Criminal Defense Success Stories
NOT GUILTY – DRUG DELIVERY
Criminal defense lawyer Helen Stolinas recently won a decisive victory in a felony drug delivery case in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. Her client, Christopher White, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, was accused of delivering cocaine to an undercover county detective employed with the Narcotics Enforcement Unit. At the trial held on April 5, 2021, her arguments focused on the lack of corroboration and the scant evidence presented by the Commonwealth. The jury was obviously convinced, returning unanimous not guilty verdicts within 30 minutes.
CHARGES WITHDRAWN – PRESCRIPTION DUI
Criminal Defense and DUI Defense lawyer Helen Stolinas has had excellent results in two separate counties for clients accused of driving under the influence of prescription medications. In the first case, in Centre County, Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth withdrew charges against a driver who had been accused of driving under the influence of prescription medications. She negotiated a very favorable agreement based on sound arguments regarding the levels of the substance and the individual’s tolerance to them. Instead of facing jail and a license suspension, her client paid a small fine.
In the second case, in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, her client was accused of driving under the influence of opioid pain medications. Having taken them for a long time, they did not impair his driving, but the Commonwealth charged him with DUI nonetheless. This case proceeded to nonjury trial, during which Attorney Stolinas argued successfully that certain field sobriety tests performed should not be admitted into evidence. Before the Commonwealth finished putting on its case, the prosecution withdrew the DUI charge and offered a very favorable plea which resulted in no license suspension, no jail, and no further penalty for her client.
Criminal trial attorney Helen Stolinas was able to defeat charges carrying more than 20 years’ incarceration on behalf of her client. Her client was charged with Aggravated Assault, and Felony Child Endangerment, as well as Simple Assault and Reckless Endangerment. After proceeding to jury trial in September, 2017, Helen’s client was acquitted of the felony and misdemeanor counts, resulting hung jury on just one misdemeanor count of Reckless Endangerment. Even though the victim’s injuries were serious, Helen was able to demonstrate to the jury, through witness and expert testimony that her client never intended to injure the victim, that he did his best to tend to the victim, and that it was an accident, not a crime. As a result of this verdict, her client was spared years of potential incarceration.
Criminal trial lawyer Helen Stolinas won a self-defense acquittal for her client on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and simple assault in a case where he had used a knife to defend himself, causing serious injury to the assailant that had threatened him. Helen focused on all of the details of the case, which corroborated her client’s credible fear of the assailant who threatened him and the fact that he was not required to retreat when the threat was made at the home where he as residing. Instead of returning to jail, where he had been held pending trial, and faced up to 40 years’ incarceration, he was acquitted by the jury of all charges and was released from the courtroom.
As a public defender, Helen Stolinas tried a number of very difficult cases, including those involving allegations of sexual abuse against minors. She was appointed to represent a client who had been granted a new trial after being convicted of abusing two adolescents because the first lawyer who represented him had been ineffective, and he had been found guilty as a result.
When Helen represented him at trial, she was able to point out the many inconsistencies in the testimony of the alleged victims and was also able to establish a motive for the witnesses to fabricate their statements. After he spent over five years in jail on multiple counts of sexual abuse, at his second trial, the jury deliberated just 30 minutes before acquitting him of all charges, and he was released from jail that day.
DUI defense attorney Helen Stolinas has won a number of DUI trials, however one of her notable victories was when she represented a client who had allegedly driven under the influence of a synthetic substance and had fallen asleep in a fast food drive through. Her client, a Navy Veteran admitted to using the substance (which was not illegal at the time of the arrest) several hours earlier. Helen was able to point out the weaknesses in the Commonwealth’s proof- they had not been able to prove the amount of the substance in his system or what the effects of the substance would be and whether they would impair his driving. Without such proof, the jury no problem finding him not guilty.
Criminal Defense Attorney Helen Stolinas was also able to successfully defend her client against multiple counts of delivery of a controlled substance. By focusing on the details of each alleged delivery and the tactics used by the police, she established that the informant had a personal motive and bias against her client, and was able to manipulate the prosecution to pursuing him for multiple sales of drugs. She pointed out the opportunities that the informant had to “set up” her client to make him appear guilty. The jury acquitted him of multiple felony offenses.
CAPITAL CASE RESULTS
Trial attorney Helen Stolinas has litigated homicide cases at trial- most notably a capital murder case involving the death of three victims. Helen’s role during the trial was an attempt to spare her client the death penalty. She had the unenviable task of presenting evidence and argument to twelve jurors who had just convicted her client of three intentional murders that they should not put him to death. Through intensive work and preparation studying her client’s life, family history, and behavior, she was able to make an impassioned plea that several mitigating factors applied, and that a life sentence was justified. As a result her client was spared the death penalty.
Criminal defense attorney Helen Stolinas represented a local businessman
Criminal defense attorney Helen Stolinas represented a local businessman who was accused of exposing himself and assaulting a customer at a worksite. He absolutely denied the allegation which risked his freedom and his career- he was facing potential incarceration and loss of his professional reputation. Although the prosecution was willing to offer a lesser plea, Helen Stolinas was prepared to cross examine the complaining witness and reveal the inconsistencies in her allegations and fight the case on behalf of her client. However, just minutes before the hearing was to begin, the Commonwealth dropped the charges.
A veteran and state government employee was accused of terroristic threats, trespassing and harassment
A veteran and state government employee was accused of terroristic threats, trespassing and harassment following a family dispute, and faced over five years in jail. Plus, if he was convicted of the charges, he would lose his job. Attorney Helen Stolinas represented the defendant at the hearing, and in cross examining the witness, established that her client was not at fault in the dispute and should not have been charged. The magisterial district judge agreed and dismissed all of the charges at the preliminary hearing, saving her client potential jail time, fines, costs, and loss of his employment.