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Detainers Lifted in Montgomery County

When a defendant has criminal charges pending in more than one jurisdiction at a time, it is possible for one jurisdiction to detain the client until both counties have resolved their charges — unless that person hires an attorney to get the detainers lifted.

One such client recently had this issue in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He was on probation in Montgomery County from from several old cases and was recently arrested in Philadelphia in connection with an alleged domestic assault.

The alleged complaining witness in the Philadelphia matter came forward to our office and explained that she had not been entirely truthful when she called the police in Philadelphia. She explained that she had recently learned that our client may have been unfaithful to her and she became very upset, kicking off a heated argument between the two at a friend’s house.

Our client got into his car and attempted to leave the friend’s house to avoid further confrontation. The alleged complaining witness slammed her hand on his car windshield, causing considerable damage to both the windshield and her hand. When the police arrived, she claimed that her injuries were due to our client and he was arrested nearby shortly thereafter.

Our client was duly charged in Philadelphia for Aggravated Assault, Strangulation, Possession of an Instrument of Crime (PIC), Simple Assault, and Recklessly Endangering Another Person (REAP). He posted bail in Philadelphia shortly after his arrest, but since Montgomery County had a detainer in connection with his probation supervision, he was transferred to Montgomery County Correctional Facility (MCCF) to be detained until:

  1. His Philadelphia charges were resolved, and
  2. His “back judge” in Montgomery County could decide whether the Philadelphia matter should count as a violation of his probation.

Since being charged in March 2020, the Philadelphia court system has been forced to reschedule his case multiple times due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, it was likely that our client would sit for months and months until his Philadelphia charges – which relied on the testimony of a deeply flawed complaining witness – could be addressed in court. It would then be more time until his Montgomery County case could be addressed.

Our client decided that instead of waiting indefinitely in the coronavirus-riddled prison in Montgomery County, he would hire criminal defense attorney Thomas Kenny and his team at Kenny, Burns & McGill to file an Emergency Motion to have his three detainers lifted.

Our office sprung into action, drafting a ten-page Emergency Motion to Lift Detainers, which averred, among other things: that Montgomery County Correctional Facility was not safe for our client during the coronavirus pandemic; that our client’s Philadelphia charges were based on inaccurate testimony; that our client had already posted bail on his Philadelphia charges and so it would be absurd to continue holding him for that alleged conduct when Philadelphia has already let him out; that if our client had his detainers lifted, he would still appear for court as necessary to resolve his various legal matters.

Also included with our motion were a sworn affidavit by the alleged complaining witness in Philadelphia, as well as photographs of the broken windshield which she said were the true cause of her injuries.

The Montgomery County Emergency Judge recently scheduled a video hearing on our motion and Attorney Thomas Kenny attended to argue our client’s position. After much debate and deliberation, the judge ruled in our client’s favor: the judge ordered the detainers lifted our client released from custody.

We recognize that good news is hard to come by these days. For our client’s family, the news of our client’s release from jail was the best news they received in a long time. Our client could finally return home.

Do you or someone you love have active criminal charges? Do they need detainers lifted in Philadelphia, Montgomery County, Bucks County, or any of the surrounding counties? We handle all types of criminal cases and would be happy to meet for a free consultation.

Call or text us today for more information: (215) 423-5500.

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    1500 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
    Suite 520
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
    Phone: 215-423-5500
    Fax: 215-231-9847
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