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September 2017 Archives

Don't let a theft charge ruin your future

Theft charges are sometimes seen as minor issues instead of the very serious matters that they are. When you are facing one of these charges, you need to focus on two things. One of these is the possible penalties that you are facing if you are convicted. The other is how the conviction might impact the rest of your life.

Criminal Defense extradition

One issue that can arise in the arena of Criminal Defense is the issue of Extradition. Extradition refers to the process where a criminal defendant is arrested in one state for open charges and/or an open warrant in another state. The way extradition issues typically come about is an individual is pulled over for a traffic violation or any other issue in the state where he typically resides. arrest warrants The police ask the individual for his identification, run him in their database and discover that there is a warrant for his arrest out of another state. The warrant can be for many different things such as:

Violent Crimes Simple Assault

Simple Assault is one of the most common types of violent crimes that a criminal defendant can be charged with. assault crimes It is fairly serious in that it is graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree and punishable by a maximum of 2 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The crime of Simple Assault can be found in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code Title 18. C.S.A. § 2701(a)(1). In order to prove the crime of simple assault, the Commonwealth must have set forth evidence that the defendant recklessly caused bodily injury to the alleged victim. The Pennsylvania Suggested Standard Criminal Jury Instruction for simple assault defines "recklessly" with regard to simple assault as follows:

DUI 2 hour law

The general rule in DUI cases, is that the level of alcohol or other substances in an individual accused of DUI's blood is inadmissible in court if it is not drawn within 2 hours of the Defendant's driving his motor vehicle. Specifically under Title 75 Pa.C.S. § 3802(c), DUI marijuana A criminal defendant may not drive, operate or be in actual physical control of the movement of a vehicle after imbibing a sufficient amount of alcohol such that the alcohol concentration in the individual's blood or breath is 0.16% or higher within two hours after the individual has driven. Accordingly, under this statute, the government generally is required to prove that they took a defendant's blood within 2 hours of his driving or operating a motor vehicle.

Probable Cause in DUI Cases

One of the primary issues that comes up in Defending against DUI charges and cases is assessing whether or not the police had probable cause to stop a vehicle to begin with. Under Pennsylvania DUI law, a criminal defendant may only be convicted of the crime of DUI if the police possessed probable cause to stop the defendant while he was driving his car. Defending Dui Cases In order for the police to perform a traffic stop, they must possess probable cause that the defendant was committing a criminal or vehicle code violation. In a DUI case, the Judge will dismiss the DUI charges if the government cannot prove that the officer possessed probable cause that the defendant was committing a traffic violation when he stopped the vehicle and discovered that the driver was driving under the influence.

DUI what is a closed roadway

Pennsylvania DUI law applies "upon highways and traffic ways throughout this Commonwealth." Accordingly, a criminal defendant may only be convicted of a DUI if he is driving on a roadway or traffic way in Pennsylvania. A highway is defined as "the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. DUI basics The term includes a roadway open to the use of the public for vehicular travel on grounds of a college or university or public or private school or public or historical park." A traffic way is defined as "the entire width between property lines or other boundary lines of every way or place of which any part is open to the public for purposes of vehicular travel as a matter of right or custom." Thus, when considering the issue of a DUI, a criminal defendant may only be convicted of this crime if he is driving within the boundary lines of a roadway.

Take first degree murder charges seriously in Pennsylvania

First degree murder charges must be taken very seriously. Pennsylvania law sets some very harsh penalties on a conviction for first degree murder. If you are facing this charge, you need to think about the criteria that must be present for the charge as well as considering the penalties as you work on your defense.

Murder Involuntary manslaughter

Involuntary Manslaughter is a very serious crime in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since it deals with the causing of the death of another person. Although Involuntary Manslaughter is similar to Murder in that it is a criminal charge for the taking of another person's life, it is by far the least serious crime involving the death of another person. Murder In order for an individual to be convicted of the crime of Involuntary Manslaughter, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First, that the Defendant acted with either the mind set of recklessness or gross negligence when he committed the act that killed the victim and second, that there was a nexus between the conduct of the defendant (which led to the death) and the actual death of the victim. Accordingly the government must prove more than the fact that the death was probably caused by the acts of the defendant. So the following criminal activity would not be considered serious enough to warrant the charging of Involuntary Manslaughter:

Criminal Defense the Castle Doctrine

The Castle Doctrine is a phrase which stands for the legal proposition that a person's home is his castle and he may use force in order to defend it. In terms of Criminal Defense, criminal defendant's may use the Castle Doctrine as a defense if certain factors are present.  learn about date rape chargesSpecifically, the Castle Doctrine creates a statutory presumption (it is presumed) that the use of force or deadly force by a criminal defendant in a criminal defense case was both reasonable and immediately necessary if the following factors exist: First, that the person against who the force was used is trying to unlawfully and forcefully enter a dwelling and second, the defendant knows or has reason to believe that the unlawful forceful entry is occurring or occurred. The significance of this law in Pennsylvania is that when these factors are present a criminal jury must presume that the lethal force used by a criminal defendant was both necessary and reasonable.

Drug charges can be a life changing event in your life

We recently discussed the penalties and options that you have when you are facing marijuana charges in Pennsylvania. This is something that can be life changing. Some people face these charges and decide that they are going to turn their life around right then. Other people just can't seem to shake the addiction. Throwing those people in prison likely isn't going to help.

Criminal Defense rearrest after Preliminary Hearing

Many criminal defendants believe that once they win the Preliminary Hearing in a criminal defense case, they no longer have to worry about being charged with the same crimes a second or even third time. However, that simply is not the law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  read about Date RapeThe general rule when dealing with Criminal Defense and preliminary hearings, is that a defendant may be rearrested after charges have been dismissed at a preliminary hearing so long as the statute of limitations has not expired. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania has found, however, that in a case in which the Commonwealth has repeatedly rearrested the defendant based on the same conduct with similar charges in order to annoy or harass him or resulting in prejudice, the prosecution may not be permitted to rearrest and recharge a defendant for the same alleged criminal activity. Additionally, under the law in Pennsylvania, the accused who had his charges dismissed by on district justice may have the charges brought against him a second time before another district justice. A second district justice can be chosen by the President Judge at the Court of Common Pleas level.

Violent Crimes aggravated assault

One issue that comes up in criminal defense is when can an accused be charged with Violent Crimes such as aggravated assault. The obvious scenarios where an accused can be charged with this crime occurs in the event of a Violent fight or beating or shooting, when an alleged victim suffers serious bodily injury, however, can an accused by convicted of this crime for giving a victim one too many beers or even heroin?  assault crimes Before we assess this issue, you should be reminded to contact an experienced Violent Crimes attorney if you are being investigated for or have been charged with the crime of aggravated assault. This crime is very serious and can be punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Know the Pennsylvania penalties and options for marijuana charges

There is a lot of debate nationwide about the status of marijuana. Just to be crystal clear, marijuana is still a controlled substance classified as a Schedule I drug, which means that it has no legally accepted benefits and is fully outlawed on a federal level.

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