WILKES-BARRE — A Kingston attorney on Friday withdrew his guilty plea in a drug-related Plymouth hit-and-run crash in order to apply for admission into the county’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program.
Anthony J. Moses, 35, made the request during an appearance before Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough.
The judge granted Moses’ request and set a Sept. 8 trial date. Moses told reporters outside the courtroom that he intends to plead guilty again if he is not admitted to ARD, under which first-time offenders are given an opportunity to have their charges expunged following a period of rehabilitation.
Moses declined to comment on what prompted his change of course Friday in the wake of a May 9 guilty plea.
Police said Moses had Xanax and methadone in his system when he crashed his car while driving the wrong way on Vine Street, which is one-way, on the night of Aug. 23.
A police affidavit said no narcotics were found in the car, but blood tests conducted later at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital revealed two controlled substances in Moses’ system: Xanax, a brand-name version of Alprazolam, which commonly is used to treat anxiety disorders; and Dolophine, a brand-name prescription opioid drug, containing methadone, which is used to treat narcotics addiction as well as being used as a pain reliever.
Moses did not have prescriptions for those substances, police said.
Moses’ May 9 plea covered two first-offense driving under the influence counts. Additional charges of damaging an unattended vehicle, driving the wrong way and unauthorized use of a license plate were withdrawn as part of the agreement.
As indicated in court documents at the time, Moses faced a 12-month license suspension and $509 in restitution to Plymouth police.
Moses, whose law license was placed under “emergency temporary suspension” on March 21, did tell reporters that he believes restoration of the license hinges on outcome of the case.
A court letter to Moses indicated the suspension will remain in place “until further definitive action.”
Court documents do not indicate why the suspension was imposed, making reference to the order falling under state disciplinary rules regarding confidentiality.
That was the second time in five months his law license was suspended.
In October, Moses’ license was temporarily suspended by the state for failure to pay a $130 annual registration fee, which he called an oversight in an interview.