In Pennsylvania, sentencing is largely based on a person's prior record score and the offense gravity score (or how serious the legislature has deemed a particular crime). In Pennsylvania, a person's prior record score is based on the number of prior convictions that person has and the seriousness of those prior convictions.
In cases involving either multiple offenses or multiple defendants, the Commonwealth may move to try all the offenses or co-defendants together in one trial. In order to consolidate all the offenses or co-defendants into one trial, the Commonwealth must file written notice of its intention at or before the defendant's arraignment.
Pennsylvania law provides for certain sentencing enhancements once a person has been convicted of a crime. One such enhancement is known as the Deadly Weapon Enhancement.
In Pennsylvania, a person's prior record score is based on his prior convictions and the offense gravity score of the crime with which he is charged. The general rule for prior record score is that a felony is graded as one point and a misdemeanor is graded as 1/2 point. Under Pennsylvania law, however, certain offenses carry multiple points and can be relevant if someone is convicted of a crime in the future.
Often times drug charges are followed by forfeiture proceedings. Forfeitures are important not only to someone who is charged with a drug offense, but also members of the family who own property that is forfeited.
In Pennsylvania, the Legislature set forth a list of factors a judge should use when making his determination as to whether a defendant should be sentenced to probation or imprisonmnet.
In Pennsylvania death penalty cases, where the prosecution is seeking the death penalty, the prosecution must prove that there is an aggravating factor present to warrant the death penalty.
In Pennsylvania death penalty cases, the Legislature created a statute outlining mitigating circumstances a jury shall consider when determining whether to impose a sentence of death or life.
A new Pennsylvania Supreme Court case has ruled on the proper standard to analyze warrantless searches of an automobile. In this case, the PA Supreme Court has held that the proper standard is the standard the federal courts apply: namely if a police officer has probable cause to believe that an automobile may contain contraband, the probable cause plus the fact that an automobile is readily mobile, creates an exception to the warrant requirement.