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June 2017 Archives

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.

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

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

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.

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