Bail is an issue that is dealt with as the case is making its way through the criminal justice process to trial. Bail is set in cases for 2 reasons: 1. to ensure the defendant will show up to all court appearances and 2. to protect any potential victims or the community at large. Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 523 sets forth specific factors a judge should consider when determining if it is appropriate to lower someone's bail:
As of April of this year, Chester County changed portions of its Intermediate Punishment Program (IPP). One of the most significant changes that occurred is that those individuals who have been charged with their 3rd Driving Under the Influence (DUI) within ten years and who have a B.A.C. of .16 or higher or who have refused testing are no longer eligible for IPP in Chester County.
Pennsylvania law allows a defense to homicide for the use of deadly force under very specific circumstances:
Pennsylvania law provides a defense to violent crimes in cases of self-defense. Although self-defense is permitted, it is not without limitations. The following are statutory limitations on the use of self-defense:
Pennsylvania law provides for use of force in self-protection, or self-defense, as a defense to charges of violent crimes, when the self-defense meets the following elements:
Pennsylvania law allows for the use of force against one person to protect the safety of others as a defense to prosecution for assault crimes under specific circumstances:
Pennsylvania law allows for consent as a defense to crimes in certain instances. But, even actual consent can be deemed ineffective to raise a defense to certain crimes in other instances. Under Pennsylvania law, consent can be ineffetive if:
Consent can be a defense to alleged criminal conduct, i.e. rape, in certain cases in Pennsylvania if the consent meets specific elements.
Pennsylvania law defines an accomplice as:
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently held that the defense is NOT permitted to call an expert witness who would testify about "false confessions." Social scientists have spent a number of years studying a phenomenon known as the "false confession."
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has recently overturned hundreds of years of Pennsylvania Constitutional Law with its recent decision regarding the warrant requirement and vehicle searches.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a decision which overturns its previous ban on expert testimony regarding eyewitness identification.