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January 2014 Archives

Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 600 and Due diligence

Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 600 states that it is the Commonwealth's duty to bring a person, who is free on bail, to trial on criminal charges within 365 days of the filing of a criminal complaint.  Based on this rule, there have been a number of issues which arise during litigation.  One of the most frequently litigated issues at the trial level and on appeal deals with the issue of when the defendant's whereabouts are unknown to the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth failed to bring an accused to trial within 365 days, and whether the Commonwealth did their due diligence to find the defendant.

Pennsylvania SORNA and Residency Requirements and Restrictions

Pennsylvania's version of SORNA is much more strict than the previous version of Megan's Law.  This strict law imposes additional registration requirements and harsher penalties for violating any of the registration requirements.  Therefore, it is important that those who are require to register are aware of these requirements and restrictions.

Pennsylvania's Castle Doctrine

Pennsylvania currently has a law known as the "Castle Doctrine."  The "Castle Doctrine" is a legal defense for those who have been charged with the various forms of assault and homicide.  The "Castle Doctrine" is a type of the "Stand Your Ground" defenses that were made famous in the George Zimmerman trial.

Recent Pennsylvania Superior Court Opinion dealing with Drug Offense with Firearms present

In Pennsylvania, in cases where a person is charged wih a drug offense when a firearm is present, that person can face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years. This specific area of law has changed since a recent United States Supreme Court opinion.  In Allenye v. United States, the Court held that the prosecution must prove any fact that carries with it a mandatory minimum sentence beyond a reasonable doubt.  

Basic Search Warrant Rules in Pennsylvania

Generally, search warrant issues arise in drug offense crimes.  In order for a search warrant to be valid and, thus, the search to also be valid, the police must follow the search warrant rules specified in the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure:

Recent Pennsylvania Case Dealing with License to Carry Concealed Weapons

In a recent Pennsylvania Superior Court case, the Court ruled that a person could be convicted of firearms not to be carried without a license 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6106 if that person does not possess a Pennsylvania concealed carry permit.  If a person is found guilty of 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6106, he commits a felony of the third degree and can face imprisonment up to 7 years.

Effect of Crimes of Moral Turpitude for U.S. Immigration

Immigration consequences and the effects of a conviction are some of the most important aspects of criminal cases.  In the immigration setting, any alien who is charged with the commission of a crime risks negative impact on his immigration status.  It is important to contact an attorney who cannot only help you navigate the criminal charges, but also help you or your loved one understand any immigration consequences for the criminal charges.

Verification of Information for SORNA purposes in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania's version of SORNA has revamped and increased the requirements of registrants.  In addition to increasing the offenses which require registration, SORNA also increased the time for which a person must register and how often he must appear, in person, to verify his information.  This entry will discuss the verification for each category of individuals who must register.

IPP Sentencing for Driving Under Suspension in Chester Co. PA

IPP is available for DUI or Driving Under Suspension (DUI-related) offenses in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  To see the IPP sentencing guidelines for those convicted of a DUI, click here.  If you have been charged with Driving Under Suspension DUI-related, there are several key elements the district attorney must prove: the accused had a DUI conviction; the accused's license was suspended as a result of that DUI conviction; the accused was operating a vehicle during the time his license was suspended for the DUI conviction, and the accused had actual notice that his license was suspended as a result of the DUI conviction.

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