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AVVO Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Criminal Defense
Nation's Premier | NACDA | Top Ten Ranking 2014
10 Best 2014 | Client Satisfaction Award | American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
2016 top 100 lawyer ASLA
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Criminal Defense Archives

Criminal Defense the Castle Doctrine

The Castle Doctrine is a phrase which stands for the legal proposition that a person's home is his castle and he may use force in order to defend it. In terms of Criminal Defense, criminal defendant's may use the Castle Doctrine as a defense if certain factors are present.  learn about date rape chargesSpecifically, the Castle Doctrine creates a statutory presumption (it is presumed) that the use of force or deadly force by a criminal defendant in a criminal defense case was both reasonable and immediately necessary if the following factors exist: First, that the person against who the force was used is trying to unlawfully and forcefully enter a dwelling and second, the defendant knows or has reason to believe that the unlawful forceful entry is occurring or occurred. The significance of this law in Pennsylvania is that when these factors are present a criminal jury must presume that the lethal force used by a criminal defendant was both necessary and reasonable.

Criminal Defense rearrest after Preliminary Hearing

Many criminal defendants believe that once they win the Preliminary Hearing in a criminal defense case, they no longer have to worry about being charged with the same crimes a second or even third time. However, that simply is not the law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  read about Date RapeThe general rule when dealing with Criminal Defense and preliminary hearings, is that a defendant may be rearrested after charges have been dismissed at a preliminary hearing so long as the statute of limitations has not expired. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has found, however, that in a case in which the Commonwealth has repeatedly rearrested the defendant based on the same conduct with similar charges in order to annoy or harass him or resulting in prejudice, the prosecution may not be permitted to rearrest and recharge a defendant for the same alleged criminal activity. Additionally, under the law in Pennsylvania, the accused who had his charges dismissed by on district justice may have the charges brought against him a second time before another district justice. A second district justice can be chosen by the President Judge at the Court of Common Pleas level.

Criminal Defense absconding witness

One crime that appears from time to time in the realm of criminal defense and criminal law is the crime of Absconding witness. The crime of Absconding witness appears in Title 18 under section 5125 of the Pennsylvania crimes code and requires a competant criminal defense.   Child PornographyAbsconding witness deals with the issue of a potential witness in a criminal case either intentionally hiding so that he does not have to appear and testify at a trial or attempting to hide someone else who is also supposed to testify at a criminal trial. Regardless of the specific circumstances of your case, make sure to contact an experienced chester county criminal lawyer if you are being investigated or have been charged with the crime of absconding witness.

Criminal Defense Conspiracy

Issues regarding Criminal Defense and Conspiracy and the extent of what co-defendants can be liable for the various acts of their co-conspirators was addressed in the case of the Commonwealth vs. Barnes. In 2002, Maurice Barnes, Robert Goodine, and L.D. Kruger all chipped in and bought a large amount of cocaine in New York, and brought it down to Scranton, Pennsylvania to sell. Kruger and Goodine had guns, but Barnes did not. cyberbullying After a making a few sales in a parking lot, the men began selling drugs out of an apartment owned by Ron Sanders, a known crack addict. A man named Charles Grant comes to the apartment to buy an eight ball of cocaine (3.5 grams.) Upon arriving at the apartment, Grant and Goodine go in the back bedroom to make the deal. Grant gave Goodine $200 for the drugs and was waiting to receive $50 in change. While Grant was waiting to get change from Goodine, he began complaining about the quality of the cocaine. While Grant was looking down at the drugs, Goodine shot him in the head and killed him. Valerie Kizer, Ron Sanders, Maurice Barnes, and L.D. Kruger all witnessed the killing. Kruger fled immediately after the shot was fired, but Barnes stayed. Barnes and Goodine went through Grant's pockets and took his remaining money, as well as all the drugs they gave him. Mr. Barnes was sentenced to 23 years to 47 years imprisonment after the jury convicted him of criminal conspiracy to commit murder in the third degree, and related charges.

Criminal Defense Case Continuance

One aspect of Criminal Defense work that seems to bring about the most questions and/or confusion is the issue regarding the continuance of a criminal case. Criminal cases are continued when one side, either the Commonwealth (the prosecution) or the Defense is not ready to proceed to trial. In the anatomy of a Criminal Defense case, a case is scheduled for a trial and usually one or both sides aren't ready to proceed to trial at the first listing of the case. If one party is not ready to proceed to trial, then that side may request that the Judge grant them a continuance. Corruption of Minors Frequently, the court will grant each side at least one continuance to prepare for trial or file motions. Parties are typically able to ask for more than one continuance of their case, in particularly when the case is very serious. Make sure to consult with an experienced Chester County Criminal Defense attorney if you are requesting that your Criminal Defense case be continued.

Criminal Defense Cyberbullying

Although there is no crime called cyberbullying in the realm of Criminal Defense, there are several specific crimes in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code which are used by law enforcement to combat allegations of cyberbullying. Assault Crimes  Cyberbullying in the realm of Criminal Defense essentially is the term used when either adults or juveniles are bullying someone of the internet. Examples of cyberbullying typically occur on facebook, Instagram or snapchat. Both law enforcement and schools have become more aggressive in combating allegations of cyberbullying by instituting policies to deal with any instance of alleged bullying. The main questions raised in this blog are when is cyberbullying a crime in the realm of Criminal Defense.

Criminal Defense Loitering & Prowling at night time

In Pennsylvania criminal defense, it is a crime to move in an idle manner and to make stops for no reason in the course of a trip at night time. This crime whereby someone stays in a given area at night for no purpose is known as loitering and prowling at night time. A person commits this crime if while at night time maliciously loiters or maliciously prowls around a house where someone is living or indecent assault any other place used wholly or in part for living or a place where someone stays overnight which belongs to someone else or is occupied by another. Loitering and prowling at night time is a serious offense and may require that the accused spends time in jail. Make sure to contact an experienced Chester County Criminal Defense Lawyer if you are being investigated for or have been charged with this crime.

Criminal Defense Bail

Defendant's charged with a crime almost always have a right to reasonable bail in the practice of Criminal Defense. Although there are a few exceptions to the right of bail, such as Defendant's accused of First Degree Murder, under Pennsylvania Criminal Defense, Defendants have a right to be placed on bail. The Courts take several factors into account when setting bail. Preliminary Hearings First, they look at the seriousness of the crime, the criminal defendant's prior record, whether or not there was a victim involved in the case and there is fear of reprisal by the defendant and generally whether or not the Defendant is a flight risk. The Court looks at all of these factors when determining what an accused's bail should be. Make sure that you retain the services of an experienced Chester County Criminal lawyer if you are facing criminal charges and are concerned about how high the Judge will set your bail.

Criminal Defense Appeals

One of the most fundamental and important procedural and substantive parts of a Criminal Defense case are Appeals or the Appellate process in a Criminal Defense. Appeals enable a criminal defendant to have a higher court, Pennsylvania, the Superior Court, Commonwealth Court or the Supreme Court, review the legal decision made by a Judge. Pornography Crimes Examples of decisions that a criminal defendant may appeal as part of his or her criminal defense are Motions to Suppress evidence, Motions in Limine, Inappropriate Jury Instructions, and/or inappropriate statements made by the government's prosecutor during the trial or the withholding or destruction of evidence by the government's attorney or the police. Make sure that you have retained the services of an experienced Chester County Criminal Defense Attorney if you are considering taking an appeal.

Criminal Defense Guilty Pleas

When it comes to the Criminal Defense and the criminal justice system, there are several different outcomes that your case may result in. There are several different types of Guilty Pleas that you may enter in response to charges that the Commonwealth brings against you as part of your Criminal Defense. Solicitation Three outcomes are known as a negotiated guilty plea, an open plea, and a jury trial.  Once your case had reached the Court of Common Pleas level, your defense attorney can either choose to have your case go to trial or you can plead guilty. If you plead guilty, you are admitting that you committed the crimes that you have been accused of. One of these pleas is known as a negotiated plea. A negotiated plea is also known as a plea deal or a plea bargain. In order for you to have a negotiated plea, you and your attorney have reached an agreement with the prosecutor. It is very unlikely for a judge to reject the plea deal that your defense attorney and the prosecution agree on, but the judge does have a right to do so. A negotiated plea can be positive because you will serve a less severe sentence than you may have if a jury trial were to find you guilty. In addition, when it comes to a negotiated plea, you do not have to face the uncertainty of your sentence not being decided until trial.

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