Attorney Jenna Fliszar Files Lawsuit Against PA State Police, Interviewed on Fox 43 NewsOn March 16, 2015, Attorney Jenna Fliszar filed a Complaint in Federal Court against the State ...
Attorney Jenna Fliszar Wins Suppression in DUI CaseA few months ago, a client retained me to represent him on a first offense DUI charge. His situ...
Attorney Jenna Fliszar appears on "60 Minutes"On October 6, 2013, Attorney Jenna Fliszar appeared on the CBS show "60 Minutes" to discuss the...
Welcome to The Fliszar Firm!The Fliszar Firm is proud to serve Lehigh and Northampton Counties in the areas of Criminal/DUI...
Attorney | DUI | Criminal Defense | Bethlehem | Allentown | Easton
The Fliszar Firm LLC is a Lehigh Valley-based law office primarily representing clients in Northampton and Lehigh Counties. The focus of the firm is litigation and it offers representation in the areas of Criminal/DUI Defense, Divorce, Child Support and Custody, and Animal Law. The firm prides itself on providing client-centered representation, making sure the client is involved and informed through their case.
You initial consultation is always free. Call the office today, or click on the appointment button on the right to schedule your consultation.
Attorney Jenna Fliszar Honored at LVB 40 Under 40 Awards
On June 13, 2016, Attorney Jenna Fliszar was honored at the Lehigh Valley Business Forty Under 40 Award ceremony. More than 200 people attended the event which recognizes rising young business leaders in the Lehigh Valley. The honorees were selected for their commitment to business growth, professional excellence and the community. More information from the event can be seen here and profiles of the recipients can be found here.
Cat's Owner, Attorney Demand Cat Killing Cop Be Fired, Charged
North Catasauqua, PA - December 21, 2015 - The owners of a cat shot and killed by North Catasauqua Police Officer Leighton Pursell are demanding that the officer be fired and that criminal charges of Cruelty to Animals be filed.
Tom Newhart's attorney, Jenna M. Fliszar of Bethlehem, PA, sent a letter to the North Catasauqua Borough, Mayor William Molchany, Chief of Police Kim Moyer and Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli outlining the case. "The only reasonable and acceptable outcome here is to charge Officer Pursell with Cruelty to Animals and terminate his employment," said Fliszar. "It is the only option that adheres to the law and protects the public."
Newhart and Fliszar summarize the case as follows: On December 6, 2015, Sugar the cat got out of Newhart's home and wandered several houses away to the home of Mike Lienert. After he was unable to catch Sugar and fearing she may be injured, Lienert called the police for help.
When Officer Pursell arrived, he immediately said to Lienert, "it may not be politically correct, but if it's injured, I'm going to put it down." Aside from poking and prodding Sugar as she hid under a grill, Pursell made no efforts to capture or wrangle Sugar. Sugar showed no signs of aggression, other than hissing at the officer. When she finally came out, Pursell informed Lienert that he was going to shoot the cat.
As she walked away, it was clear to Lienert that Sugar was not injured. Even though Sugar was not injured, aggressive, or creating a danger to Pursell or the community, Pursell shot Sugar in the neck, killing her. He then told Lienert that he would need to "clean up the mess." Pursell made no attempt to find Sugar's owners and instead threw her body in a dumpster. Another officer later helped retrieve the body and return it to Newhart so he could have Sugar cremated. A post-mortem exam was performed and showed no signs of injury, except for the gunshot inflicted by Pursell.
The PA Crimes Code states that a person commits the crime of Cruelty to Animals when he "willfully and maliciously kills…any dog or cat belonging to himself or otherwise." Fliszar argues that is exactly what happened in this case.
"She was not sick, aggressive, or dangerous. He never made any attempt to catch her. She was shot in the neck within hours of getting out of her home. He then disposed of her body in a dumpster without making any attempt to locate her owners," said Fliszar. "It is hard to imagine a more willful or malicious act than this."
Fliszar goes on to argue that Pursell's decision to discharge his firearm shows a serious lack of judgment. Pursell fired the shot in a residential neighborhood where houses are close together and at a time when families were home. "Given his inability to exercise good judgment and act appropriately in the course of his employment, Officer Pursell's employment must be terminated," said Fliszar.
Fliszar has set up a Justice for Sugar Facebook page (www.facebook.com/justiceforsugar) where the public can receive updates on the Borough's reaction to the shooting. The page also offers ways the public can help.
"Sugar was more than just a cat," says Newhart. "My pets are like my kids. I just want this officer disciplined for what he did to Sugar."
How an Expert Can Help in Your DUI Case
"Do you really think an expert is worth it? Isn't a DUI an open and shut case?"
This is a question I hear fairly regularly from my clients. As I've mentioned in previous posts, it is a popular misconception that if you've been charged with a DUI, there are very few ways to successfully fight the case. I know from experience that it is possible to fight a DUI case and win; I've done it more than once. And in more than half of those cases, the opinion of an expert was an essential piece of my defense. So, how can you successfully use an expert's opinion to help defend your DUI? Here are just a few examples.
We know the law in Pennsylvania allows for a charge of DUI if you are found to have lawfully prescribed medications in your bloodstream, and it is believed that those drugs impair your ability to drive. This is true even if they are taken as prescribed and the levels are within therapeutic range. In these cases, I have used an expert in Pharmacology who reviewed the medical records of the client and the evidence. From this information, he was able to provide an opinion on whether or not the medications taken by the client would cause impairment. I've been lucky enough to have a dash cam video in each of these cases, and I was able to provide this video to the expert. He was then able to opine that the driving behaviors and inability to complete field sobriety tests would not be the result of the prescription medication.
In cases where there is bloodwork, a scientific expert, usually in forensic chromatography, can be invaluable. The scientific expert can review all the records for the machine, ensure that it was checked for accuracy and calibrated properly, then determine if there were any issues such as cross-contamination or other malfunctions. The expert can then testify as to the reliability of the BAC. If the number is unreliable, this could lead to a not guilty verdict.
In cases where there is no bloodwork or in cases challenging the probable cause to arrest, an expert in standardized field sobriety testing can be very helpful. The expert can review any video and/or reports to find mistakes made by the police that can help invalidate the results of the SFSTs. The expert can also provide more information about the reliability of the tests, including the fact that those tests are only accurate about two-thirds of the time. Essentially, the expert challenges the observations of the officer, creating reasonable doubt and assisting in obtaining a not guilty verdict.
William Reynolds, a consultant with Brighton Lewis in St. Louis, often serves as an expert witness in DUI cases. For him, there are two phases when he is retained - case analysis and trial. "During case analysis, I sit down and meticulously go through all the evidence. I'm then able to say, 'here's what you have, and here's what it should be.' 99% of my cases using this analysis never make it to trial."
If the case does make it to trial, according to Reynolds, simply having an expert is beneficial to a defendant. "Experts have specialized experience and training necessary to give a different perspective on a case," says Reynolds. "Few things are what they seem on the surface, and my testimony provides an alternative opinion that otherwise wouldn't make it on the record."
These are just a few examples of when I have successfully used an expert to challenge a DUI charge. An expert opinion can be invaluable in many different situations. A good DUI attorney will know if it is worth the time and expense to employ the services of an expert. If you've been charged with a DUI, contact The Fliszar Firm today for a free consultation, and let an experienced DUI attorney decide if you may benefit from expert testimony.