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10 Best 2014 | Client Satisfaction Award | American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys

November 2014 Archives

Grading of Criminal Mischief in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania law provides for a crime known as criminal mischief.  Criminal mischief is essentially damaging property belonging to another person.  Pennsylvania law provides a number of different ways this crime can be accomplished and also provides for various gradings.

Pennsylvania law regarding suppressing search warrants based on anonymous tips

As stated in previous blogs, Pennsylvania and federal courts disfavor applications for search warrants based on information obtained from anonymous sources.  The reason the Courts disfavor these search warrants is because there is no inherent reliability in information obtained from anonymous sources.  If the police no the person providing the information or the person provides his name and contact information, there is some inherent reliability to that because that person potentially subjects himself to penalties for false report to law enforcement.

Class action calls Pennsylvania civil forfeiture laws unlawful

In Pennsylvania, as well as a number of other states, there is a little-known legal device called civil forfeiture that allows police and law enforcement agencies to seize both real and personal property from an individual without ever needing to charge the individual with a crime. That's because, according to the law, it's not the person who is guilty of the crime but rather the property itself. This has given rise to unusual civil actions that puts the burden of proof on a person to prove their innocence in order to retrieve their items.

Pennsylvania law regarding anonymous tips

In Pennsylvania, the police can obtain information from non-law enforcement sources and use that information as a basis to obtain a search warrant for a particular place.  This information from non-law enforcement sources falls into 2 categories: 1. confidential informants or other people who are known to the police and 2. anonymous informants.  it is this second category that Pennsylvania courts treat with extreme skepticism.

New Senate Bill clarifies DUI maximum sentence for second-time offenders in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has recently passed a new law re: DUIs.  This new law seeks to clarify a previous issue that during the sentencing of those individuals who have been convicted of a second offense for DUI within 10 years for refusing chemical testing.  Prior to the passage of this new law and after a Pennsylvania Superior Court Opinion addressing the same issue, a person who had been convicted of a second offense within 10 years and who refused chemical testing only faced a maximum sentence of 6 months incarceration, because the previous wording of the grading statute was flawed.

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Law Offices of Kelly & Conte
213 W Miner Street #3
West Chester, PA 19382

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