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Law Offices of Kelly & Conte's Blog

Murder Shaken Baby Syndrome

Murder charges can frequently result in cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Shaken Baby Syndrome involves allegations where a defendant is accused of shaking a baby or toddler with such ferocity that death results. manslaughter One of the biggest issues in murder cases involving shaken baby syndrome is whether the government can prove that the defendant acted with malice or the intent to kill when the shaking occurred. Looking at cases which do not involve shaken baby victims, where death resulted as a result of weaponless violence, Pennsylvania Courts have held that malice (which is required for Third Degree Murder cases) may be inferred based on the circumstances of the case, and factors "such as the assailant's size and the ferocity and duration of the attack. However, in cases where a single push improbably caused death, such as in a Pennsylvania case named the Commonwealth vs. MacArthur, where said push propelled a man over a porch railing causing him to fall on his head from a height of four feet, courts have not found sufficient malice to sustain a conviction for 3rd degree murder. Make sure to contact the experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyers at the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte.

DUI should I go to rehab?

One issue that arises for defendants who are charged with a DUI is should I go to rehab? Specifically, is it in my legal interest to enter rehab if I have been charged with a DUI? drugged driving This blog will address that very question, however it is important to note that we are only accessing the legal benefits of rehab, not the obvious personal benefits which can come from attending a rehab facility. Rehab can be a life changing event physically, mentally and spiritually. It is highly recommended that any individual that believes that they might have a problem with either alcohol or drugs should attend rehab. An issue that Pennsylvania courts have been struggling with is when should a defendant get credit for prison time when he is not in prison. The statute dealing with this question (section 9760) states that a defendant should be given credit for time spent in custody prior to sentencing for a particular offense. The issue that arises in courts is can a defendant be in custody even if he is not in prison? Courts have interpreted the word 'custody, to mean time spent in an institutional setting such as an inpatient or rehabilitation treatment facility.

Drug Crimes Theft of services

When people think of Drug Crimes, one of the last crimes people think of is Theft of Services. drug possession However, Theft of Services is a crime very closely associated with Drug Crimes. Before we explore how and why that is the case, it is helpful to review what the government must prove in order for a defendant to be found guilty of this crime. A person is guilty of the crime of Theft of Services if the accused intentionally obtains services for himself or for another which he knows are only available for compensation. Second, that the services were obtained by the defendant either by deception or threat. And finally, that the deception occurred as a result of either altering or tampering with the public utility meter or measuring device by which such services are delivered so that the public utility would not have knowledge of how much power is being used.

Drugged driving is a serious issue

The use of drugs is something that shouldn't be done before driving. Drugged driving can lead to criminal charges and serious accidents. It is always best to avoid taking drugs before you get behind the wheel.

Some people don't realize how medications will impact them when they are driving. Even some over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs can cause problems. It is easy to assume that only illegal substances would cause impairment, but that simply isn't the case.

Drug Crimes probable cause to stop a vehicle

One of the primary defenses raised in Drug Crimes cases is to argue that the police did not have probable cause to stop a vehicle and later search the car for drugs. Intent to Deliver charges Typically, the police claim that they stopped a vehicle because the driver committed a vehicle code violation such as running a red light or not putting on a turn signal before turning. Under Pennsylvania law, the police are permitted to stop a motor vehicle if the driver of the vehicle commits a driving infraction or motor vehicle code violation. One issue that arises in Drug Crime cases is that after the vehicle is stopped the police find drugs in the vehicle. The defendant, through his attorney may challenge the police's basis for stopping the vehicle. If the court finds that the police did not have probable cause to stop the vehicle, then the drugs are suppressed and the case is dismissed by the court. Make sure to contact an experienced Chester County Drug Lawyer at the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte.

Sex Crimes Unauthorized school bus entry

Although not defined as part of Sex Crimes, Unauthorized school bus entry is generally linked into that category as a result of the fact that school buses are used to transport kids and other minors. child endangerment Since school buses carry minors, District Attorneys Offices frequently take alleged violations of this statute very seriously. In order to be found guilty of this crime, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt. First, that the defendant entered a school bus without prior authorization of the driver or some other school official. Second, that the defendant entered the school bus with the intent to commit some crime on the bus or to try and interfere with the driver or the defendant after entering the bus refuses to leave the bus even after being ordered to do so by the school bus driver.

DUI Crimes Driving while operating privilege is suspended

DUI Crimes such as Driving a motor vehicle while your operating privilege is suspended or revoked can have very serious consequences on your freedom.  DUI marijuanaSpecifically, driving with a suspended license can be found in the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code under Title 75 section 1543. There are two separate portions of section 1543 of the Vehicle Code. The first crime deals with driving on a suspended license that is not DUI related. The second crime and the one that is significantly more serious appears under section 1543b of the vehicle code and deals with driving with a suspended license as a result of a DUI conviction. Specifically, in order to be convicted for these crimes, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First, that the accused was driving a motor vehicle on any highway or trafficway in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Second, that the accused's driver's license was suspended at the time of his driving. And finally, that the accused had notice of the suspension of his driver's license either in court or from Pendot.

Face criminal charges head on

Society tends to think that anyone who is facing criminal charges is guilty of that charge. Many people just assume that prosecutors aren't going to file charges against someone if the person didn't do the crime. This is the exact opposite of what should happen.

In the United States, we use a principle of defendants being considered innocent until they are proven guilty. This is where the defense comes into the picture. We need to introduce doubt into the mind of each juror so that you can't be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. Doing this is easy in some cases; however, some are more challenging than others.

Criminal Defense Should I waive my Preliminary Hearing

One issue that arises with great frequency in Criminal Defense cases is should I waive my Preliminary Hearing? Before we answer and look at that question it is helpful to review just what a Preliminary Hearing is. A Preliminary Hearing is a statutory right that is given to criminal defendants who are accused of committing certain crimes. sex crimes Specifically, individuals charged with having committed crimes that are either misdemeanors or felonies. The purpose of the Preliminary Hearing is to grant the accused due process protection since he is being placed on bail. Accordingly, the accused has the right to challenge the governments case by having his attorney cross-examine the government's witnesses and argue that the government cannot meet their burden that it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the crimes that he is charged with. After a hearing, where the government calls witnesses to testify, the defense can argue that some or all of the charges should be dismissed. Make sure to hire an experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyer if you scheduled for a Preliminary Hearing

Violent Crimes what is malice?

One issue that comes up in Violent Crimes cases is what is malice? And when does it apply in criminal charges. The legal definition of malice concerns a state of mind that the government must prove that the defendant possessed when he committed a certain criminal act. third-degree murder If the government can prove that the defendant committed a certain criminal act while he possessed or acted with malice, then the defendant may be found guilty of certain criminal charges. Some of these charges are Third degree Murder and aggravated assault. Both of these crimes are graded as felonies of the first degree and generally punishable by a maximum of 20 years in state prison, and in the case of third degree murder, 40 years. Generally the Pennsylvania courts have defined malice as follows: malice is present under circumstances where a defendant displayed a conscious disregard for 'an unjustified and extremely high risk that his actions might cause death or serious bodily harm. Thus the defendant need not have an intent to kill

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