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October 2018 Archives

Trump said to be mulling birthright citizenship executive order

Voters in Pennsylvania and around the country will be heading to the polls on Nov. 6 to cast ballots in what many are calling the most important midterm election in decades, and politicians from both sides of the political aisle are turning to hot-button issues to whip up enthusiasm among their supporters as the crucial vote draws near. President Trump has often used his stance on immigration to separate himself from his political opponents, and his opinions on the matter became headline news once again on Oct. 30.

Violent Crimes What do I Do If Under Investigation for Murder?

One of the last questions a defendant wants to ask when being investigated for committing various violent crimes is What should I do if I am under investigation for murder? assault crimes Homicide which is one of the most serious types of Violent Crimes that an accused can face, is defined as the killing of another human being. Murder (with different degrees) and manslaughter are types of homicide that an accused can face. First degree murder is done with the intent and premeditated decisions to kill another person. Second degree murder involves a murder that occurs when a death occurs following other violent felony crimes, such as robbery, kidnapping, rape, burglary or arson. Specifically, the accused and another person agree to commit a robbery and during the robbery the victim dies. This is an example of second-degree murder. Third degree murder is defined in Pennsylvania as the killing of another with malice. Meaning that the defendant did not intend to kill the victim, like under first degree murder, but acted with malice in his heart.

Criminal Defense Intent to Commit a Crime Attempt, Conspiracy

The following criminal defense charges all involve the intent to commit a crime even if a crime has not been completed through attempt, conspiracy and aiding. These actions are still considered criminal, and you should be aware of the penalties each carry if you have been charged with any of the above offenses.  Sex CrimesWhen charged with aiding a crime, you are not required to be present, however your knowledge of a crime can be enough to charge you with this offense. Aiding includes counseling the actor, intending to assist in a crime, and acting prior to the crime was committed. Attempt is defined as having the intent to commit a crime, and actually taking action towards it, however failing to complete the action. Conspiracy involves two or more people who collectively plan to commit a crime and take a certain act towards it. However, the act does not necessarily have to be criminal but the agreement and intent to commit is enough. Other similar conducts can include solicitation which is defined as requesting, encouraging, or demanding others to engage in criminal activity. An example of this is prostitution.

Drug Crimes Marijuana Possession in Pa

Drug Crimes such as the possession of marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania continues to remain illegal today, under the Pennsylvania statute Title 35 section 780-113. There are separate and different penalties for the act of possessing and distributing marijuana. student drug charges In Pennsylvania, the offenses of marijuana are labeled as the possession with presumption of personal use, simple possession of marijuana, and possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver or distribute. When involving the possession of marijuana, the penalties are guided by the amount of marijuana possessed at the time of police interaction. Small amounts of marijuana are counted as misdemeanors, however can still result in fines and/or legal punishment. For example, a charge of under 30 grams can result in up to 30 days in prison and/or a fine of $500.00. While a charge over 30 grams can result in up to 1 year in prison and/or a fine of $1,000.00, while still being considered a misdemeanor. Consecutive charges of possession can result in increased jail time and larger fines. Consult with an experienced Chester County Marijuana lawyer if you are being investigation for either possessing or dealing marijuana.

Criminal Defense Chester County ARD Program

One program that criminal defense clients frequently ask about during consultations is the Chester County ARD program. DUI/DWI The ARD program provides a program for non-violent First-Time offenders. This program permits these first time offenders to have their criminal charges withdrawn and expunged from the criminal docket. This program consists of several different aspects and lasts a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 24 months. The Chester County ARD program is supervised by the Chester County Adult Probation Unit. While on this program, an accused is frequently required to perform community service, receive drug and alcohol counseling, pay a fine of at least $1,500 and pay back any and all restitution. If you are a first time DUI offender or have been charged with a non-violent crime for the first time in a 10 year period then you might be eligible for the ARD program. Contact the lawyers at the Law Office of Kelly and Conte for good legal representation and to see if the ARD program might be a good fit for you.

NTSB warns about rise in drug-impaired driving

The National Transportation Safety Board has called for police officers in Pennsylvania and around the country to be provided with a standardized roadside test to determine whether or not motorists are driving under the influence of drugs. The government watchdog said in an Oct. 16 statement that action is urgently needed due to a worrying rise in opioid use and the increased legalization of medical and recreational marijuana.

College Crimes Homecoming can lead to criminal charges

Although Homecoming offers a fun opportunity for alumni to gather at their former college, homecoming can also lead to criminal charges and college crime charges for unsuspecting students. Date rape charges Typically, local police are on heightened alert during homecoming weekend as a result of the large fraternity and sorority parties that accompany the event. Because of the increase in parties and underage drinking, local police departments are now doing more to stem the tide of partying during Homecoming weekend. For example, many police departments employ additional police officers to work during the weekend. Additionally, some such as West Chester University are even bringing in mounted police in an attempt to stem the tide of illegal drinking and drug use. Make sure to contact the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte if you have been charged with a college crime during homecoming. A conviction for a college crime such as possession of marijuana or underage drinking can lead to a loss of your driver's license and even jail time.

Criminal Defense Disorderly Conduct

One of the most frequent criminal charges brought by the police in criminal defense cases is the charge of disorderly conduct. Disorderly Conduct is a crime that is frequently sought out by experienced criminal defense attorney's as a way to reduce a client's charges. child endangerment Receiving a criminal charge can possibly result in jail, extreme costs and fines, and a criminal record, which can cause problems in your future. However, in some cases defendants are fortunate enough to receive lesser charges in exchange for a summary offense of disorderly conduct. Some criminal charges that may be eligible for negotiation include criminal mischief, harassment in the summary degree, and possession of marijuana. Charges such as possession of marijuana and most types of theft crimes are graded as misdemeanors, and depending on the extent of the crime and lack of criminal history, one may have a great chance of negotiation. In order to receive the proper guidance in court with regards to negotiating, it is imperative that you contact an experienced lawyer. Experienced lawyers here at the Law Office of Kelly and Conte, can walk you through the legal process and assist with any questions and concerns.

Understanding the Definitions of Theft and Theft Crimes

Theft Crimes come in various shapes and sizes so it can be difficult for criminal defendants attempting to gain an understanding of the definitions of theft under Pennsylvania Law. identity theft Chapter 39 under Title 18 lists all crimes related to these crimes. Specifically, Subchapter B under Chapter 39 individually lists the specific definitions of these separate offenses. There are different definitions of theft, as it can pertain to different things. These charges can pertain to the taking of items such as money and firearms and other types of movable property, deprivation of services, theft from financial institutions, governmental entities or businesses. Common charges include theft deprivation, taking from financial institutions, and the taking of property. Deprivation is defined as disposing of property, so the owner cannot retain it, and withholding property for a long period of time. Financial institutions theft involves institutions including banks, insurance companies, credit unions, loan associations, and investment trust. Theft of property can include anything of value including real estate, intangible and tangible personal property, and property rights.

Certain personality traits might make divorce more likely

A number of relationship gurus, psychologists and divorce attorneys point to certain personality traits that make some people more susceptible to divorce. A Pennsylvania spouse might want to be aware of these traits, which include materialism, a fragile ego, selfishness, narcissism and catastrophizing. The results of studies have indicated that in a marriage where one or both spouses are prone to materialism, wanting more or buying more, the marriage has a higher chance of ending.

Sentencing Aggravating and Mitigating Circumstances

There are many different factors such as aggravating and mitigating circumstances. Factors that can affect ones sentencing time such as mitigating and aggravating factors are defined in the Pennsylvania sentencing guidelines. Mandatory sentencing Mitigating factors can be used to lessen a defendant's sentence, as these factors will work in their favor, showing that a defendant committed a crime, but may have been acting under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While aggravating factors can work against an accused by allowing the Judge to implement a more severe penalty. An aggravating favor is defined as any fact or circumstance that will increase the severity or culpability of a criminal act. These acts can include a lack of remorse for the act committed, the amount of harm imposed, recidivism, the role of leadership in the crime, and in some states hate crimes. Prosecutors are able to offer these factors as evidence during sentencing and ask the judge to sentence the defendant more harshly as a result of the presence of one of these aggravating factors.

Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer before Self-Representation

In Criminal Defense cases, Defendants who choose to represent themselves via self-representation instead of choosing to hire a defense lawyer are referred to as "pro se" and "pro per". Pro se and pro per essentially means "for ones own person". DUI DWI lawyer Someone who chooses to represent them-selves without the help of a legal attorney must understand what "for ones own person" truly means. Before representing oneself, you must prove that you are competent to work individually. Judges can use factors of the defendant, such as the age, level of education, the familiarity with English, and the seriousness of the crime charged. Defendants must also be aware and knowingly giving up their 6th amendment right to an attorney, while fully understanding court proceedings. Court proceedings for self represented defendants will proceed in the same manner as if an attorney was present. For this reason, self-representation is not recommended.

Several defenses available for drug possession charges

Being charged with possession of drugs is a serious crime in Pennsylvania that can have lasting consequences. The federal government also has strict penalties for drug possession. These penalties may increase if the drugs were possessed with the intent to sell. If an individual who has been charged with drug possession intends to plead not guilty, a lawyer has several different defense options in order to help a client.

Drug Crimes Mandatory Minimum Sentence

The majority of mandatory minimum sentences are associated with convictions for drug crimes. Following a guilty plea, judges are required to sentence offenders to a mandatory minimum for specific crimes. Marijuana Crimes Mandatory minimum sentencing is a type of sentencing that includes fixed fines and or prison and jail sentences. When choosing the minimum sentence (when a minimum mandatory does not exist), judges are able to use a certain amount of discretion that allows them to make an appropriate decision. Their discretion allows them to use fair judgment for sentencing based on the following information: a defendant's age, prior criminal record, personal background, and the specific crime charged. However, statutes are put in place for the required minimum time that must be served, which takes away judicial discretion.

Criminal Defense Parole Violations

In Criminal Defense cases Parole is defined as the supervised release of a convicted criminal defendant upon the completion of a portion of their sentence. While on parole you are still supervised, however you are being granted the return to society after proven you have rehabilitated. probation violations In order for a criminal defendant to be released from prison and granted parole, he must be either released from the county prison or specifically granted parole by the state parole board. Parole requires specific rules to be followed such as reporting to a parole officer, not associating with ex-convicts, staying within certain geographic areas, avoiding getting into legal trouble, and reporting if you move. If you are found guilty of violating any of the required conditions, the court may impose penalties against you and your probation officer may put out a warrant for your arrest. Make sure to consult with the experienced Parole Violation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Kelly & Conte.

Immigration Crimes Committed by non-U.S Citizens

In Immigration cases certain crimes and convictions committed by a non-US citizen can result in deportation in addition to long periods of incarceration and probation or parole. citizenship Immigration lawyers are responsible for representing those facing criminal charges, which may result in deportation. Immigration lawyers have the ability to defend ones case and prevent them from being deported. They may also provide legal advice regarding things such as how to obtain a visa. However, criminal lawyers like those at the Law Office of Kelly and Conte represent "criminal cases" of those with and without legal documentation in the United States. Criminal charges that can lead to deportation include crimes such as aggravated felonies, drug and gun related crimes, and crimes of domestic violence. Here at Kelly and Conte, several of our clients have retained us for such crimes. Title 18 defines these particular crimes and list definitions of each. Our website also lists small descriptions of related crimes under the "categories" section.

Violent Crimes How Burglary and Robbery Differ

Violent crimes such as burglary and robbery are often confused by people who don't understand how the crimes differ. Manslaughter Burglary is defined as the act of breaking and entering places without authorization, such as a home or business, with the intent to commit another crime within. The use of force or act of physical breaking is not required to be considered burglary. Robbery is defined as a crime when someone directly takes something from another person through the use of some level of force or the threat of force. These can be items of value or of little value taken by force. Contact an experienced Chester County Criminal Lawyer to find out the differences between these two very serious crimes.

Juvenile crimes such as truancy

Juvenile crimes known as "status offenses" are acts that are not considered criminal, however they are illegal due to the age of the offender. Status offenses can include truancy, curfew violations, underage use of alcohol, and running away from home. juvenile sex offenses These offenses are believed to be a precursor to delinquent behavior in the future, which caused states to take an approach for prevention solutions. Treatment and services are provided for youth who find themselves in legal trouble, however the classification of the offenses will determine the treatment. Three different classifications are labeled as status offenders as delinquent, status offenders as neglected abused/dependents, and status offenders as a separate legislative category. Different treatment responses can include long term or short-term consequences. Some responses involve monetary restitution, license suspensions, counseling, youth facilities, or probation.

Criminal Defense Probable Cause to search

Many clients in Criminal Defense cases may question whether or not the police had a probable cause to search them or their belongings during a stop. During police encounters, it is crucial to be aware of what you are being stopped for, and most importantly what it means to determine probable cause. DWI lawyer Probable cause is defined as a reasonable belief (based on factual information) that a person has or will commit a crime. Some categories of evidence that can lead to probable cause include: observation, circumstantial evidence, expertise, information, sensory, or consent. When accused of a crime and charged with evidence following a search, it is important to know which category police officers used to create probable cause. Some of the most common categories stated are expertise, sensory, and consent. Expertise is defined as the ability to identify certain behaviors or tools through training, which indicates that criminal activity is afoot. Sensory helps officers detect crime through hearing, smell, and sight. For example, the smell of alcohol or marijuana lingering from a vehicle can promote the intent to search. Consent to search is also common, as many people are scared to deny police officers this opportunity. Consent is made when the defendant agrees to be searched.

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