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June 2017 Archives

Protect yourself while building your defense

We recently discussed how having a defense attorney can help you when you want to work out a plea deal in your criminal justice case. This is only one of the ways that having a lawyer can help you out in these cases. We know that you might have questions about what your charges mean and what you can do to fight them. We can help you answer these and more.

Chester County Mental Health Court

Chester County Mental Health Court offers people accused with a crime a more lenient sentence if they agree to enter Mental Health Court.  The first mental health court was established in 1997 in Florida to address the issue of repeat, non-violent offenders that suffer from serious, chronic mental illness. The judges and prosecutors were seeing the same faces and the same cases every couple of years and they wanted to put an end to this, learn about ARD while helping the offenders straighten out their lives. The idea quickly caught on and spread throughout the country. The Mental Health Recovery Court in Chester County was established in 2008. The Court is run through collaboration between the County Criminal Justice System and the Chester County Department of Mental Health. The sectors involved with the program are the Court, Office of Mental Health, Probation Department, District Attorney, Public Defender, County Prison, Pretrial Services, and Crime Victim Services. Judge William Mahon presides over the Mental Health Court, and his caseload is around 80 individuals.

Know how a lawyer can help you come to a plea deal

In some criminal cases, your best hope for resolving your case in a timely and suitable manner is the plea bargain. This is something that requires you to work with the prosecution to come to an agreement about the charge you are facing or the sentence that you will face. In exchange for them working with you, you will plead guilty in court.

College Crimes Hazing

Pennsylvania Title 24 section 5352 addresses the criminal act and College Crimes such as hazing. Hazing can occur in any organization that is recognized by an institution of higher education such as a college. An institute of higher education is defined as any public or private institution within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that is authorized to grant an associate degree or higher academic degree. College Crimes such as Hazing is defined as any situation in which a student is recklessly or intentionally endangered, either physically or mentally, or when a student willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation, admission, or continued membership into a select organization recognized by the institute of higher education. Some of the acts that are included, but not limited to when defining hazing are any brutality of a physical nature, like beating, whipping, paddling, branding, forced physical exercise, exposure to extreme weather conditions, forced consumption of food, alcohol, drug, or any substance, and any forced physical activity read about Date Rape charges that can negatively affect the health and well-being of the individual. Mentally harmful activities such as sleep deprivation, denial of social contact, and any other forced activity that affects the mental health and self-esteem of a student is also included when defining hazing

Learn your defense options for federal criminal charges

The reality of facing a federal charge is something that can hit you hard. When you are in this position, you need to realize that you have to work hard on your defense. The federal prosecutors have vast resources that they can draw from to build a case against you. This means that you have to put forth a good effort if you plan to present a defense.

Drug Crimes Communication facility

Title 18 Section 7512 in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code addresses Drug Crimes and specifically the criminal use of a communication facility. A communication facility is defined as any public or private instrument such as a phone, radio, wire, mail, or any electromagnetic, photoelectronic, or photo-optical system that is used to transmit any sort of sign, signal, cocaine crimes writing, image, sound, data, or any intelligence that can help commit, further, or facilitate the attempt or commission of a felony crime under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act. Every occasion in which a communication facility is used constitutes a separate offense. Although the offense may not seem like it is very serious, it can carry a huge penalty to the offender

Know what to expect if you are facing federal charges

The federal criminal justice system has some points in common with the district courts that hear state level cases. There are also some very noticeable and some not so noticeable differences. Learning about these points is crucial if you are facing federal criminal charges.

Vehicle Searches inventory search

Inventory searches (when it comes to vehicle searches) are an exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement for searching a vehicle. There are three main purposes for conducting an inventory search. First, it is to protect the owner's property while it is in police custody, second it is to protect officers from potentially dangerous items or weapons in or on the property, and third it is to protect officers from claims against lost, stolen, or broken property. Evidence found in a lawfully conducted inventory search can also be used aga  leaving an accident against the defendant in a future trial. Inventory searches do not require probable cause because inventory searches are non-criminal procedures. This means that a search warrant is not necessary.

Criminal Defense Case Continuance

One aspect of Criminal Defense work that seems to bring about the most questions and/or confusion is the issue regarding the continuance of a criminal case. Criminal cases are continued when one side, either the Commonwealth (the prosecution) or the Defense is not ready to proceed to trial. In the anatomy of a Criminal Defense case, a case is scheduled for a trial and usually one or both sides aren't ready to proceed to trial at the first listing of the case. If one party is not ready to proceed to trial, then that side may request that the Judge grant them a continuance. Corruption of Minors Frequently, the court will grant each side at least one continuance to prepare for trial or file motions. Parties are typically able to ask for more than one continuance of their case, in particularly when the case is very serious. Make sure to consult with an experienced Chester County Criminal Defense attorney if you are requesting that your Criminal Defense case be continued.

Know what factors impact the sentence you will receive

The sentence that you have to deal with when you are convicted of a criminal charge depends on a host of factors. The court will consider all of these factors whether you are convicted or plead guilty. It is imperative that you understand the factors that are used because you need to understand how these might impact the sentence you receive.

Why We Succeed

Preparation.

We prepare every case as if it is going to trial. Our reputation for thorough preparation puts us in a much stronger negotiating position with prosecutors and opposing counsel.

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Experience.

For more than 15 years, people throughout Chester County and the surrounding area have turned to Law Offices of Kelly & Conte for sound legal advice and aggressive representation.

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Commitment.

We will not accept a deal simply for the sake of closing your case. We care about your future, and we pursue every available option in an effort to secure the best possible outcome.

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West Chester, PA 19382

Phone: 610-314-7066
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Pottstown, PA 19464

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