Pennsylvania law provides for certain sentencing enhancements once a person has been convicted of a crime. One such enhancement is known as the Deadly Weapon Enhancement.
In Pennsylvania, a person's prior record score is based on his prior convictions and the offense gravity score of the crime with which he is charged. The general rule for prior record score is that a felony is graded as one point and a misdemeanor is graded as 1/2 point. Under Pennsylvania law, however, certain offenses carry multiple points and can be relevant if someone is convicted of a crime in the future.
A common question from someone who is charged with a crime is what the potential punishment or time of incarceration could be for the charge. In Pennsylvania, courts use sentencing guidelines as a guide for determining someone's sentence. A person's guidelines are a combination of his prior record score and the offense gravity score. This blog will address an issue dealing with a person's prior record score.
In Pennsylvania, anytime a person is accused of committing a crime that person must be aware of their possible exposure for incarceration. An experienced attorney should know his client's possible exposure for jail time. For each grading of a crime (felony, misdemeanor, summary), Pennsylvania law sets the maximum time for which a person guilty of that crime can be incarcerated. However, within that maximum sentence are what is known as a "guideline sentence."
Sentencing in Pennsylvania is based a combination of factors: facts of the case, age, victim identity, gravity of the offense, grading of the offense, and the accused's prior record score. Prior record score is based on the types and number of prior convictions a person has. A person accumulates "points" on his prior record based on felony convictions, consecutively sentenced misdemeanor convictions, etc. The calculation for prior Pennsylvania convictions is very formulaic and set by statute.
Pennsylvania law provides for presumptive sentences for people who violate the terms of their state parole. This blog will discuss the presumptive ranges for a person who is in violation of his state parole due to a new conviction.
When a juvenile is charged with committing a crime, the Court must hold an adjudicatory hearing to determine whether the juvenile did, in fact, commit the crimes of which he is charged.
Juvenile criminal cases require different procedures than adult criminal cases. This entry will deal with a situation where a juvenile is detained prior to an adjudication hearing. This entry will provide a brief overview of the the statutory requirements for detention hearings.
Under Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence, generally, evidence of a past crime, wrong, or other bad act is not admissible for the purpose of showing that the accused did something bad in his past it is more likely he committed the crime he is presently facing at trial. Stated a different way: it is the general rule that the Commonwealth is not permitted to introduce the defendant's prior crimes or other bad acts for the purpose of showing the defendant committed this present crime or to show "once a criminal, always a criminal."