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September 2015 Archives

Pennsylvania doctor's illegal prescription trial to begin

The opening statements for the trial of a Pennsylvania doctor who was accused of writing illegal prescriptions were scheduled to start on Sept. 22. The 45-year-old doctor was also facing charges for allegedly smuggling drugs into a county jail.

Defending Internet sex crimes cases

At the Kelly Law Firm we are experts in Defending Internet Sex Crimes Cases.  Pennsylvania citizens who believe that they are innocently searching the internet can be charged with and end up defending against internet sex crimes cases if they accidently go on the wrong web site. For instance, by clicking and downloading a file from a website that you are not familiar with, you could be setting yourself up for a child pornography charge. Unscrupulous individuals place illegal child pornography in zip files associated with websites that appear to contain only legal adult pornography. When these files are downloaded, law enforcement might take notice and come knocking on your door with a search warrant.  So when you are searching for things on the internet, play it safe and do not download files from unfamiliar websites.  Read more about Internet Sex Crimes and the lawyers who specialize in Defending Internet sex crimes cases.

Mistake as to Age as a Defense in Sex cases

Typically, Mistake as to Age of an alleged victim is not a defense in Pennsylvania in sex charges. Defenses to Corruption of Minors Charge For instance, mistake of age is not a defense if you are charged with Statutory Rape, however it is a defense in a Corruption of Minors charge, so long as the alleged victim is at least 16 years of age.

Challenging Police Wiretaps

As has previously discussed, How the government gets a Wiretap Police Wiretaps are one of the most intrusive tools that the police have in the "War on Drugs". Wiretaps permit the police to listen to all of the phone calls made by a specific phone which relate to criminal conduct. If you have been charged with drug crimes as a result of a wiretap placed either on your or someone else's phone, you will almost certainly have to hire an attorney who knows what laws the police have to abide by in order to get a wiretap. The results and evidence from a wiretap can be kept out of Court, if your Criminal Defense Lawyer can show that the government didn't obtain the wiretap properly

Police Wiretaps How does the Government get one

In order for the police to obtain a wiretap, they must demonstrate several things to a Superior Court Judge in their affidavits and Court filings. Read more about Police Wiretaps here  Specifically, in order for the government to get a wiretap on a phone that they believe is being used in drug sales, the Government must show:

Police Wiretaps

Police Wiretaps are one of the most intrusive tools that the police have in the "War on Drugs". In order for the government to obtain Police Wiretaps, they must demonstrate to a Superior Court Judge that they have probable cause to believe that tapping your phone lines will help them to solve a serious crime, such as drug trafficking or money laundering. If the police are able to obtain a police wiretap from a Superior Court Judge, they are able to listen to all of the phone calls made by a specific phone. Generally, the police are only permitted to listen to phone calls concerning illegal activity, but occasionally police officers listen to all of the phone calls made from a phone in order to see if the phone calls on the police wiretaps are drug related.   Read about How to Defend against Intent to Deliver Drug charges

Court rules college had right to search dorm room for drugs

On Sept. 9, a Pennsylvania state court panel ruled that security officials from Alvernia University were within their legal rights to conduct a search and seizure in a student's dorm room. The Superior Court rejected a lawsuit that was filed against the university by a female student who claimed that the school had violated her privacy rights.

Fourth Amendment and Motel Rooms

Most people are generally aware of the Constitutional rights they have against unreasonable search and seizures in their own homes, (read about Search Warrants) but many people are not aware of their Fourth Amendment protections in Hotel or Motel rooms, specifically concerning drug cases. So what rights to privacy do individuals have in hotel rooms as opposed to their own homes? The general rule in Pennsylvania is that an overnight guest has an expectation of privacy in a hotel room that he is staying in. The Pennsylvania Superior Court held "[a] hotel room can clearly be the object of Fourth Amendment protection as much as a home or an office."

Rule 600. A Defendant's Right to a Speedy Trial

In Pennsylvania, an accused has a right to a speedy trial. Contact a Chester County Criminal Lawyer  Specifically, under Rule 600, the government has 365 days to bring a Defendant to trial. If an accused has not been brought to trial within 365 days, and has also not continued or delayed his case from coming to trial, the charges against him must be dismissed by the Court. In another words, if the government, through no fault of the defendant, in unable to bring a Defendant to trial within a year of his being charged, the charges must be dismissed according to Rule 600.

When are the police allowed to search your vehicle?

One of the most frequent questions that comes up with criminal cases and vehicle stops involving the police is: When can the police search my vehicle? Before answering this question, let's look at what an individual's privacy rights are in Pennsylvania when it comes to a vehicle.

Children Youth & Services Investigations

The Child Protective Services Act provides ways to protect children who are the target of suspected child abuse, such as over disciplining their child or sexual abuse. Once a report of suspected child abuse is made, an investigation is carried out by a governmental agency called Children Youth & Services (CYS). Although this sounds like a very noble endeavor, if you are an innocent parent or guardian being investigated for an allegation of child abuse, a Children Youth & Services investigation is a very scary proposition. You can find yourself in a statewide database or even loose custody of your child.

Are Portable Breath Tests (PBT's) admissible?

Portable Breath Tests.  Anyone who has been a suspect or a Defendant in a Driving Under the Influence (read more about Pennsylvania DUI Charge here), or Underage Drinking (read more about Underage Drinking Charge here) case knows what the Portable Breath Test is. Almost all individuals charged with one of these crimes, recalls when the officer produced the hand held device that they were asked to blow in right before the police officer placed them in handcuffs.

Child Pornography may be on your computer and you don't know it

All too often, when law enforcement discovers or finds a computer that has child pornography on the computer, (What is Child Pornography?) the individual who possessed the computer is charged with the crime of Possessing Child Pornography, however there are numerous ways that such things can be on your computer without your knowledge.

Pennsylvania police make breakthrough in synthetic marijuana case

Police in Pennsylvania have reported that a 61-year-old Spring Township man was taken into custody on Aug. 28 in connection with an investigation into the sale of synthetic marijuana in Berks County. Detectives say that they took the man into custody after an undercover narcotics buy in a Spring Township shopping mall parking lot. The man is alleged to have used his food, candy and tobacco distribution business to supply area convenience stores with the synthetic drug.

Mistake to Age Defense in Statutory Rape/ Sex Assault charges

Statutory Sexual Assault/ Statutory Rape is a very serious Sex Crimes charge. The Sex Crime is graded as a felony of the second degree and punishable by up to 10 years in state prison. In order to be found guilty of Statutory Rape the government must prove that:

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