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June 2016 Archives

Federal criminal charges can lead to harsh penalties

Federal criminal charges are very serious charges that often involve very complex circumstances. Federal prosecutors have the resources and time to work very hard toward getting convictions on the cases they are working on. That means that you need a tip-top defense that can call the points the prosecutor brings up into question.

DUI: Implied Consent law after Birchfield

There has been a drastic change under Pennsylvania DUI law as a result of the Birchfield ruling and the implications on implied consent.  This blog will address DUI implied consent law after Birchfield.  Recently, the United States Supreme Court decided a Fourth Amendment case concerning refusal of blood testing after being pulled over for DUI. Birchfield v. North Dakota, 579 U.S. ____ (2016), DUI what's at stake?  holds the government may not criminalize a driver's refusal to submit to a blood test without a warrant. The government still can criminalize a driver's refusal to provide a breath sample without a warrant if the officer has reasonable suspicion to believe a driver is under the influence.

Criminal Defense: Entering into a guilty plea

The decision in Criminal Defense cases about whether or not to enter into a guilty plea is one of the most difficult decisions that a criminal defendant has to make. Entering into a guilty plea means that the accused is deciding to not challenge the charges in criminal court as a result of the plea offer made by the government and the perceived strength of the government's case. Entering into a guilty plea in criminal defense cases also means that the accused will be sentenced to either a period of probation or incarceration and typically a fine and perhaps some community service. read about criminal defense discovery motions  Essentially, the decision to enter into a guilty plea means that the criminal defendant no longer wishes to fight his charges in court.

New drunk driving law means ignition interlock systems for many

It's been 11 years since the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers started on a crusade to get Pennsylvania legislators to pass a new DUI law. That law will require ignition interlock devices for many first-time drunk driving offenders.

Sex Crimes: Registration for Sex Offenders

The Sex Crimes laws in Pennsylvania dealing with the registration for sex offenders is fairly complex. The Sex Crimes laws in Pennsylvania deal with two various aspects. First, the registration for sex offenders who are convicted of certain sex crimes. And second, the penalties for individuals who violate these registration laws after they have been placed on probation or parole.  Child Pornography Criminal Defendants who are convicted of certain Sex Crimes are required to Register as Sex Offenders in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Title 42 of PA Code section 9718.4 deals with the various punishments that exist for Sex Crime offenders who either do not register or do not update their information with law enforcement when it changes.

Criminal Defense: Discovery Motion

A Discovery Motion can be a significant portion of pre-trial litigation in Criminal Defense cases. Specifically, if an accused's attorney does not make specific requests for discovery in Criminal Defense Cases via a Discovery Motion, then he might not be able to argue that he should have been given certain items of Discovery pursuant to the Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 573. Generally speaking, there are two different types of Discovery that are discussed in Pa Rule of Criminal Procedure 573. Read about Preliminary Hearings  Mandatory discovery, items which the government shall disclose so long as they are requested by the accused's attorney and Discovery items that are left up to the discretion of the court.

Violent crimes demand a comprehensive defense strategy

Last week, we discussed some of the laws that pertain to first-degree murder charges in Pennsylvania. Murder isn't the only violent crime charge that a person might face here. Manslaughter, assault, battery, rape and similar charges are also possible. In each of these cases, a comprehensive defense strategy is imperative if you aren't going to roll over and just accept that you will be convicted and sentenced.

Violent Crimes: Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary Manslaughter is one of the most serious Violent Crimes an accused can face in the state of Pennsylvania. Voluntary Manslaughter is graded as a felony of the first degree and therefore punishable by up to 20 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $25,000. Defending Manslaughter charges  Make sure to contact an experienced Violent Crimes attorney if you are being investigated for or have been charged with the crime of Voluntary Manslaughter.

Violent Crimes: Intimidation of witness

Intimidation of a witness or victim is one of the more serious violent crimes that a criminal defendant can be charged with. Intimidation of a Witness can be found in Title 18 and section 4952 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Assault Crimes  As one of the more serious types of violent crimes, Intimidation of a Witness generally concerns cases where an accused in another criminal defendant or a completely different individual, commits acts in order to try and effect the testimony of a witness in another case.

Defending against first-degree murder charges

Criminal homicide in the state of Pennsylvania is defined as the death of another human being by unlawful means. Criminal homicide is categorized under three kinds of murder and three kinds of manslaughter in Pennsylvania. The difference between manslaughter and murder is dependent on whether malice was deemed to be a part of the fatal act by the defendant that led to the other party's death.

Violent Crimes: Attempted Murder

Attempted Murder is a very serious violent crimes charge in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A charge of Attempted Murder means that the police believe that the accused was trying to murder another individual. Other than the charge of Murder, Attempted Murder is probably the most serious type of Violent Crime that a criminal defendant can face. read more about Murder  You should strongly consider consulting with a Violent Crimes attorney, if you are being investigated for or have been charged with the crime of Attempted Murder.

Violent Crimes: Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary Manslaughter is one of the most serious Violent Crimes that a criminal defendant can be charged with. Voluntary Manslaughter is graded as a felony of the first degree and therefore punishable by 20 years in state prison. Manslaughter  Since it is one of the most serious violent crimes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, an accused should strongly consider hiring an experienced violent crimes attorney if he is charged with Voluntary Manslaughter.

Drug possession defense in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents who are accused of drug crimes need to consider the consequences of conviction before planning their criminal defenses. The potential consequences and the severity of punishments associated with the crimes will dictate the level of risk they are willing to endure in defending themselves against their crimes.

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