J. Timothy George,P.C.
Tim George is a criminal defense lawyer who defends the freedom of people accused of criminal wrongdoing. His experience includes all felonies and misdemeanors, from allegations of murder, assault, robbery, burglary and sex offenses to retail theft and DUI. He has helped hundreds of people accused of DUI avoid a mandatory prison sentence. In many cases such people have avoided any conviction at all. For more information about how he can help you or someone in your family, please call for a confidential, no obligation consultation.
Tim George pursues justice for people injured or killed in car & commercial truck accidents or harmed in other accidents, such as dog attacks, in Erie County and Northwestern Pennsylvania. For more information about how he can help you or a loved one, please call to schedule a free, no obligation evaluation of your case.
Please Call: (814) 835-0400
After graduating from St. Bonaventure University with a degree in Economics and receiving a law degree from the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Tim George returned home in 1992 to practice law in Northwestern Pennsylvania. He has worked as both a prosecutor and as an assistant public defender. He has both civil and criminal trial experience, including cases involving murder, rape, aggravated assault and DUI.
Since 1992, he has devoted much of his practice to obtaining justice for injured people. He routinely represents people injured in car, motorcycle, and commercial truck accidents. He has successfully handled dog attack cases and both uninsured/underinsurance (UM/UIM) claims and Bad Faith cases against insurance companies.
- Sole Shareholder, J. Timothy George, P.C. (1996-present);
- Solicitor, Lake Erie Community Park (1996-present);
- Part-time Erie County Assistant Public Defender (2002);
- Part-time Erie County Assistant District Attorney (1996-98);
- Associate, James R. Steadman (1994-96);
- Associate, Gifford, Lay & Johnson (1992-94).
- , (Right to counsel – illegal confession), Erie County Legal Journal, Vol. 92, No. 3 (2009)
- , (Punitive damages in car accident case), Erie County Legal Journal, Vol. 91, No. 37 (2008).
- , (Wrongful Death in fatal truck accident case), Erie County Legal Journal (2006).
- , (Right to Counsel—illegal confession), Erie County Legal Journal (2005).
- , (DUI-illegal stop), Erie County Legal Journal (2005).
- , (Wrongful Death drowning case),Erie County Legal Journal (2005).
- , (Right to present evidence at trial), Superior Court of Pennsylvania (unpublished appellate court opinion granting new trial).
- , (BUI- illegal stop), 2004 Pa. Super. 324; 857 A.2d 686; 2004 Pa.Super. LEXIS 2772, appeal granted by Commonwealth v. Lehman, 871 A.2d 790, 2005 Pa. LEXIS 695 (Pa. Supreme Ct., Apr. 5, 2005) argued on December 5, 2005.
- , (DUI-related suspension),Bureau of Driver Licensing, 800 A.2d 1004, 2002 Pa.Cmwlth. LEXIS 509 July 13, 2001.
- Criminal Defense & DUI
- Personal Injury
- Wrongful Death
- 28th Infantry Division (ID), CPT, Judge Advocate, March 2003-July 2008
- 28th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB), Judge Advocate, August 2008 to present
- Deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), January 2009 to present
Please Call: (814) 835-0400
Freedom is something that we don't take for granted.
Most of us take our freedom for granted. Like many othe things, we often fail to appreciate its value until we are faced with the possibility of losing it. If you face criminal charges, then you understand this better than most people. The weight of a mere criminal allegation can result in not only the loss of freedom (such as the imposition of bond or a probation detainer), but such allegations also can result in loss of employment, anxiety, stress and emotional strain for you and your family. The case - your case - becomes the central focus of your life.
Tim George appreciates that people accused of criminal offenses need more than just representation by a skilled advocate, but also an experienced professional who will listen, care and counsel. These values define his practice which began in 1992. Quite simply, we defend freedom. And we do so one person at a time. We hope that you will find the information provided throughout this site to be both useful and interesting. If you would like to discuss your case, learn about your options, and plan the best way ahead for you and your family, call Tim toll free at (866) 794-2525. Your consultation will be confidential. The initial meeting is free.
Recent Criminal Defense Articles ( MORE ARTICLES )
Erie Criminal Defense Lawyer - What Happens at a "Suppression" Hearing? November 11, 2010
In Pennsylvania, if you face criminal allegations, and you or your lawyer believe that evidence has been obtained by police in violation of your rights, you may seek to have the evidence "suppressed" or excluded from your case. Learn what happens at a this kind of hearing (and read an actual transcript from a recent suppression hearing where the Court suppressed all of the evidence.)
The "Terry" Search: Can Police "Pat You Down" during a Vehicle Stop? November 11, 2010
Lately, it seems when police stop an Erie motorist on suspicion of DUI, they do something that creates a question for the courts to answer. Here's what it is: When police tell a driver to exit the car, they "pat-down" or perform a "Terry" frisk on the driver as a matter of routine. When asked about the search (which sometimes leads to the discovery of a marijuana pipe or other illegal stuff) the police often reply, "We routinely do this for officer safety." The problem is our courts have held for some time that this explanation, without more, does not justify such a pat-down search.
ARD: Could this be Your "Get out of Jail Free" Card? March 03, 2010
In Pennsylvania, for some people, criminal allegations can be resolved without a trial, without a conviction and without prison. Even better, the charges can be dismissed and your record cleared if you qualify for a program known as ARD.
Erie Criminal Justice Lawyer - Real Communication: The Key to a Winning Relationship with Your Erie March 03, 2010
Communication is about more than just talking. Real communication requires listening, seeing one another and time.
These words have meaning only when we give them meaning.
The following principles serve as a framework within which all criminal cases are to be decided. It is our job to give these words meaning in your case and in every case.
Presumption of Innocence
A fundamental principle of our system of criminal law is that the defendant is presumed to be innocent. The mere fact that he was arrested and is accused of a crime is not any evidence against him. Furthermore, the defendant is presumed innocent throughout a trial and unless and until a jury concludes, based on careful and impartial consideration of the evidence, that the Commonwealth has proven him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
* PA Standard Criminal Jury Instructions, Volume I, Chapter VII, 7.01(1)
Burden of Proof
It is not the defendant’s burden to prove that he is not guilty. Instead, it is the Commonwealth that always has the burden of proving each and every element of the crime charged and that the defendant is guilty of that crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The person accused of a crime is not required to present evidence or prove anything in his own defense. If the Commonwealth’s evidence fails to meet its burden, then your verdict must be not guilty. On the other hand, if the Commonwealth’s evidence does prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty, then your verdict should be guilty.
* PA Standard Criminal Jury Instructions, Volume I, Chapter VII, 7.01(2)
Although the Commonwealth has the burden of proving that an accused is guilty, this does not mean that, the Commonwealth must prove its case beyond all doubt and to a mathematical certainty, nor must it demonstrate the complete impossibility of innocence. A reasonable doubt is a doubt that would cause a reasonably careful and sensible person to hesitate before acting upon a matter of importance in his own affairs. A reasonable doubt must fairly arise out of the evidence that was presented or out of the lack of evidence presented with respect to some element of the crime. A reasonable doubt must be a real doubt; it may not be an imagined one, nor may it be a doubt manufactured to avoid carrying out an unpleasant duty.
Reasonable doubt which will justify acquittal is doubt based on reason and arising from evidence or lack of evidence, and it is doubt which reasonable man or woman might entertain, and it is not fanciful doubt, is not imagined doubt, and is not doubt that juror might conjure up to avoid performing unpleasant task or duty.
So, to summarize, a jury may not find the defendant guilty based on a mere suspicion of guilt. The Commonwealth has the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If it meets that burden, then the defendant is no longer presumed innocent and a jury should find him guilty. On the other hand, if the Commonwealth does not meet its burden, then the jury must find him not guilty.
* PA Standard Criminal Jury Instructions, Volume I, Chapter VII, 7.01(3) & (4)Our Success Stories
Questions & Answers
A Millcreek Township nurse was suspected of taking medication from a patient. When questioned by police, she was told, in effect, that if she cooperated by waiving her right to consult with a lawyer ...
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A Cleveland man was arrested in Erie for an alleged sex offense. He faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in prison. The police read "Miranda" warnings to him, and he initially agreed to wai ...
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A Crawford County woman was convicted of 15 felonies and six misdemeanors arising from allegations that she stole money from her employer. She was not represented by us at trial. She retained us to re ...
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A case involving an allegation of bad checks, filed under section 4105 (a) of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, was dismissed at the preliminary hearing. The case arose from a claim by a local car dealer ...
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Local police arrested seven men from Detroit at a local hotel after receiving a tip from housekeeping that room 324 contained three or four bags of marijuana. The men paid cash for rooms 324 and 419. ...
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An elderly man facing allegations of open lewdness and indecent exposure arising from an incident at a department store men’s room in Edinboro, will not face trial. The 79 year old man, who maintai ...
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A man was accused of reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of children when he left his six-year-old daughter on the porch of his estranged wife. When he drove away, the child wandered ou ...
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An Erie man was cleared of charges that he intentionally injured one of the passengers in a sport utility vehicle which was run off the road by him. He faced charges of aggravated assault, recklessly ...
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A man facing allegations of simple assault defended the charges before a jury. At the close of evidence, the defense moved for a judgment of acquittal. The Court granted the request for acquittal, t ...
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After jury selection and opening statements, the Commonwealth dropped charges against a man accused of witness intimidation. The judge entered a judgment of acquittal in favor of the defense. Earlier ...
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An Erie man accused of raping a woman he had met at a local night spot was acquitted by a jury after a three day trial. Commonwealth v. C.J.S., Erie County, No. 2927-1999. No two cases are exactly t ...
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An instructor at a local high school was accused by a student of indecent assault on the last day of school. The assault, which included a claim of inappropriate sexual contact, allegedly occurred wh ...
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A local police officer faced allegations of rape, simple assault, and other charges involving an altercation with his estranged wife. A jury cleared the man, a Gulf War Veteran, following five days o ...
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An Erie man faced a maximum sentence of 27 years in prison after he stabbed another man with a butcher knife in an altercation on his front porch. The wounds required the man to be admitted to a loca ...
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The City of Erie Police, acting on a complaint from an ex-girlfriend, filed terroristic threat charges against a Franklin man. Police alleged that the man telephoned his ex-girlfriend repeatedly and, ...
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In the early morning hours of November 9, 2007 an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol Agent came upon a North East woman who was walking alone on the berm of Interstate 90. The woman had run out of gas about ...
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On April 21, 2010 at 2:00 in the morning, Millcreek Township Police stopped a motorist who had pulled over on the side of the road to drop a friend off at the foot of his driveway. When police discov ...
read more »
Questions & Answers
1. How do I choose the right lawyer for my case?
Many people who face criminal allegations have never been in trouble before. For this reason, they have not needed a criminal defense lawyer until now and do not know how to choose one. If this sounds like you, you have made a good decision by looking for information and visiting our website. You will not find the answers you need in the yellow pages. All of the ads there appear to be the same except for maybe the size and the amount of color in the advertisement. Most claim to be "aggressive" or "experienced" but, you probably ask yourself, "What does that really mean?"
Like any other important decision you make, you need information. The more information you have, the better. The better he information, the better the decision. And the information you need to choose the right lawyer for you and your case cannot be found inside (or on) a telephone book. You have to ask questions to get good information. And the answers you receive can make all the difference to you and your family.
2. What questions should I ask before I choose a lawyer to defend my freedom?
In the end, choosing the right criminal defense lawyer for you and your case begins with asking the right questions at the beginning. You can start with, "Have you ever defended cases like mine?" A slight variiation of this question might be, "Have you defended cases like mine successfully?" Another question should be, "Where can I read about your other cases? There are many other questions that you will want answered before you make such an important decision. While a certain result that a lawyer had in another case does not guarantee that you will get the same result in your case, you at least should know whether the lawyer has handled cases like yours. If he has, then you can assess whether he is familiar with the issues that might arise in your case.
3. How do I decide whether the lawyer is right for me?
In addition to your lawyer being knowledgeable about the issues likely to appear in your case, you will want to assess whether you can work with him or her. You will want to access how well the lawyer listens, how often he will meet with you and how much administrative support is available to assist you and your lawyer. You will want to know whether the fundamentals of real communication are in place for a successful relationship.
4. I received court papers that require me to appear for a preliminary hearing. Do I have to appear in person?
Yes. You must appear in Court on the date and time set for your preliminary hearing. If you fail to appear a warrant for your arrest will be issued, called a bench warrant.
5. Why is there a preliminary hearing in my case?
The main purpose of a preliminary hearing is to protect your right against an unlawful arrest and detention. There are other good reasons to have a preliminary hearring scheduled in your case. Keep reading.
6. How does a preliminary hearing protect me from an unlawful arrest and detention?
The Commonwealth must show that your arrest meets the minimum requirements established by law. At this hearing the Commonwealth must make at least a prima facie case – that is, at least a minimal showing – that a particular crime was committed and that you are probably the one who committed it. At this stage, the Commonwealth doesn’t have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to meet its burden the Commonwealth must present some evidence regarding each of the material elements of the crime charged. If the government can’t meet this burden, your case will be dismissed.
7. I hear that many people waive their preliminary hearing. Should I waive my preliminary hearing?
It depends. A preliminary hearing is important because it helps you and your lawyer learn more about the circumstances surrounding the allegations. More information is alwayws better than less information. You also will make better decisions about your case with better information. The preliminary hearing can help you obtain the the information you need to make smart choices in your case. The preliminary hearing presents an opportunity for your lawyer to learn about the evidence that the Commonwealth will try to offer against you in support of the charges. This also means that you must be prepared for this important hearing. If you can get all of the best information available without a preliminary hearing, then maybe you can waive the hearing. In other cases, the only way to obtain important information which will be necessary to execute your plan (develop all of your defenses or preserve legal issues and arguments) then you must have a preliminary hearing. And the testimony will need to be recorded by a court reporter who will prepare a transcript of the testimony.
8. What can my lawyer do to help me get prepared for my preliminary hearing?
Many things. Your lawyer can prepare for the preliminary hearing by spending time with you, learning about you, learning about what happened (or didn't happen) that resulted in your charges, and begin to deveop defenses and outline a strategy for success. Your lawyer can learn about the cuircumstances surrounding the allegations, conduct his own investigation (perhaps even work with a private investigator), interview witnesses, inspect the scene, take photographs, identify legal issues, conduct legal research (and do various other things which depend on the unique circumstances of your case). All of this preparation is made in an effort to identify and develop possible defenses to the charges. It's all part of forming a plan for how to defeat all or some of the allegations.
9. What should I do when I think charges might be filed against me?
When you receive these papers (or think that you might face criminal charges) you should meet with your lawyer immediately. You want to begin to prepare for the preliminary hearing as soon as possible. The government, often the local police, Pennsylvania State Police, their detectives, or other law enforcement have completed either most or all of their invesigation already. You and your lawyer will need to make the most of the time you have to prepare your defense by doing all or some of the things discussed in the answers, above.
10. What is a suppression hearing?
If your case is not dismiissed (or resolved to your satifaction) at the preliminary hearing, your lawyer might file pretrial motions, resulting in hearings. Some of these motions may argue that using certain evidence against you would violate your constitutional rights. A ruling in your favor can result in evidence being excluded (or "suppressed") from your trial, which may reduce the prosecution’s odds of winning. For example, statements that you made while in the custody of police, the results of blood, breath, or field sobriety tests might be considered by the Court to be inappropriate for a jury to hear because it would be unfair to you and our system of justice.
11. How long will it take to resolve my case?
It depends upon the unique nature of your case. Some cases are resolved at the preloiminary hearing. Others are resolved after pre-trial motions. Others are either resolved either before or after trial. Still others are not resolved until after an appeal.
12. What is the "speedy trial" rule?
The speedy trial rule prevents someone from having allegations remain unresolved for an unreasonable period of time. Our understanding of fundamental fairness is violated when someone has criminal allegations "hanging over their head" for an indefinite period of time without being afforded a chance to defend the allegation at a public trial. In Pennsylvania, the speedy trial rule requres, in general, that a case be called to trial within 365 days of the date the criminal complaint was filed. If a person remains in jail while awaiting trial, the speedy trial ruile requires that the case be called for trial within 180 days. As with any general rule, exceptions exist. Contact Us
2525 West 26th Street
Erie, PA 16506
Fax: 814-835-0401Firm Overview
Your Erie DUI & Criminal Defense Team
Your community is our community.
"Erie and Northwestern Pennsylvania is our home and has been the community where our families have worked for more than a century," says Tim George about his wife, Kathy Scibetta, also a lawyer, and their three children. Tim's great-grandfather was a longshoreman in Erie. His maternal grandfather taught Math for decades at Gannon College (now Gannon University) and Cathedral Prep High School. In 1944, his paternal grandfather founded WESPEN Audio Visual Company, now owned by his father and brother. And, for 20 years his mother worked at Mercyhurst College.
Solid training & unique experience.
After graduating from St. Bonaventure University and recieiving a law degree from The Dickinson School of Law (now Penn State Dickinson), Tim returned home in 1992 to practice law. He founded J. Timothy George, P.C. in 1996. He credits the training provided by more experienced lawyers with whom he has worked, his time as a prosecutor, and his experience as an Army lawyer with shaping his practice. He was called to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in January 2009 and served for 11 months as trial counsel for the 28th CAB where he handled military justice cases.
Fewer cases means more time for you.
Our clients are supported by four full-time administrative support personnel, including two paralegals. We embrace the efficencies of technology and, in particular, the many ways such advancements can improve the quantity, quality and timeliness of the services provided to our clients. Tim is careful to limit the number of cases he handles because real communication requires time, especially with clients who face a DUI or criminal allegations for the first time. Fewer cases means more time for clients. Fewer clients allows more time to meet, listen and explain, and doing so with enough frequency to ensure that clients truly understand the process, their options and the best way ahead.
In 2004, Tim moved his practice to 2525 West 26th Street in Erie after overseeing extensive renovations made there. The location is centrally located and easily accessible, just one block west of I-79. The location is convenient for clients throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania and offers free parking. You can recieve directions elsewhere on our website.
Helping you & your family.
Tim says, "Our singular objective is to defend freedom and, in the end, help people and their families." All meetings are confidentiial, and the first office consultation is free. Call toll free (866) 794-2525.