Steven P. Trialonas
Phone (814) 237-6255
Fax (814) 237-5752
Areas of Practice
- Commonwealth v. K.W. (2021); Clearfield County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant was accused of First-Degree Murder, Third-Degree Murder, two counts of Aggravated Assault, Voluntary Manslaughter, Involuntary Manslaughter, Simple Assault and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. The allegations were the client had her husband draft a will leaving her the entire $1.5 million estate to her 7 weeks before shooting him in the head and causing his death. The theory of the defense was that he shot himself. If convicted of First-Degree Murder, a mandatory life sentence must be imposed. No gunshot residue was located on the decedent’s hands, the client did have gunshot residue on her hands and clothes, an expert pathologist testified that the lack of gunpowder embedded in the tissue surrounding the wound made a suicide impossible, and the decedent sent two emails within 2 hours of death requesting an autopsy be performed if anything happened to him because he believed his wife was going to murder him. Over the course of a 7-day trial, the defense successfully proved that the decedent committed suicide, and the jury found her Not Guilty of First-Degree Murder, Third Degree Murder, both counts of Aggravated Assault and the judge dismissed the Voluntary Manslaughter. The jury believed the client should have taken the handgun away from the decedent and on that basis, convicted her of Involuntary Manslaughter. She was released from jail the day after the verdict, was awarded the $1.5 million dollar estate, and we are currently appealing the Involuntary Manslaughter conviction to the PA Superior Court.
- Commonwealth v. T.S. (2019); Mifflin County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant was accused of Attempted Criminal Homicide, two counts of Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Burglary, Possession of a Firearm Prohibited, Firearms to Not to be Carried without a License, Theft and Simple Assault after allegedly waking his mother’s boyfriend up from a nap and shooting him point blank in the head with a .22 caliber handgun and taking his phone and other belongings. At trial the accused had recovered partially and identified the defendant in court as the person who shot him in the head. After a two-day trial, client was found Not Guilty of all charges except the misdemeanor offenses of Theft and Simple Assault.
- Commonwealth v. S.J. (2019); Centre County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant, a Philadelphia resident, charged with Drug Delivery Resulting in Death, after allegedly driving to Williamsport and delivering fentanyl-laced heroin which caused the death of the user. Drug Delivery Resulting in Death has an enhanced maximum penalty of up to 40 years incarceration. After a three-day trial, client was found Not Guilty of Drug Delivery Resulting in Death.
- Commonwealth v. W.N. (2018); Centre County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant, a dentist, charged with Rape, Kidnapping, Attempted Rape, Sexual Assault, and two counts of Indecent Assault. Accusations included sedating a client at the office, driving her to a remote location and raping her while she was unconcious. Turning down a plea offer to multiple felony offenses for years of incarceration in state prison and registering as a sex offender for the rest of his life, a four day jury trial ensued. Expert medical testimony was elicited, and client was found Not Guilty of all charges after the jury deliberated for 10.5 hours.
- Commonwealth v. D.C. (2018); Centre County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant, a college student and pledge master of a fraternity, charged with Involuntary Manslaughter, felony Aggravated Assault, and 200 additional charges stemming back three semesters including Hazing, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Furnishing. After multiple preliminary hearings which garnered national media attention, over 150 charges have been dismissed to date. Case still pending.
- Commonwealth v. T.C. (2018); Blair County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant, a college student, charged with felony Rape, Sexual Assault, Statutory Sexual Assault, Aggravated Indecent Assault, and Indecent Assault. Accusations included forcefully holding down a fifteen year old co-worker in a remote location of the work site and raping her. After filing pre-trial motions to expose the weaknesses of the government’s case, a plea offer of misdemeanor disorderly conduct was reached for a sentence of probation.
- Commonwealth v. M.C. (2016); Centre County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant, a mother of eight children, charged with eight counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Allegations included testimony and photos of deplorable conditions of the home, including lack of clothes, food, or bedding; infestation of bed bugs and fleas, and dog urine and feces throughout the home. All eight children were removed and client was arrested. Photos successfully suppressed due to the unconstitutional manner in which they were obtained, and a trial ensued. At trial evidence demonstrated the children were not at risk, and the client was experiencing PTSD as a result of an abusive husband. After a jury trial, client was found Not Guilty of all charges after a 25 minute deliberation by the jury.
- Commonwealth v. P.C. (2015); Centre County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant, a Penn State Student and fraternity member, was accused of False Statements to Law Enforcement, Unsworn Falsifications, and Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution after allegedly lying to police who were investigating a fire at the fraternity house. Client wrote two statements to police prior to hiring Steve Trialonas, the second of which admitted the first statement was a lie. With a defense that not all lies to the police are criminal, client was found Not Guilty of all charges after a jury trial.
- Commonwealth v. L.H. (2015); Centre County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant was charged with felony Aggravated Assault and Simple Assault after allegedly boiling 2 gallons of water and throwing it on her boyfriend after he told her he was breaking up with her and moving out. Alleged victim was treated at a burn center for second-degree burns and suffered significant permanent disfigurement. After a jury trial, client was found Not Guilty of felony Aggravated Assault.
- Commonwealth v. R.R. (2014); Centre County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant, previously convicted of third-degree murder in the death of his wife, allegedly wrote a “hit-list” while incarcerated and mailed it to his mother, addressed to himself. The letter detailed the names, addresses, and means in which he would torture and kill all witnesses, judge, and lawyers involved in his murder case. Upon the death of his mother, the defendant’s brother opened the letter and turned it over to police. He was arrested and charged with 7 counts of Terroristic Threats. With a defense that he did not intend to communicate the threats to anyone but himself (as well as a statute of limitations defense), client was found Not Guilty of the 7 counts of Terroristic Threats stemming from the hit-list.
- Commonwealth v. J.F. (2014); Centre County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant, a Penn State Student, charged with felony Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, and Recklessly Endangering Another Person after his ex-girlfriend accused him of strangling her and throwing her around the apartment. A 2-4 year state prison plea offer was turned down and a jury trial resulted. Client was found Not Guilty of all criminal offenses.
- Commonwealth v. J.H. (2013); Somerset County Court of Common Pleas – Defendant, a farmer, was accused of Indecent Assault and Indecent Exposure after his 15 year-old niece accused him of inappropriately touching her when she was 6 or 7 years-old. After a two day jury trial, client was found Not Guilty of all criminal offenses.
- Pennsylvania, 2010
- U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania, 2018
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania, 2015
- Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
- J.D. – 2010
- Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
- B.A., Bachelor of Arts – 2005
- Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Annual Criminal Law Symposium, 2015. Course Title: “Dealing with College Campus Crimes”
Professional Associations and Memberships
- National Association Criminal Defense Laywers
- Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Centre County Bar Association, Board Member
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Wilkinson-Campbell Chapter of the American Inn of Court
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2018 Pennsylvania Rising Star Award
- Philadelphia Magazine, 2018 Top Attorneys: Pennsylvania Outstanding Young Lawyer Award
- AVVO, Top Attorney Rating
- America’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys
Steven Trialonas focuses his practice on criminal defense and select civil litigation matters. He represents clients in state and federal criminal cases, irrespective of the severity of the offenses; all criminal allegations are serious when levied against an individual and will be treated as such. Steven has represented medical doctors, nurses, and other licensed professionals in the investigation phase with success to avoid charges being filed, as well as after charging or indictment to trial. Steven has handled numerous cases at both the state and federal level in both Pennsylvania and New York. Most recently in a high profile case, Steven successfully tried a criminal case involving a dentist charged with multiple felonies including Rape, Attempted Rape, Kidnapping, Sexual Assault, and two counts of Indecent Assault. Client was accused of putting his patient under sedation, driving her to a location she did not want to be taken to and having sex with her while she was unconcious. Bail was set at $1 million as a result of the pre-trial publicity. Steven was able to secure Not Guilty verdicts on all counts after a hotly contested four-day jury trial. A lifelong resident of Centre County, Steven understands that many college students make mistakes upon experiencing the freedom and independence of living on their own for the first time in their lives. Steven also understands the unique party culture of Penn State, and the constant push and pull between citizens of the town, Penn State University, and the police/prosecution. In light of the lifelong impact a criminal record can have on a college student upon entering the workforce, Steven understands these cases must be handled delicately from start to finish in order to best assure a clean slate for all clients after the criminal process is over. Additionally, Steven has developed a substantial practice related to fraternity organizations that involve grand jury investigations as well as the criminal and civil defense of fraternity hazing cases. These recent representations have included a Pledge Master charged with homicide in the Penn State Beta Theta Pi hazing prosecution in Centre County, PA, resulting in the dismissal of over 100 charges including Involuntary Manslaughter and Aggravated Assault after multiple preliminary hearings which garnered national media attention; a president of a fraternity charged criminally with Hindering Apprehension and False Reports after attempting to protect the fraternity after a fire in the basement, securing Not Guilty verdicts of all charges after a jury trial; as well as similar matters involving other members of fraternities or similar organizations. Steven understands all criminal defendants are guaranteed certain rights and protections, but in reality the cards are typically stacked against an accused and juries often presume guilt rather than innocence at first blush. It is with these common misconceptions of juries in mind that Steven undertakes to educate the jury at voir dire and get them to buy into these fundamental principles that serve as the bedrock to the American system of criminal justice with successful results.