814.273.2010

How to Choose the Right DUI Lawyer: Let Facts Not Fear Drive Your Decision

You’ve Already Made a Smart Choice.

Congratulations! By reading this book you’ve already made a good choice. Many others charged with DUI will make the important, and in some cases life-changing choice of a lawyer without any information essential to making a smart decision. Here, you will learn about the information you need, what questions to ask both yourself and any lawyer you consider hiring, and how to avoid the biggest mistakes often made by others. The best news is that you can get meaningful information quickly – before you meet with any lawyers. So, let’s get started.

DUI Arrests are on the Rise.

In 2015, a record number of motorists were charged with DUI by the Pennsylvania State Police according to a press release published on May 16, 2016. The Pennsylvania State Police were responsible for 18,801 DUI arrests, which marks a 6.2% increase in the totals from 2014. Nearly one- fourth, or 4,431, of these DUI arrests were for driving while impaired on drugs. This represents the highest number of DUI arrests in Pennsylvania history, and the 14th year in a row that the number of DUI arrests has increased. (And these totals do not include the arrests made by local police.)

Most People Don’t Know Where to Get Help.

Many people who face allegations of DUI have never been in trouble before. For this reason, they have not needed a DUI lawyer until now and do not know how to choose one. Others may have had a DUI or other criminal charges in the past, but were disappointed with their lawyer – whom they hired because he was the first one who could meet with them or because he was inexpensive.

Choosing the Right Lawyer is Difficult.

The process of choosing a DUI lawyer to join you in defending your freedom is both an important and difficult task. Your ability to make a smart decision is more difficult now because of the fear and uncertainty you feel. Maybe, you thought that the officer might lose your paperwork. You hoped that the blood test results might be low enough that no charges would be filed. But when you opened the mail and saw the envelope from the Magisterial District Court, all of the fear from the night that the flashing overhead lights appeared from nowhere in your rearview mirror rushed through you – again.

You Have Questions.

As you read the court papers, questions race through your mind. You ask yourself, Will I go to jail? If so, for how long? And where? Will I lose my driver’s license? When? And for how long? What will happen to my CDL? Will I lose my job?

You Need Answers.

The DUI lawyer you choose is important because of what is at stake for you. The penalties for a DUI conviction are harsh. A conviction can result in a mandatory prison sentence. Our judges have less discretion because of mandatory sentencing schemes imposed by the Legislature. A conviction will trigger a driver’s license suspension and, for some, a license revocation. Those who have a CDL will be disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle. Some will have to equip their car with an ignition interlock system. Others will be required to pay fines, attend classes, wear alcohol-detecting ankle bracelets and meet with probation officers. Will you be convicted? Which of these penalties will apply to you? Which penalties will not apply to you? Right now, you have more questions than answers.

The Truth is Most Lawyer Advertising Doesn’t

Help.

In Pennsylvania, there are thousands of lawyers. In any telephone book throughout our Commonwealth you will see dozens or even hundreds of lawyers advertising that they handle DUI cases. Advertising (even lawyer advertising) can be a good thing, particularly when it educates and informs consumers. The problem is that most of the advertisements include many of the same

meaningless slogans like “We’re Aggressive” or “We’re Experienced” or “We’ll Fight for You.” The only things that seem to distinguish one ad from another are size and color (as if the bigger or more colorful the ad the better the lawyer). Sadly, internet advertising isn’t much different. Most websites look alike and contain the same, meaningless slogans. The lack of any meaningful information in most lawyer advertising makes choosing the right lawyer for you and your case difficult. The truth about lawyer advertising is that it doesn’t help you much and is, at best, only a starting point.

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Other People Make When Choosing a DUI Lawyer

  1. They choose based on availability. Many people choose a lawyer solely because the lawyer was available to talk or meet on the day they called. While this may be understandable given the fear and sense of urgency created by such serious allegations, this is no way to make such an important decision. You learn nothing about the lawyer except that he is not busy on other important cases (or his other cases are not so important to him) that he will take your call. Simply being the first lawyer who has time to meet with you does not qualify the lawyer to be entrusted with defending something so important as your freedom.
  • They choose based on price. Many other people choose a lawyer because the lawyer is inexpensive. Although price is always a relevant consideration, a decision that will affect your freedom, your future and your family cannot be made solely upon price. For these people, any lawyer will do. The lawyer’s qualifications, experience, familiarity with the unique issues presented in DUI cases, what other lawyers and former clients think of their legal abilities, or the time and attention they give their clients don’t matter. However, it would seem obvious that these things do matter to anyone who faces the possibility of a mandatory prison sentence, a suspension or revocation of their driver’s license and all of the other penalties triggered by a DUI conviction. The people who choose the cheapest lawyer often are surprised when their telephone calls are not returned. They complain that they never get to see their lawyer – except in court. As a result, they don’t know what to expect and are not prepared for what lies ahead – until it’s too late.
  • They choose based on the size or color (or location) of a yellow pages ad or website listing. When the paperwork arrives in the mail from the Magisterial District Court and panic and fear consume you, some people make decisions in haste and without thinking. They assume that a bigger yellow pages ad means better. They assume the first online listing on the top of the page (with other paid advertising) means top lawyer. Or they assume that more color means more qualified. They may see an ad on the cover of the phone book and never open the book for the names of other possible lawyers to consider. These people tend to allow their fear to drive their decisions. For them, the sooner they hire someone – anyone – the better.
  • They choose based on fear. In some ways, fear plays a role in each of the first three biggest mistakes other people make when choosing a lawyer. All of us, to some extent, fear the unknown. Most people charged with DUI have never experienced our criminal justice system. For them, most, if not everything, is uncertain. For them, fear and uncertainty become almost overwhelming. We don’t make smart decisions when afraid and overwhelmed. Now is the time to get informed and learn as much as possible, as soon as possible.
  • They choose based on some combination of the first four mistakes. None of the first four biggest mistakes other people make when choosing a DUI lawyer allows them to make an intelligent or well-informed decision. And such a decision is rarely improved when the choice is based upon a combination of other poor reasons to choose a lawyer.

You Can Avoid These Mistakes.

You can let facts, not fear, drive your decision about what DUI lawyer to choose. You can get real information before you meet with any lawyers. You can get straight answers to your questions quickly. You can learn about lawyers, their actual experience, what other lawyers think of them, and what others who hired them say about them. You also can learn about other cases that they handled successfully. You can learn what questions to ask before you meet with a lawyer. You can do all of this before you schedule any appointments with any lawyers.

What You Need is Real Information.

Your decision about who is the right lawyer for you and your case simply cannot be made on the basis of advertising alone. The lawyer advertising that covers the telephone book and fills dozen of yellow pages and most websites is practically useless because the ads all say the same thing. The empty slogans found in nearly all lawyer advertising provide you with little useful information upon which to base such an important decision. The same is true for most websites, which often offer no more information than an ad in the yellow pages. Likewise, for the unsolicited letters you receive in the mail from lawyers who offer only more of the same. The best thing that you can do before making any important decision in your life is gather meaningful information. We recommend that you do the same thing when choosing the right DUI lawyer for you and your case.

You Need Answers. And You Need Them Fast!

Whether you were arrested last night or just opened the mail which included a notice of preliminary  hearing  from  the  Magisterial District Court, you don’t have much time to choose a lawyer. You have questions. You need answers and you need them fast. Your schedule at work and your obligations at home make it difficult to schedule free consultations with lawyers, interview them, ask questions and gather information. Such a method is not only impractical, it is inefficient. You can begin to gather meaningful information before you meet with any lawyers. You need to make good use of your personal days at work and your time away from family. Here is a better way to get the answers you need and get them fast.

You Get Real Information Only By Asking the

Right Questions.

If you want real information, you must start by asking the right questions. We suggest a number of questions that you ask before you schedule your interview of any lawyer. Your decision to hire a DUI lawyer may be the most important decision you make this year. Much hangs in the balance for you and your family. You should feel free to ask all of the questions suggested here.

Ask These 5 Questions Before You Meet Any Lawyers.

A truly “experienced” DUI lawyer will be pleased to answer all of your questions even before you schedule an appointment. The information you seek cannot be found in the telephone book or on most websites. And the answers you receive can make all the difference. In the end, choosing the right DUI lawyer for you and your case starts with asking the right questions at the beginning. Before you even agree to meet any DUI lawyer (and certainly before you hire one) ask the lawyer these five questions:

  1. Do You Offer Any Free DUI Information, Like Books, Articles or DVDs? First, ask for free information about DUI in Pennsylvania. Ask the lawyer to send you any books or articles he has written on the subject. Ask the lawyer where you can download a book (or two) which provide information about DUI, the elements of proof, the penalties upon conviction or any alternatives to prison. Ask the lawyer to provide any other educational information that may help you understand what you can expect when facing an allegation of DUI.

You want to overcome fear of the unknown and minimize unnecessary anxiety as you prepare yourself for what lies ahead. More information helps you get smart faster. The better the information, the better the decisions you will make. If the lawyer does not offer any free information without insisting upon a consultation, keep looking. Narrow your list of potential lawyers based upon the quality of information they provide to you before you spend the time to meet with them.

  • Have You Won DUI Cases? Second, you should ask whether the lawyer has successfully defeated DUI charges in other cases. Although past successes do not guarantee any particular result in your case, you should know whether or not your lawyer has meaningful experience handling cases like yours. A DUI case can be challenged in a number of different ways. For example, it might be that the police lacked a good enough reason to stop your car in the first place; a defense of this nature would challenge the constitutionality of the motor vehicle stop. A DUI lawyer with experience defending cases that involve questionable motor vehicle stops or evidence collection issues would be pleased to discuss these topics with you.
  • Where Can I Read About Your Other Cases? Third, you should ask where you can read about other DUI cases that the lawyer has defended. Lawyers should be able to share with you either copies of transcripts or opinions (while protecting the names of former clients) or summaries of other cases. Again, while past successes will provide you with no particular guarantee in your case, you can at least be comforted in knowing that your lawyer has handled cases like yours and handled them well.
  • Where Can I Learn About What Other Lawyers, Judges and Your Clients Think About Your Legal Abilities and Ethics? There are several independent, peer review (where lawyers rate each other) services that provide information about lawyers, their experience, achievements in various areas of law, and ethics. First, the

Pennsylvania  Super  Lawyers®    list  is  an   honor reserved for those lawyers who exhibit excellence in their practice. Only 5% of attorneys in Pennsylvania receive this distinction.  Selection to the Super Lawyers®  list provides third-party validation of a lawyer’s practice. Super Lawyers® selects  attorneys  using  a  patented  multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement. Selections are made on an annual, state-by-state basis. The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys that can be used as a resource for other lawyers and consumers, like you, searching for legal counsel.  Like any good peer rating service, a Super Lawyers® designation cannot be purchased and lawyers cannot nominate themselves and are prohibited from campaigning for this designation.

Second, the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are designed to help people identify, evaluate and choose the best lawyer for their case. According to Martindale-Hubbell, the ratings are “an objective indicator that a lawyer has the highest ethical standards and professional ability and are used by buyers of legal services to justify their hiring decisions.”

Martindale-Hubbell asks judges and lawyers who know a lawyer to rate the lawyer. Only if a lawyer is considered to have “Very High” general ethical standards is a lawyer considered for a rating. If considered, judges and other lawyers will rank a lawyer on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest) in five areas: Legal Knowledge; Analytical Capabilities; Judgment; Communication Ability; and Legal Experience.

Lawyers who receive a rating below 3.0 are considered “Ranked”; lawyers who receive a rating below 4.5 are considered “BV-Distinguished” which “is an excellent rating for a lawyer with some experience [and] a widely respected mark of achievement, it differentiates a lawyer from his or her competition.”

The highest ranking is “AV-Preeminent.” The AV Preeminent rating “is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence” and is the highest possible ranking a Pennsylvania lawyer can receive.

Only the highest rated Pennsylvania lawyers receive a rating of 4.5 or better and receive an “AV- Preeminent” ranking. According to Martindale- Hubbell, an “AV- Preeminent” ranking “shows that a lawyer has reached the height of professional excellence. He or she has usually practiced law for many years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity.”

Next, another source of information about lawyers can be found at www.Avvo.com. According to Avvo, “The Avvo Rating is our effort to evaluate a lawyer’s background, based on the information we know about the lawyer. The rating is calculated using a mathematical model that considers the information shown in a lawyer’s profile, including a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition – all factors that, in our opinion, are relevant to assessing a lawyer’s qualification.”

Here’s why the Avvo Rating can help you find the right lawyer, according to Avvo.com:

⁄              It’s unbiased.    Because ratings are calculated using a mathematical model, all  lawyers  are   rated by the same standards.

⁄              There’s no favoritism. At Avvo, all lawyers are treated equally. They can’t pay to change the ratings, and we don’t play favorites to lawyers we know.

⁄              It’s developed by legal experts for non- experts. The model used to calculate the Avvo Rating was developed with input from hundreds of attorneys, thousands of consumers, and legal experts.

⁄              It’s easy to understand. With simple ratings from 1 to 10 or “Attention” or “No Concern,” we hope to make clearer the murky process of understanding lawyers’ backgrounds.

Avvo.com also reminds (as do we) that the Avvo Rating (or any other lawyer rating service) is not intended to be the only thing you use in choosing a lawyer. It is only one tool and it is “our effort to provide a snapshot evaluation of the lawyer’s background, so you can more effectively compare the available background information of different lawyers.” This is true for all lawyer rating services. The information you gather from these rating services should be a starting point for you in your search for the best lawyer for you and your case.

  • Will You Help Me Make This the Last DUI I Ever Face? Finally, you should ask the lawyer what he can do to help ensure that this is the last DUI you ever have to face. Being a lawyer means more than simply knowing the law and being a courtroom advocate. A lawyer is a problem solver. If you think that you might benefit from alcohol counseling or even in-patient treatment for addiction, the lawyer should be familiar with where you can get help. He should support your efforts to make sure that this is the last DUI you ever face.

Ask These Questions When You Meet Any Lawyers

Only after you receive free information like books or DVDs, and you read about other cases the lawyer has successfully defended, you learn how other lawyers and clients rate the lawyer, and receive answers to your questions that satisfy you that the lawyer might be qualified to help you, should you then agree to schedule an initial consultation.

When you meet we suggest that you ask even more questions before you decide whether this is the right DUI lawyer for you and your case:

⁄              How long have you been in practice?

⁄              Can you explain both the strengths and weaknesses of my case?

⁄              What will happen at every stage of my case?

⁄              What are potential defenses to my case?

⁄              Is   there   any   investigation   that   you recommend? If so, what?

⁄              What is ARD?

⁄              Do I qualify for ARD?

⁄              What would ARD supervision be like?

⁄              Is ARD the right choice for me?

⁄              What are the disadvantages of ARD?

⁄              If I don’t qualify for ARD, will I lose my driver’s license?

⁄              If I don’t qualify for ARD, will I go to jail?

⁄              What are the “collateral consequences” of each possible course of action in my case?

⁄              Have you ever defended DUI cases before a jury?

⁄              Have you ever prosecuted DUI cases?

⁄              Why does it matter if you have prosecuted DUI cases in the past?

⁄              Will you meet with me in person before and after all court appearances?

⁄              If I think that a drug or alcohol evaluation might be beneficial to me, can you help me find a counselor?

⁄              Do you discuss your fees in advance? If so, how much will my defense cost?

⁄              Do you put your fee agreement in writing?

⁄              Do you accept credit cards?

⁄              Do you accept payments?

⁄              Do you have a toll free number?

⁄              Do you return telephone calls the same day that you receive them?

⁄              How often do you check your email?

⁄              Do you answer emails the same day that you receive them?

⁄              If you are not available, do you have administrative assistants who can give me basic information about my case?

⁄              Will you give me the names of other DUI lawyers that I can interview before I make a decision?

Ask Yourself These 5 Questions After You Meet Any Lawyers.

Here are several questions to ask yourself either during or after that “free initial consultation” that almost every lawyer offers:

  1. Did the lawyer listen to me?
  • Did the lawyer speak in plain English and in a way that I could understand?
  • Did the lawyer welcome all of my questions?
  • Did the lawyer answer all of my questions to my satisfaction?
  • Did the lawyer seem defensive or avoid altogether any of my questions?

You May Have Other Questions… Ask Them.

These questions may not be exhaustive. There may be other questions important to you because each case is different and your goals may involve considerations unique to your situation. The lawyer that you choose should be pleased to answer all of these questions, together with any other questions unique to your special circumstances.

The Secret to a Winning Relationship with Your Lawyer.

When many of us think of lawyers and communication, we envision a courtroom, a jury and a passionate closing argument. The lawyer talks (and talks) and everyone else just listens. The roles never change. However, the kind of communication that makes for a winning relationship with your lawyer is quite different.

Real Communication Involves More than Just a Lawyer Talking.

Meaningful communication requires listening, seeing one another, and time. Time to listen. Time to talk. Time to meet in person. Time to explain.

And doing each of these things with enough frequency to make sure that you truly understand the process, your choices, and the best way ahead for you and your family.

As you consider the right DUI defense lawyer for you, think about whether the fundamentals of successful communication are in place. Consider these keys to meaningful communication with your lawyer:

⁄    Does the lawyer listen to you, or just talk?

⁄    Does the lawyer limit the number of cases he accepts in order to make more time for real communication with you?

⁄    Will the lawyer meet with you in person before every court appearance so that you have both enough time and information to make smart decisions?

⁄    Will the lawyer also meet with you after each significant event in your case to make sure you know what will happen next so you can get ready for the next event in your case?

We Understand How You’re Feeling Right Now.

If you face DUI in Pennsylvania, you may feel overwhelmed, confused or even frightened by the possibility of losing your freedom, your job or your driver’s license. Many good and decent people – hardworking citizens with families and good jobs – make mistakes. Most are over-charged. Others are, quite simply, wrongfully charged with DUI and other crimes. You are not alone. We can help.

We Provide Free DUI Information.

We provide lots of free DUI information including books, articles, answers to frequently asked questions, a DVD and online videos. In 2010, Tim George wrote Defending Freedom: The Ultimate Guide to DUI Cases in Pennsylvania. In 2012, he authored a Second Edition which revised and

expanded the original edition and included even more information. In 2017, he published a Third Edition, with even more information including changes in the law. You can download a copy of Defending Freedom: The Ultimate  Guide  to  DUI

Cases     in     Pennsylvania     (3rd        Edition)     at www.PurchaseGeorge.com. Or call us at (814) 833- 7100 and we’ll mail a paperback to you.

You also can get lots of free information by visiting www.PurchaseGeorge.com where you can read many articles about DUI, see a sampling of our success stories, read what others say about us, watch online videos and get answers to dozens of frequently asked questions.

You also can get a free subscription to our newsletter which provides useful and interesting information about DUI and a host of other topics throughout the year.

We Have Won DUI Cases.

We have a record of success. Each case is different. Every case turns on its own unique set of facts. So, the details surrounding your arrest will determine the outcome, as past successes of a lawyer provide you with no guarantees in your case. However, you should know whether a lawyer has meaningful experience handling cases like yours. Look, experienced lawyers win some and lose some. What a good lawyer does in every case is give you a fair chance to keep your freedom (or minimize the damage caused by a poor decision or a mistake that you made).

You Can Read About Our Success Stories.

With this in mind, we provide a sampling of our success stories at www.PurchaseGeorge.com and in our free DUI book entitled Defending Freedom: The Ultimate Guide to DUI Cases in Pennsylvania (3rd Edition).

Every case is different and your case will turn on the facts unique to your circumstances. You will get no guarantees from an honest lawyer. But aren’t you better informed when you know that your lawyer has actually defended allegations of DUI before and defended them well?

We Are Recognized on the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® list.

Purchase & George, P.C. is a law firm whose founding members and partners are both listed among Super Lawyers®. Tim George received this honor in both 2016 and 2017 in the field of criminal defense. Eric Purchase has made the list every year since 2013 in the area of personal injury. The patented multiphase peer review selection process, combined with independent research, results in only 5% of attorneys in Pennsylvania receiving this distinction. We’re proud to be among them.

We Have an “AV-Preeminent” Martindale- Hubbell Rating.

Purchase & George, P.C. is a law firm with an “AV- Preeminent” Martindale-Hubbell rating. Both Tim George and Eric Purchase have “AV-Preeminent” Martindale-Hubbell rankings based upon the criteria used by the oldest lawyer ranking service in America. This is the highest ranking lawyers can receive from their peers for both legal skills and ethics.

We Have a “10.0 Superb” Avvo.com Rating.

The lawyers at Purchase & George, P.C. also have “10.0 Superb” Avvo.com ratings based upon their experience and peer endorsements from other lawyers. This is the highest rating lawyers can receive.

You Can Read What Others Say About Us.

In addition to what other lawyers and judges say about us, you can read what others we’ve helped say about us by visiting www.PurchaseGeorge.com. Read the reviews written by others there.

We Don’t Take Freedom for Granted.

Most of us take our freedom for granted. Like many other things, we often fail to appreciate the value of our freedom until we are faced with the possibility of losing it. More importantly, we won’t take your freedom for granted. If you face DUI 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.

We appreciate that people accused of these offenses need more than just representation by a skilled advocate, but also an experienced professional who will listen, care and counsel. Our singular objective is to defend freedom and, in the end, help people and their families.

We Communicate with You.

The kind of service we provide can’t be achieved through the efforts of only one person. We have a team. And everyone plays a role in taking good care of our clients, many of whom have never been in trouble before. Our clients are supported by four full-time administrative support personnel. We also often work with an investigator to develop all of the important facts about a case. We embrace the efficiencies of technology and, in particular, the many ways such advancements can improve the quantity, quality and timeliness of the services provided to our clients.

We believe that a winning relationship with your lawyer requires meaningful communication. And successful communication involves more than just talk. It requires listening (our listening). It requires that you see us, and see us often. And, most important, meaningful communication requires time

  • time that exists only when the fundamentals of successful communication are in place.

We Make More Time for You.

For starters, we simply don’t accept every case. We often decline cases. We can’t be everything to everyone. We are careful to limit the number of cases we accept because case preparation and real communication require time, especially with clients who have never faced a DUI before. 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.

We Focus on What’s Most Important.

We employ enough professionals to provide administrative support. Our team is trained to put you and your concerns first. This lets your lawyer give his full attention to you and your defense. Our experienced administrative support team lets us focus on you and your case (and not the telephone, copier, scanner, fax or countless other tasks which, although important and necessary, consume time that could be devoted to preparing your defense and preparing you for what lies ahead).

We Take Good Care of You.

We assign at least one paralegal to each client. This provides our clients with prompt and personal attention when the lawyer is in court or helping someone else (without endless waiting for a return call or playing “phone tag”). More information given soon by someone familiar with the case always seems to please our clients.

We Make it Easy for You.

In 2004, we moved our main office 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. We recently remodeled again – this time to move the reception area to the lower level and thereby eliminate all stairs and steps. Now, those with difficulty walking and climbing can park in front and walk with ease to our lobby and meeting rooms. In 2010, we opened a second office in Meadville to better serve people in Crawford County.

ERIE

MEADVILLE

We Aren’t for Everyone.

Our job isn’t to tell you just what you want to hear. We tell you how it really is. We don’t accept every case. We want to defend people who want good advice, smart information, and an excellent defense – not a cheap one. As a result, we’re not a good fit for everyone. And if we’re not a good fit for you, we will tell you – and then help you find another lawyer. If you think we might be right for you, call us at (814) 833-7100.

Notes

About the Author

Tim George defends the freedom of people charged with DUI and other criminal offenses. Since graduating from the Dickinson School of Law in 1992, he has served as an assistant district attorney (1996-98), assistant public defender (2001) and Army lawyer (2004-16). In 2009, he deployed to Tallil, Iraq and served as a judge advocate with the 28th Combat Aviation Brigade.

After returning from Iraq, Tim founded Purchase & George, P.C. with law partner, Eric Purchase. Both Tim and Eric are recognized on the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® list, a distinction held by only 5% of lawyers in Pennsylvania. They also receive top ratings from other lawyer peer review services such as Avvo (“10.0 Superb”) and Martindale-Hubbell (“AV”), the oldest lawyer rating service in the country.

Tim volunteers at the Erie Veterans Legal Clinic which he and Eric Purchase created in 2016. Tim serves in leadership positions in the Erie County Bar Association and on other volunteer boards in civic organizations such as the Fairview School Foundation. In 2015, he served on Edinboro University’s Blue Ribbon Committee tasked with developing solutions for improving safety on campus and in the nearby communities. He now serves on the Criminal Justice Advisory Board of Edinboro University.

Tim has been married for more than 20 years to Kathy Scibetta, also a lawyer. They have three young children.

Tim George

  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® List
    • AV-Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Rating
    • 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating
    • Avvo Client’s Choice Award
    • Author of Two DUI Consumer Books
    • Co-Author of Car Accident Consumer Book
    • Former Criminal Prosecutor
    • Iraq War Veteran

2525 West 26th Street, Suite 200 Erie, PA 16506 (814) 833-7100 YourErieLawyers.com

Personal Injury Case Results

$1,250,000

Car accident

At approximately 50 mph, a young woman’s vehicle collided with a truck. Both vehicles were totaled. Client suffered multiple injuries including complex fractures and a myocardial contusion.

$700,000

Motorcycle Fatality

Client’s husband was killed in a motorcycle accident caused by a careless driver. His underinsured motorist carrier originally denied coverage, based on a policy exclusion, and then offered only half the coverage.

Criminal Defense Case Results

Charges Dropped

DUI, Lane violation & Careless driving

Late at night, a driver turned right at a stop light and crossed into the oncoming lane of traffic. His BAC was over the legal limit. He was charged with DUI, a lane violation and careless driving.

Not Guilty

Sex Offense

An instructor at a local high school was accused by a student of indecent assault on the last day of school. After four days of trial, the jury acquitted the instructor of all charges.

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  • "There aren't enough words to express how elated we are with the end results Attorney Tim George delivered, he went above and beyond our expectations. Attorney George was always prompt in returning phone calls, straight forward about the facts and extremely empathetic with the horrible situation that our son was facing."

  • "Eric Purchase provided clear, logical guidance. He worked to understand the situation and circumstances (in a complicated matter) in order to provide accurate assessments and recommendations. Thrilled to partner with him. Also appreciated his updates on pertinent matters and professional counseling throughout the entire process."

  • "Craig Murphey handled my personal injury claim. He was extremely professional, but also took a personal interest in helping me through a very difficult process. Everyone in the Purchase, George & Murphey office was very kind and helpful. I would recommend Craig Murphey’s services to anyone who might find themselves in need of a top-notch lawyer."

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Mr. George and his entire office staff were very kind and helping me through my first ever experience with the law. He was able to get me exactly what he said he would in the outcome of my trial. The entire staff was very informative and kept me up to date on everything. Very pleased with my experience and would most definately recommend him to others.

Allison, July 8, 2017