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Law Offices of Kelly & Conte's Blog

Violent Crimes False imprisonment

False imprisonment is one of many different types of violent crimes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Being able to move about without being restrained or restricted to do so by another individual is one of the essential ideas of personal freedom. murder When this personal liberty is violated, it can be the case that the act of false imprisonment has occurred. False imprisonment is defined under section 2903 of the Pa criminal code. It states that an individual has committed this offense when they knowingly restrain another unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with his liberty. In order for a conviction to hold up, the prosecution must show that the actions were taken to intentionally restrain or limit another's personal liberty. In addition, the act of false imprisonment can only take place if the individual did not consent to being restrained. Adults grant consent by voluntarily remaining in the situation. If, however, the restraint took place because of force or threat of force, enhancements to the sentence can be added. It is important to note that this does not apply to children, as they are considered legally incapacitated.

Violent Crimes Recklessly endangering another person

Violent Crimes Recklessly endangering another person or REAP is a charge a prosecutor may bring against an individual that encompasses a whole host of different behaviors. It is defined under section 2705 of the Pa criminal code. gun crimes The statute is very broadly written stating that an individual is in violation of this statute if they recklessly engage in conduct which places or may place another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury. Reckless conduct goes beyond simply being negligent. An individual must have known that the conducted that they were engaging in posed a risk of serious bodily injury or death but they did it anyway. The courts use the reasonable person standard when deciding if it constitutes reckless. In other words, would someone in that same situation know that the behavior posed a risk of serious bodily injury or death.

DUI refusal

A Dui refusal is a term for when a suspect for a DUI refuses to consent to a breath or blood test. When an officer suspects an individual of driving under the influence (DUI), they will ask that individual to submit to some form of testing. defending DUI cases These include field sobriety tests, breathalyzer or blood tests. While the officer at the scene will deploy every tactic that they have to get you to submit to the tests, you are within your right to refuse to submit to testing. New laws have made it so that a conviction of a DUI refusal charge, which is what you will be charged upon refusal, will land individuals in the same place as if they had submitted to the tests and blown over the legal limits. However, there is a chance that a good defense attorney can help you win against the new charge. It is important to note that it depends entirely on the circumstances surrounding the DUI test refusal. In order to ensure that you receive the best outcome of your case it is important to seek legal representation to go over the facts of your case with you.

Juvenile Crimes Decertification Hearings

One aspect of Juvenile Crimes are decertification hearings. The main goal of the juvenile criminal justice system is to rehabilitate an individual so that once they reach the age of 18, they do not end up in adult system. However, for the more serious offenses which are committed by juveniles that are close to the age of 18, often times they will be tried as an adult and be placed in the adult criminal justice system. juvenile sex offenses In order for the case to be placed back into the juvenile criminal justice system, the defense attorney for the individual must file a motion for juvenile decertification. The decertification motion is filed on behalf of the defense to get the case sent to the juvenile court. Once the motion is made, the judge will look at a number of different factors surrounding the case. Factors such as the age and maturity of the offender, mental capacity, sophistication of the crime, whether the offender will benefit from the services offered by the juvenile system, and public safety will all be taken into account when making a decision.

Violent Crimes Terroristic threats

One of the more serious violent crimes in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the offense known as terroristic threats. firearm charges The name suggests that it would involve some form of terrorism but that is not always the case. The terroristic threats statute is defined under section 2706 of the Pa criminal code. It states that an individual is guilty of terroristic threats if they communicate either directly or indirectly, a threat to do an of the following: commit any crime of violence with intent to terrorize another; cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation; or otherwise cause serious public inconvenience, or cause terror or serious public inconvenience with reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. It is important to note that you can be arrested under this statute even if you do not have the ability to carry out the act you said you would. The intention behind the threat is the key aspect of this statue.

Violent Crimes Terrorism

One of the least charged violent crimes in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania is Terrorism. murder Since the attacks on the world trade center on September 11th in New York, many states have added statues that revolve around terrorism. In the state of Pennsylvania, terrorism is defined under section 2717 of the Pa criminal code. It states that a person can be found guilty of terrorism if they commit a violent act with the intention of doing the following three provisions. First provision is, if they commit a violent act with the intention to intimidate or coerce a civilian population. Next, if they intend to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion. Lastly, if they intend to affect the conduct of a government. The key to this statute is the intention behind the violent act. The government bears the burden of proving that the individual committed the violent act with the intention of doing any of the mentioned provisions.

Traffic offenses Ignition interlock

In the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, if you have been found guilty of a DUI or certain traffic offenses, you may still be allowed to drive a vehicle but an ignition interlock must be installed for the duration of your sentence. An ignition interlock is installed in a vehicle which makes it inoperable until certain requirements are fulfilled.  defending dui cases These may include breathing into a breathalyzer to make sure that no alcohol is present in your system before driving. As of August 25, 2017, Act 33 officially became an enforceable law making it is mandatory for first time DUI offenders with a high BAC, repeat DUI offenders and people who refuse chemical testing to have an ignition interlock be installed in their vehicle. Act 33 also established an ignition license limited license which only allows the individual to operate vehicles with the interlock installed. On the physical license, there are big red letters saying "Limited License" and in the yellow outline of the state the words "Ignition Interlock" are written. This allows law enforcement to easily identify drivers who are only allowed to operate vehicles with the interlock system on.

Sex Crimes Aggravated indecent assault

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, one of the more serious Sex Crimes that an individual can commit is the act of aggravated indecent assault. child endangerment This offense is defined under section 3125 of the Pa criminal code. An individual commits this offense if they penetrate the genitals or anus of another without their consent. In addition, there are a number of provisions that are outlined in the statue. In total, there are eight provisions that are listed. With aggravated indecent assaults the offender uses force or threat of force, there is no medical, hygiene, or law enforcement reason for the penetration, drugs or alcohol may have been used to make the alleged victim unaware of the offense, or the alleged victim was unconscious during the commission of the act. Aggravated indecent assault is a felony of the second degree. If found guilty, an individual can face up to ten years incarcerated in a state facility.

Criminal Defense evidence in a cell phone

Discovery in criminal defense cases can involve evidence in a witness's cell phone. One of the most important and lengthy parts of a legal case is the discovery phase. sex crimes trials In some cases, critical information or pieces of evidence might lie in someone's cell phone. With the advancement of technology more and more cases rely on evidence that is discovered on a phone or laptop. As a defense attorney builds their case for their client, they can file motions to gain access to the content of an individual's phone. However, the courts must consider the constitutional right to privacy of the individual with the phone, and the constitutional right that the accused has to properly defend themselves. This is a very delicate balance and this issue has come up in the past. For instance, the case of Commonwealth v. Lloyd, discussed this issue and made a decision that would help future courts on how to properly weigh the conflicting rights.

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