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May 2018 Archives

College Crimes Drug charges on college campuses

College Crimes include crimes such as Drug charges that occur on college campuses. Most students at a university are educated on drug use and the risk that comes with the use of drugs. Date rape charges Even with this being said, it is the culture on college campuses that create an environment where peers expose students to acceptable drug use, but the student has the potential to receive potential criminal issues. How law enforcement treat drug possession in college dorms is very different than if you're caught in public for the same offense. Colleges and surrounding police departments have both similar and different approaches on how to treat drug crimes. Smaller private universities have shown fewer student arrests for drug related offenses than larger public universities. This is due to larger universities being more involved with the surrounding cities, causing outside law enforcement getting involved in more student crimes, such as drug offenses. A student's future is in jeopardy when they are given a drug conviction and it is highly recommended to get the help of an experienced PA criminal defense attorney.

College Crime Reporting Crime on College Campuses

College Crimes and the issue of Reporting Crime on College Campuses are issues that are frequently in the news. College Crimes are generally Crimes that happen on college campuses. When attending college it is important for the students to feel safe on their campus. Date Rape This unfortunately hasn't always been the case when it comes to the reporting of crimes by University's and Colleges. To help make sure that colleges report crime that happens on campus, the federal government drafted and signed into law the Clery Act in 1990. The Clery Act requires colleges participating in student financial aid programs (and therefore subjectable to Congress) to report all crimes that occur on or near the campus. The law was originally drafted by United States Senator Arlen Specter who named the law after Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old Lehigh University student, who was raped and murdered by Joseph Henry in 1986. The Lehigh campus had not been actively reporting crimes that had been occurring on campus.

Criminal Defense Furnishing Alcohol to minors

One crime that can have very serious consequences in criminal defense cases is the crime of furnishing alcohol to minors. The crime of furnishing alcohol to minors is fairly self- explanatory.  Firearm charges In order for a criminal defendant to be found guilty of this crime, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt. First, that the accused intentionally and knowingly sells or gives or buys alcohol with the intention of giving the liquor or alcohol to someone who is less than 21 years of age. And second, that the accused knew that the person receiving or buying the alcohol was under 21 years of age. This crime is graded as a misdemeanor of the third degree and therefore punishable by a maximum of 1 year in prison and a $2500 fine. However, the significant impact of this crime can occur if one of the minors commits other crimes after he or she received the alcohol from the defendant.

Murder Shaken Baby Syndrome

Murder charges can frequently result in cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Shaken Baby Syndrome involves allegations where a defendant is accused of shaking a baby or toddler with such ferocity that death results. manslaughter One of the biggest issues in murder cases involving shaken baby syndrome is whether the government can prove that the defendant acted with malice or the intent to kill when the shaking occurred. Looking at cases which do not involve shaken baby victims, where death resulted as a result of weaponless violence, Pennsylvania Courts have held that malice (which is required for Third Degree Murder cases) may be inferred based on the circumstances of the case, and factors "such as the assailant's size and the ferocity and duration of the attack. However, in cases where a single push improbably caused death, such as in a Pennsylvania case named the Commonwealth vs. MacArthur, where said push propelled a man over a porch railing causing him to fall on his head from a height of four feet, courts have not found sufficient malice to sustain a conviction for 3rd degree murder. Make sure to contact the experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyers at the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte.

DUI should I go to rehab?

One issue that arises for defendants who are charged with a DUI is should I go to rehab? Specifically, is it in my legal interest to enter rehab if I have been charged with a DUI? drugged driving This blog will address that very question, however it is important to note that we are only accessing the legal benefits of rehab, not the obvious personal benefits which can come from attending a rehab facility. Rehab can be a life changing event physically, mentally and spiritually. It is highly recommended that any individual that believes that they might have a problem with either alcohol or drugs should attend rehab. An issue that Pennsylvania courts have been struggling with is when should a defendant get credit for prison time when he is not in prison. The statute dealing with this question (section 9760) states that a defendant should be given credit for time spent in custody prior to sentencing for a particular offense. The issue that arises in courts is can a defendant be in custody even if he is not in prison? Courts have interpreted the word 'custody, to mean time spent in an institutional setting such as an inpatient or rehabilitation treatment facility.

Drug Crimes Theft of services

When people think of Drug Crimes, one of the last crimes people think of is Theft of Services. drug possession However, Theft of Services is a crime very closely associated with Drug Crimes. Before we explore how and why that is the case, it is helpful to review what the government must prove in order for a defendant to be found guilty of this crime. A person is guilty of the crime of Theft of Services if the accused intentionally obtains services for himself or for another which he knows are only available for compensation. Second, that the services were obtained by the defendant either by deception or threat. And finally, that the deception occurred as a result of either altering or tampering with the public utility meter or measuring device by which such services are delivered so that the public utility would not have knowledge of how much power is being used.

Drug Crimes probable cause to stop a vehicle

One of the primary defenses raised in Drug Crimes cases is to argue that the police did not have probable cause to stop a vehicle and later search the car for drugs. Intent to Deliver charges Typically, the police claim that they stopped a vehicle because the driver committed a vehicle code violation such as running a red light or not putting on a turn signal before turning. Under Pennsylvania law, the police are permitted to stop a motor vehicle if the driver of the vehicle commits a driving infraction or motor vehicle code violation. One issue that arises in Drug Crime cases is that after the vehicle is stopped the police find drugs in the vehicle. The defendant, through his attorney may challenge the police's basis for stopping the vehicle. If the court finds that the police did not have probable cause to stop the vehicle, then the drugs are suppressed and the case is dismissed by the court. Make sure to contact an experienced Chester County Drug Lawyer at the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte.

Sex Crimes Unauthorized school bus entry

Although not defined as part of Sex Crimes, Unauthorized school bus entry is generally linked into that category as a result of the fact that school buses are used to transport kids and other minors. child endangerment Since school buses carry minors, District Attorneys Offices frequently take alleged violations of this statute very seriously. 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 entered a school bus without prior authorization of the driver or some other school official. Second, that the defendant entered the school bus with the intent to commit some crime on the bus or to try and interfere with the driver or the defendant after entering the bus refuses to leave the bus even after being ordered to do so by the school bus driver.

DUI Crimes Driving while operating privilege is suspended

DUI Crimes such as Driving a motor vehicle while your operating privilege is suspended or revoked can have very serious consequences on your freedom.  DUI marijuanaSpecifically, driving with a suspended license can be found in the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code under Title 75 section 1543. There are two separate portions of section 1543 of the Vehicle Code. The first crime deals with driving on a suspended license that is not DUI related. The second crime and the one that is significantly more serious appears under section 1543b of the vehicle code and deals with driving with a suspended license as a result of a DUI conviction. Specifically, in order to be convicted for these crimes, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First, that the accused was driving a motor vehicle on any highway or trafficway in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Second, that the accused's driver's license was suspended at the time of his driving. And finally, that the accused had notice of the suspension of his driver's license either in court or from Pendot.

Criminal Defense Should I waive my Preliminary Hearing

One issue that arises with great frequency in Criminal Defense cases is should I waive my Preliminary Hearing? Before we answer and look at that question it is helpful to review just what a Preliminary Hearing is. A Preliminary Hearing is a statutory right that is given to criminal defendants who are accused of committing certain crimes. sex crimes Specifically, individuals charged with having committed crimes that are either misdemeanors or felonies. The purpose of the Preliminary Hearing is to grant the accused due process protection since he is being placed on bail. Accordingly, the accused has the right to challenge the governments case by having his attorney cross-examine the government's witnesses and argue that the government cannot meet their burden that it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the crimes that he is charged with. After a hearing, where the government calls witnesses to testify, the defense can argue that some or all of the charges should be dismissed. Make sure to hire an experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyer if you scheduled for a Preliminary Hearing

Violent Crimes what is malice?

One issue that comes up in Violent Crimes cases is what is malice? And when does it apply in criminal charges. The legal definition of malice concerns a state of mind that the government must prove that the defendant possessed when he committed a certain criminal act. third-degree murder If the government can prove that the defendant committed a certain criminal act while he possessed or acted with malice, then the defendant may be found guilty of certain criminal charges. Some of these charges are Third degree Murder and aggravated assault. Both of these crimes are graded as felonies of the first degree and generally punishable by a maximum of 20 years in state prison, and in the case of third degree murder, 40 years. Generally the Pennsylvania courts have defined malice as follows: malice is present under circumstances where a defendant displayed a conscious disregard for 'an unjustified and extremely high risk that his actions might cause death or serious bodily harm. Thus the defendant need not have an intent to kill

Criminal Defense False Swearing

In Criminal Defense work, it is quickly learned that the police have a number of charges, such as False Swearing, to charge individuals with if they make false statements to them while they are in the course of conducting an investigation.   violent crimesThe crime of False Swearing can be found in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code under Title 18 section 4903. False swearing is graded as a misdemeanor of the second degree and therefore punishable by a maximum of 2 years in state prison and a $5,000 fine. In order to be found guilty of this crime, the government must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt: First, that the accused made a false statement under oath or swears or affirms the truth of such a statement in a written statement to law enforcement, and second that the accused made such a statement when he does not believe the statement to be true. And finally that the false statement was made with the intent mislead a police officer from performing his job.

Criminal Defense Pre-trial motions

One of the most important aspects of Criminal Defense is the filing of Pre-Trial Motions. Pre-Trial motions are essentially requests by the defense that the court make a ruling on the admissibility of certain evidence during the trial. arrest warrants As many people know, in order for the government to win at trial, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant is guilty of committing a crime. In order to do this, the prosecution must introduce evidence showing that the defendant is guilty. However, evidence seized by the government is not admissible at trial, if the police seized the evidence illegally. Specifically, if the police violated one of the defendant's constitutional rights , such as the fourth or fifth amendments, then the court will rule that the evidence is not admissible at trial. In certain cases, the prosecution may not be able to bring a case, or meet their burden of proving that the defendant committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, if certain evidence is not admissible in Court.

Sex Crimes Child Pornography

One of the most serious sex crimes that a criminal defendant can be charged with is the crime of Child Pornography. A Conviction to Child Pornography can have many disastrous effects on an individuals future. child endangerment First, it is a crime that potential employers do not like to see. Second, a conviction mandates that a defendant register as a sex offender and comply with the requirements of SORNA and Megan's Law. Finally, a conviction for the sex crime of child pornography frequently requires that the defendant be sentenced to state prison. Depending on the type of child pornography, this crime can be graded as either a felony of the third degree or the second degree. Pictures are punishable by a maximum of 7 years in state prison and a $15,000 fine. Videos are frequently punishable by up to 10 years in state prison. Make sure to contact an experienced Chester County Sex Crimes attorney if you have been charged with this serious crime.

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