Kraynak gets house arrest, plans to appeal
SUNBURY - Dr. Raymond J. Kraynak Jr. was ordered to spend 30 days under house arrest and had his driver's license suspended for one year as part of his sentencing Monday morning on a driving under the influence of alcohol conviction.
The Mount Carmel physician and outgoing Mount Carmel Area School Board member was sentenced by Judge Charles Saylor to six months of intermediate punishment. Besides being placed on house arrest for the first 30 days, the sentencing includes a $1,000 fine, completion of a DUI education class, a requirement that he stay out of bars and an assortment of fees and costs.
Now that sentencing has been handed down, however, Kraynak's attorney Frederick Fanelli of Pottsville said his client plans to appeal his conviction to the state Superior Court within 30 days. Imposition of the sentencing will be deferred until the appeal is heard, and that can take months.
"I'm confident Dr. Kraynak will be vindicated on appeal," Fanelli said following the sentencing.
The 56-year-old Kraynak had no comment.
He was charged by Coal Township Patrolman Matthew Henrich with DUI following an incident at a May 26, 2012, sobriety checkpoint on Route 61 in Coal Township. Kraynak said he thought there had been an accident and stopped to render assistance. Police said he failed field sobriety tests and had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Police also said Kraynak's speech was slurred and his face was flushed.
Kraynak, who resided in Kulpmont at the time of the incident but now lives in Mount Carmel, refused to submit to chemical testing, a decision that warrants an automatic 12-month license suspension administered by PennDOT.
He was found guilty following a one-day bench trial before Saylor Aug. 30.
Northumberland County Assistant District Attorney Michael Toomey requested Saylor to give Kraynak a jail sentence instead of house arrest. Kraynak was facing a minimum of three days and maximum of six months jail time.
Toomey said, "In the interest of justice, I believe he should serve the maximum sentence."
But the judge said he had the discretion to give Kraynak jail time or house arrest since it was the defendant's first offense and that the maximum sentence for the charge is less than two years.
Toomey said Kraynak showed no remorse for his crime, while Fanelli said there was no accident and no one was hurt for which there would be remorse. Toomey said there could have been an accident, claiming Kraynak drove under the influence of alcohol from Kulpmont to the Shamokin area.
Fanelli said Kraynak is an active physician in the community who provides free medical care to the needy. He also cited his client's 20 years on the school board. "He has done a whole lot of good for the community and there's no purpose for him to be in jail for three days," the attorney said.
During a two-hour civil hearing Sept. 17, Northumberland County Judge William H. Wiest dismissed an appeal filed by Kraynak involving an automatic 12-month suspension of his driver's license by PennDOT for his refusal to submit to a blood-alcohol test. If Saylor's sentencing is upheld, Kraynak would lose his license for another year.