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April 2018 Archives

Dui Defense Probable Cause

One defense used in DUI cases is that the police did not have or had a lack of probable cause to arrest the defendant for DUI. DUI marijuana In order for the police to charge or arrest a defendant with the crime of DUI, they must have probable cause to believe that the Defendant committed a DUI. This typically happens under the following scenario. The police officer is on routine patrol and he sees the defendant driving a motor vehicle on a roadway. He then sees the defendant commit a driving infraction. AT this point in time the officer has probable cause to stop the defendant for a vehicle violation. The officer then meets the defendant. The defendant has blood shot eyes, alcohol on his breath and admits to drinking two beers. At this point the officer now has reasonable suspicion that the defendant is driving drunk and can ask him to submit to field sobriety tests. The officer then gives the defendant field sobriety tests and the defendant fails. At this point the officer clearly has probable cause to arrest the defendant for DUI and to ask him to submit to a blood test.

Drug Crimes Medical Marijuana Cards

One issue that arises in drug crimes, specifically those involving an allegation of the possession of marijuana is, are Medical Marijuana cards a defense to drug crime charges in the state of Pennsylvania. And the answer to this question is sometimes. Recently the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has approved the medicinal use of marijuana. Intent to Deliver Unfortunately, some criminal defendants take that to mean that they are allowed to drive their vehicle on a roadway in Pennsylvania after ingesting pot so long as the marijuana was prescribed medically. Unfortunately, the law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania makes it illegal for any individual to operate a motor vehicle with any marijuana in his system. This is true regardless of whether or not the marijuana was prescribed by a doctor or purchased on a street corner. This is also true regardless of whether the marijuana has any actual effect on a criminal defendant's ability to safely drive his car. The rule regarding DUI and marijuana in Pennsylvania is that a defendant is guilty of DUI so long as marijuana is in the bloodstream of a driver, even if the marijuana is no longer impairing his driving.

Criminal Defense Consent

Consent is frequently a defense in a Criminal Defense case. That is particularly true in sex crime cases, where most sex crimes are only criminal if they occur without the victim's consent. senf defense Since consent can be such a big factor in criminal cases, it is frequently import ant for criminal defendants to have a great level of familiarity with when consent can be used as a defense in a criminal case. The general rule with consent is that a victim's consent is a defense if such consent negatives an element of the criminal offense that the defendant is charged with. Consent can exist with more than just sex crime offenses. It can also operate as a defense in cases where a victim is injured. Specifically, consent to assault charges where a victim suffers bodily injury exists when the conduct and the injury are reasonably foreseeable hazards of participating is an athletic contest (such as boxing, martial arts etc.)

Drug Crimes Entrapment

One issue that seems to arise in Drug Crimes cases is the issue of Entrapment. Frequently, criminal defendants facing Drug Crimes charges will feel as though the police officers or state troopers entrapped them into committing the crime. Under Pennsylvania law however, that is rarely the case. intent to deliver The general rule of entrapment is that a police officer or a person acting in cooperation with the police (such as a confidential informant), perpetrates an entrapment if for the purpose of obtaining evidence of a crime (such as illegal drugs) he convinces the criminal defendant to commit acts which are part of drug crimes, by either:

Violent crimes Aggravated Assault of a police officer

Violent crimes that individuals may be charged with when interacting with the police is the crime of Aggravated Assault on a police officer. assault crimes In order to be convicted of Aggravated Assault on a police officer, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First that the defendant caused or attempted to cause bodily injury to someone. Second, that the defendant intentionally tried to cause this injury and or intentionally attempted to cause this injury and finally that the injury was caused to a police officer performing his duty (meaning working as a police officer), when the alleged assault occurred. There are several issues that are raised when reviewing the elements of the statute. The first of which is the government has to prove that the injury was intentionally inflicted by the defendant. Typically, pushing an officer away from themselves or even flailing about will not necessary satisfy this element.

Juvenile Crimes Placement and Detention

One of the worst outcomes that a criminal defendant can receive when charged with juvenile crimes is Placement and/or detention. Placement means that a juvenile is placed at a detention facility. Juvenile Sex Crimes This almost always occurs after a defendant is determined by the court to have committed a crime. Placement facilities typically specialize in dealing with certain issues such as drug dependency issues, mental health issues, anger issues etc. Detention occurs when a juvenile is detained in the juvenile detention facility until his guilty can be determined by a court of common pleas. Juvenile Crimes are crimes brought against individuals under the age of 18. If a criminal defendant does not plead guilty, he can still be detained prior to his criminal trial so long as he is charged with very serious crimes or had been in the juvenile system previously. Make sure to consult with experienced Chester County Juvenile attorneys if your son or daughter has been charged with a crime.

Juvenile crimes A consent Decree

In the world of Juvenile Crimes and Criminal Defense, a Consent Decree is typically the goal of the criminal defense attorney. teen sexting As already discussed in previous blogs, the juvenile criminal system has some similarities to the adult court system, but generally the two are very different. The primary difference is that the juvenile system, through juvenile probation officers is centered around rehabilitating the defendant, whereas the adult system is centered on punishment. Since the juvenile system is centered around rehabilitation, the conduct of the juvenile defendant after he is charged is very important in terms of dictating what his ultimate punishment will be. One of the best types of outcomes is the Consent Decree. In most counties, a consent decree means that an accused will be placed on probation for a period of 6 months and so long as he or she performs well, he can have all of his criminal charges withdrawn. Once the charges are withdrawn, the juvenile can then have the charges expunged from his record.

Juvenile crimes adjudication

Frequently juvenile crimes end up turning into adjudications. Juvenile crimes are brought by the prosecution against criminal defendants who are considered to be juveniles. Under Pennsylvania law, a juvenile is an individual who is under 18 years of age when he has committed a crime. Most juveniles are charged by the district attorney's office. The crimes that the accused is charged with are explained by the Juvenile probation officer at an informal intake. informal intake After this, the accused has to decide whether or not he wants to challenge the charges and ask for a formal (a bench hearing before a court of common pleas judge or master) or agree to be adjudicated delinquent of the crimes. An adjudication is slang for when someone is found to adjudicated delinquent of a crime. An adjudication is essentially the same as an adult being found guilty of a crime in adult court. The differences are that a juvenile has more options to get his record expunged than that of an adult.

Juvenile crimes informal intake

One of the first steps in cases involving the allegation of juvenile crimes is the informal intake with the juvenile probation officer. sex crimes against minors The informal intake occurs after a case has been referred by a law enforcement officer to the juvenile system. A case is referred to the juvenile system when a juvenile is charged with either a misdemeanor or felony crime. Once a case is referred to the juvenile system, the juvenile and his parents are sent a letter where they are asked to meet with a juvenile probation officer. During this meeting, the probation officer will speak to the accused's parents and ask them how he is doing at home and at school and review the accused's options going forward. Additionally, the probation officer will inform the juvenile of what will be expected of him while he is on supervision. Typical requirements are counseling, attending school and random drug testing. The informal intake is a very important stage in the juvenile criminal process. Make sure to contact an experienced Chester County juvenile attorney today if your son or daughter have been charged with a crime as a juvenile and has received notification of an informal intake.

Criminal Defense Hearsay

One issue that comes up in Criminal Defense cases is assessing when the government may use hearsay evidence at a Preliminary Hearing. As previously discussed, a preliminary hearing offers the defendant with his first opportunity to challenge the evidence against him. child endangerment At that hearing a district justice must determine whether it is more likely than not that the accused committed the crimes that he is charged with. If the government meets that burden, then the charges are bound over to the Court of Common Pleas. Otherwise the charges are dismissed. Recently, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania found that the government may use hearsay testimony at a Preliminary Hearing. This ruling struck a huge blow to criminal defendants since the admission of hearsay evidence makes it significantly more difficult for a criminal defendant to challenge the case against him and for his defense attorney to cross examine witnesses.

Violent Crimes Voluntary manslaughter of unborn child

Violent Crimes such as Voluntary Manslaughter of an unborn child are extremely serious crimes. Assault Crimes Voluntary Manslaughter is a charge accusing a criminal defendant of killing another person, in the case of this statute an unborn child. In order to be found guilty of this crime, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First that the defendant killed an unborn child without. Second that the killing occurred without lawful justification (such as arguably performing an abortion in the capacity as a doctor). Third, at the time of the killing of an unborn child the defendant was acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by: either the mother of the unborn child whom the actor endeavors to kill. Meaning the defendant was trying to kill the mother, but he accidentally causes the death of the unborn child; or the defendant was trying to kill another person, but accidently causes the death of the unborn child.

Violent Crimes Aggravated assault

A conviction for Violent Crimes such as Aggravated Assault can be extremely serious. An aggravated Assault is graded as a Felony and is typically charged in only the most serious assault cases. There are several different subsections or subsets of aggravated assault. Murder A person is guilty of aggravated assault under several different circumstances so long as the government can prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

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