The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently issued a ruling declaring the mandatory minimum sentencing statutes unconstitutional. At issue in the case of Commonwealth v. Newman was whether the trial court's imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence for a case allegedly involving possession of guns in close proximity to drugs was unconstitutional in light of the recent United States Supreme Court case Alleyne v. United States. In Alleyne, the USSC held that any fact which triggers the imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence must be submitted to a jury and that jury must find the existence of that fact beyond a reasonable doubt.
Under Pennsylvania law, a person convicted of the crime of possession with the intent to deliver can face a variety of exposure depending on the specific facts of his case. One key factor is based on what schedule narcotic or controlled substance the client has been alleged to have delivered. Under Pennsylvania law, there are 5 schedules of narcotics or controlled substances and each schedule has a different maximum sentence.
Under Pennsylvania law, the scheduling of drugs and controlled substances is key to criminal defense because the schedule of a particular drug has an impact on the exposure a client could face at sentencing. There are five (5) total schedules of controlled substances. The maximum exposure a person could face is the most serious with schedule 1 controlled substances and is the least serious with schedule 5 controlled substances.
Sex Crimes Against Minors