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May 2016 Archives

Motions: Violation of the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act

One of the more obscure Motions that an attorney can file in a criminal defense case is a Motion to Suppress evidence which is a violation of the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act. It can be argued that evidence which the police obtained either directly or indirectly should be suppressed (or kept out of court), if it was obtained in violation of the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act. Attorney Evan Kelly  The Pennsylvania Wiretap Act can be found in Title 18 section 5702 and 5703 and 5704. Specifically, Section 5704 of the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act states that a private citizen may not intercept a wire (phone call) or oral communication unless all parties involved in the communication (conversation) have given prior consent to the conversation being intercepted or recorded.

How much does a DUI cost?

A lot of Pennsylvania drivers will be so worried about the criminal consequences associated a potential DUI conviction that they forget about the financial costs of a conviction. Indeed, a DUI can be extremely expensive even if an individual is not convicted of the crime. For financial reasons alone, drivers accused of DUI may want to contract the services of an experienced DUI defense lawyer to defend them against the allegations.

Sex Crimes: Indecent Exposure

A conviction for Sex Crimes such as Indecent exposure can be life altering. Although Indecent Exposure is not a crime that requires registration under Megan's Law or SORNA which stands for "Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act", a conviction for this crime can have dire consequences.  read about sex crimes trials Specifically, Indecent Exposure is typically graded as a Misdemeanor of the second degree and therefore punishable by a maximum of two years in state prison. However, if the accused should have known that the alleged victim of the exposure was less than 16 years of age, then the crime is punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and the requirements of SORNA do apply.

Sex Crimes: Aggravated Indecent Assault

Aggravated Indecent Assault is one of the more serious sex crimes that you can be charged with in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Aggravated Indecent Assault is a sex crime that requires the government to prove that the accused committed acts which do not quite rise to the level of Rape, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and sexual assault. Even though the sex crime of Aggravated Indecent Assault  read more about Aggravated Indecent Assault is not as serious as these other crimes, it is still an extremely serious charge and upon conviction, requires that an accused spend several years in state prison and register as a sexual offender under Megan's Law/ Sorna. It is imperative that you contact an experienced Sex Crimes attorney immediately if you are being investigated for committing this crime.

Federal child pornography crimes

Pornographic images of children are illegal under federal law and they are not protected via First Amendment rights under the Constitution. Section 2256 of Title 18 specifically addresses child pornography and defines it as the visual presentation of content that is sexually explicit and involves an individual under the age of 18. The child in the images does not have to be engaged in a sexual act, but could simply be a naked image that is sexually suggestive.

Violent Crimes: Murder

Murder is one of the most serious types of Violent Crimes. A conviction for this crime carries typically carries a sentence of life in prison. And a criminal defendant can be convicted for certain types of violent crimes such as murder even if he did not intentionally kill someone. read about self-defense  The only requirement for murders such as 2nd degree murder is that the accused conspired with another individual to commit the crime such as robbery or burglary and that someone died as a result of their actions. If you are being investigated for involvement in the crime of murder, then it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Chester County attorney immediately.

Violent Crimes: Self-Defense Deadly Force?

Using Self-Defense against Violent Crimes.  One of the primary issues that arises in discussions about the law of self-defense in Pennsylvania is when can someone use Deadly Force? Pennsylvania law regarding the use of deadly force against violent crimes and self-defense in general can be found under Title 18 section 505.  Read more on self-defense Although the statute lists the legal factors which are to be considered when the defense of self-defense in broached in a trial, it is generally up to the jury to decide whether the use of deadly force was or was not warranted. Make sure to contact an experienced Chester County Self-defense attorney if you have any questions about when you are permitted to use deadly force.

Attorney questions DNA evidence in Philadelphia murder cases

The 1989 murders of two Philadelphia women were "cold cases" until 2013, when Philadelphia police say they matched DNA from a federal database to a New Jersey man. Prosecutors contend that the man, now 54, left his DNA on the sneaker of one of the victims, a 33-year-old, when he strangled her with a shoelace and left her in a burned-out bar.

Theft Crimes: Forgery

Forgery is one of the more serious types of theft crimes that an accused can be charged with in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Forgery is typically graded as a felony of the second degree and punishable by a maximum of ten years in state prison and a $15,000 fine. It is imperative that you seek the counsel of an experienced and aggressive Chester County theft crimes attorney  Theft Crime lawyers if you have been charged with or are being investigated for the theft crime of forgery. A conviction for this serious crime can be a life changing event. One that can not only carry significant jail time and fines, but also draw the attention of future employers.

Violent Crimes: Robbery

Robbery is one of the most serious violent crimes that you can be charged with in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Depend among the facts of the case, the violent crime of robbery can be graded as a felony of the first degree, a felony of the second degree and/or a felony of the third degree.  read about self defense This means that an accused could face a maximum of 20 years to seven years in state prison for each and every individual that claims that he was robbed by the accused. It is imperative that you contact an experienced Chester County Robbery attorney, if you are being investigated or have been charged with the crime of robbery.

Child abductions by non-family

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was given jurisdiction to investigate non-family child abductions under the "Lindbergh Law" in 1932. Contrary to what some might believe, an abducted child does not have to be taken across state lines, there does not have to be a demand for ransom of any kind and the child does not have to be missing for 24 hours before the FBI will get involved.

Violent Crimes: Kidnapping

Kidnapping is one of the most serious violent crimes that you can be charged with in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Kidnapping is one of the violent crimes which requires the government to prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:  read more about Kidnapping

Suppression Issues: Rights of state Parolees on supervision

An interesting Suppression issue under the law is what are the rights of people who are on state parole to be free of search and seizures under the 4th amendment from their parole agents? Miranda Rights  Generally speaking, if the police want to enter someone's home, they must have the consent of the owner of the home or a search warrant permitting them entry into the house in order to search for contraband. (If they do nnot do this then their is a Suppression issue raised whereby the Defendant may have the fruits of the search suppressed).  However, an individual on state parole does not have as much of a privacy right from searches made by his parole agents. And generally, parole agents can enter their parolee's homes and search their homes so long as they satisfy a fairly low legal standard.

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