendant, and those additional elements were absent.

Client was found Not Guilty of the last two charges and had the entire matter expunged.

Jury Acquits Woman of Felony Aggravated Assault

Client, a State College resident, returned home from work when an altercation with her live-in boyfriend occurred. The boyfriend claimed that she boiled a pot of water and proceeded to throw it on him as he lay in bed. The complainant called police and was rushed to the hospital where the doctors treated him for Second Degree burns to his chest and abdomen.

Client was promptly charged with 18 Pa.C.S.A. §2702(A)(1) Aggravated Assault, (a felony of the first degree punishable by up to 20 years in prison) and 18 Pa.C.S.A. 2702(A)(1) Simple Assault. Criminal defense attorney Steven P. Trialonas undertook the difficult representation and conducted interviews and gathered evidence. A preliminary hearing was conducted and the complaining witness testified that both he and the client had been drinking prior to the altercation.

Turning down the initial plea offer of 1-5 years in state prison, criminal lawyer Steven P. Trialonas prepared for trial. Medical records and police interviews were reviewed with attention to detail, and photos of the apartment and injuries were examined.

During the jury trial, criminal attorney Steven Trialonas took his time cross-examining the complainant, who appeared less than truthful about important aspects of the case. The medical doctor who treated the complainant testified that the injuries sustained were permanent. Specifically, the disfigurement caused by the burns would never go away and caused protracted loss of the normal function of the skin. Serious bodily injury, permanent disfigurement, and protracted loss are the elements the Commonwealth needed to establish to sustain a conviction for Aggravated Assault. Attorney Trialonas focused on the physician’s lack of experience in burn trauma during cross examination, revealing that the doctor had to consult a burn center in Lancaster before treating the complainant.

The jury found the client Not Guilty of Aggravated Assault (both cause and attempt to cause serious bodily injury varieties of the charge) but found her Guilty of Attempted Simple Assault.

Jury Acquits Woman of Eight Counts of Endangering the Welfare of Children

Client, mother of eight minor children, was viciously assaulted by her husband and father of two of the children. When school officials were notified, Children and Youth Services were summoned to the house just days after the fight and brought law enforcement officials with them for safety purposes. From the criminal complaint, state troopers noted dog feces on the floor, trash piled up, the children without clean clothes, knives and other dangerous items within reach of the children, mattresses strewn on the floor and no heat in certain areas of the house.

Client was promptly charged with 18 Pa.C.S.A. §4304(A)(1) Endangering the Welfare of Children, (a misdemeanor of the first degree punishable by up to 5 years in prison for each count). One immediate red flag the caused concern was the fact that the husband was not charged with Simple Assault for the attack or Endangering the Welfare, though two of the children in the home were his.

State College Criminal defense attorney Steven P. Trialonas took the unpopular case, as the district attorney’s office viewed the client in a reprehensible light. A hotly contested preliminary hearing was conducted where Attorney Trialonas presented evidence of his client’s condition after the assault and husband’s level of culpability. Unfortunately, the charges were bound over for trial and the husband was not held accountable for any of his wrongdoing.

Turning down the initial plea offer of 11.5-23.5 months in jail in exchange for pleas of guilty to every single offense charged, criminal lawyer Steven P. Trialonas prepared for trial. A pre-trial motion to suppress was filed and granted, rendering all photographs taken inside the home inadmissible at trial.

During the jury trial, defense lawyer Steven Trialonas exposed the issues in the case. Namely, that although the conditions in the home were not ideal, they did not rise to the level of a criminal offense. Additionally, notions of selective prosecution were introduced to the jury when evidence clearly demonstrated law enforcement was aware of the assault by husband but did nothing about it.

After deliberating for just 25 minutes, the jury found the client Not Guilty of all eight counts of Endangering the Welfare of Children.