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March 2018 Archives

DUIs can be avoided but must be addressed once they are levied

As the summer months continue to march toward us, people are going to start having outdoor gatherings. These might include an offering of alcohol, which means that anyone who is attending the get together needs to make sure they have made plans to get home without having to drive home drunk. This can mean having a designated driving, calling a ride share program or taking public transit.

Sex Crimes False reports of child abuse

Although not necessarily in the category of Sex Crimes, False reports of child abuse is strongly related to the topic of sex crimes since it deals with the allegation of accusing someone with a sex crime when you know the allegations or accusations are false. indecent assault This crime of False reports of child abuse can be found in section 4906.1 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Specifically, in order to be found guilty of this crime, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First, that the accused either intentionally or knowingly makes a report to some law enforcement agency and second, that the he knows that the report he makes is false. Make sure to contact an experienced Chester County Sex Crimes attorney if you have been charged with or are being investigated for committing this crime.

Violent Crimes Retaliation against witness or victim

A conviction for Violent Crimes such as Retaliation against a witness or victim can have serious consequences. In order to be convicted of this crime the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First, that the defendant harms another individual by any unlawful act or engages in a course of conduct which threaten another person. And second, that the defendant commits these actions against the victim in retaliation for anything that the victim has lawfully done as a witness, victim or a party in a civil matter.  assault crimes Make sure to contact an experienced Chester County Violent Crimes attorney if you are being investigated for or have been charged with this serious crime.

Theft Crimes Theft from a motor vehicle

Theft Crimes such as Theft from a motor vehicle can have serious consequences on an individuals future. The charge of Theft from a motor vehicle is self explanatory. tampering with evidence In order to be convicted for this crime, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt. First, that the accused unlawfully takes or attempts to take possession of or carries away any movable property that does not belong to him. Second, that the accused takes this property which from a motor vehicle which does not belong to him. And finally, that the accused takes the property with the intent to deprive him the rightful owner of the property (i.e. keep the property with the intent of not returning it). The criminal elements and other specific details concerning the crime of Theft from a motor vehicle can be found in section 3934 of the PA Crimes in code under Title 18.

Violent Crimes Possession firearm altered manufacturer's number

Violent Crimes such as Possession of firearm with altered manufacturer's number can be extremely serious. This crime criminalizes the intentional possession of a firearm that has the manufacturer's number on the firearm altered or changed. Firearm charges The reason for the criminalization of the possession of guns that have the manufacturer's number changed or obliterated is that it makes it nearly impossible for the government to discover who originally purchased the firearm and how the firearm came into the possession of the defendant. In order for an accused to be found guilty of this crime, the government must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First that the accused knowingly and intelligently possessed a firearm. Second that the firearm had the manufacturer's number altered, changed, removed or obliterated.

Criminal Defense Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence

One crime of dishonesty which can be found in the realm of criminal defense is the charge of Tampering or fabricating physical evidence. This charge can be found in Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code and in section 4910. The crime typically is used by law enforcement to charge individuals who interfere with an investigation in serious crimes such as Murder or Rape. Assault Crimes In order to be found guilty of this crime the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Drug Crimes Forfeiture

If you are accused with Drug Crimes then the government may try and complete a forfeiture of your house or car if the property had a significant relationship to the charges. heroin Things that may be forfeited by the government is money, cars and even houses. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently decided a case where they considered civil in rem forfeiture in Pennsylvania under the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment where the government attempted to seize through forfeiture a home and vehicle not based on any criminal conduct by the property owner but upon the illegal conduct of a third party. In that case, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. 1997 Chevrolet Decided May 25, 2017, the government was attempting to seize the house and motor vehicle of 71 year-old Elizabeth Young as her adult son had used both to conduct drug deals with confidential informants.

Violent Crimes Fantasy Role Playing Defense

One rarely used defense in Violent Crimes cases and other cases is the Fantasy Role Playing Defense. This defense first appeared predominately in the media in 2012 in the federal prosecution against Gilberto Valle, with conspiracy to commit kidnapping. He was arrested after his wife discovered emails about his desire to rape, kill, and eat women. Weapons of mass destruction Valle argued that he was merely engaging in fantasy-role play, with no intention of committing the actual crimes. He was a member of a social networking website called Dark Fetish where he discussed his sexual fantasies with other members. Prosecutors agreed that Valle was engaged in role play, but argued that the chats had moved beyond the realm of fantasy and had become actual preparation. After 12, days the jury found him guilty. In the case the court reviewed all of the defendant's e-mails and made a determination as to which one's could have represented actual conspiracy discussions and which ones were simply fantasy and therefore not admissible. Obviously the primary fact finder in deciding whether the admissible e-mails were fantasy or actual planning was the jury.

Violent Crimes Weapons of Mass Destruction

Violent Crimes such as the Possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction can be extremely serious charges which almost always require the assistance of an experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyer. Domestic VIolence Charges The criminal elements which the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt can be found in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, specifically in section 2716 of Title 18. In order to be found guilty of this crime, the government must prove that the accused either intentionally possessed or was purposefully making weapons of mass destruction; A criminal defendant can also be convicted of this crime if the government proves that the accused intentionally sells, buys or transports a weapon of mass destruction; and second that his doing so (buying, selling or transporting) causes: another person to become ill or damages or disrupts the food or water supply of a park or causes the evacuation of a building.

Violent Crimes Unlawful Restraint

Violent Crimes such as Unlawful Restraint can have a very serious effect on an accused's future. The crime of Unlawful Restraint is fully explained in section 2902 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. In order to be found guilty of this crime, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First, that the accused restrained another person without any legal basis under circumstances which could expose the victim to serious bodily injury. Assault crimes Under the crimes code serious bodily injury is generally something like a broken arm or a serious wound. So in order for a person to be found guilty of this section of Unlawful Restraint, generally the government has to show that the victim is being held somewhere unsafe (a cooler) or being held there through the use of a deadly weapon like a gun or a knife. If the accused is convicted for this type of Unlawful Restraint then he is facing a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a possible $10,000 fine.

Sex Crimes False Reports of Child Abuse

When the government falsely charges a defendant with Sex Crimes they may charge the person who made the initial allegation with making False Reports of Child abuse if certain specific criminal elements are met. The crime of False reports of child abuse can be found in section 4906.1 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code Title 18. Child endangerment That crime states that an accused can be found guilty of this crime which is graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree and therefore punishable by 2 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. In order to be convicted of this crime, the government must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First that the accused either intentionally or knowingly made a false report of child abuse or second that the accused either intentionally or knowingly induces or convinces a child to make a false claim of child abuse.

Criminal Defense Warrantless search of a car

Generally in the realm of Criminal Defense a main issue is the Warrantless search of a car by the police. In these car search cases, the defense is frequently challenging: 1) the initial stop of the vehicle; and/or 2) whether there was probable cause to conduct the search of the car. In these cases the defense argues; there was no probable cause to search the vehicle; and/or a warrant supported by probable cause was required under the circumstances. Indecent assault The law dealing with the government's right to search a car in Pennsylvania has changed drastically. In Commonwealth v. Gary, the PA Supreme Court adopted the federal automobile exception to the warrant requirement, which allows police officers to search a motor vehicle when there is probable cause to do so and does not require any exigency beyond the inherent mobility of a motor vehicle. In that case, the Court found there was probable cause to search because: the officers smelled marijuana, and the defendant attempted to flee the scene. Two pounds of marijuana was found under the hood of the car. This case makes it easier for police to conduct a warrantless search of a motor vehicle.

Criminal Defense GPS devices

In 2012, in terms of Criminal Defense and the GPS, the United States Supreme Court ruled in US v. Antoine Jones, that government installation of a GPS device on a criminal defendant's vehicle, and its use of that device to monitor the vehicle's movements, is considered a search under the 4th Amendment. Therefore, in order for police to track a vehicle using a GPS device, a search warrant must be obtained by the police prior to installation.  assault crimes Such installation without a warrant, is considered to be a trespass. Other courts have ruled along this line as well. The Supreme Court found that using drug-sniffing dogs around a suspect's front porch without a warrant or consent was also an unreasonable search as police were trespassing. This suggests that once the police secure a search warrant, they can attach a tracker on the outside of the car (or underneath it), as opposed to entering into the vehicle to install which might require a warrant authorizing the search of the vehicle. Now there are some exceptions to this rule which include: 1) Consent; 2) Federal agents (not state or local officials) may install tracking devices on vehicles entering the US from a foreign country and can monitor vehicles for 48 hours without a search warrant or reasonable suspicion.

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