The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers AVVO Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Criminal Defense 10 Best 2014 | 4 years Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys WHO'S WHO | Top Professional | Certified 2017 top 100 lawyer ASLA 10 best 2016 client satisfaction| American Institute of personal injury Attorneys Top 10 Attorneys American Jurist Institute 2017 American Jurist Institute Top 10 Attorneys Personal Injury Attorney | Top 10 Attorney And Practice Magazines | 2017 Criminal Defense Attorney | Top 10 Attorney And Practice Magazines | 2019 America's top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys | 2017 | top 100
Law Offices of Kelly & Conte Law Offices of Kelly & Conte
Call Anytime - Day or Night
610-314-7066 610-314-7066
Visa | Mastercard | American Express | Discover Network
The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
AVVO Rating 10.0 Superb | Top Attorney Criminal Defense
Nation's Premier | NACDA | Top Ten Ranking 2014
10 Best 2014 | 4 years Client Satisfaction | American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
2016 top 100 lawyer ASLA
10 best 2016 client satisfaction| American Institute of personal injury Attorneys
American Jurist Institute Top 10 Attorneys
Top 10 Attorneys American Jurist Institute 2017

March 2019 Archives

Sex Crimes CYF Investigations

Although it isn't always the case, CYF investigations typically involve the allegation of sex crimes. There are many organizations and agencies that are designated as a resource to report and investigate any incident or repeated instances of child abuse or neglect. One such organization is the Children, Youth, and Families (CYF).  CYS investigations An investigation into potential child abuse or neglect starts with a written or oral report to the CYF. These reports are typically done by anyone who is what is referred to as a mandated reporter. These mandated reporters can be teachers, day care workers, or anyone that works for an organization that's works with children such as the YMCA's summer camp. Once the report is made the agency will respond in 24 hours, typically by sending a social worker to the reported child's house to investigate. If the abuse rises to the level of a criminal offense, the police will be involved and the CYF and police will work together to investigate. In certain cases, the child may be removed from the home, but it must be court ordered or an officer must have reasonable grounds that the child is in immediate danger.

Theft Crimes Unauthorized use of an Automobile

There are many statutes under Pennsylvania law dealing with Theft Crimes specifically Unauthorized Use of an automobile. They range from minor traffic violations to DUI to theft of an automobile. Drivers can also find themselves being charged with a motor vehicle violation if they are driving one that does not belong to them and they don't have the owner's permission to do so. burglary Officially, this is known as unauthorized use of an automobile and is defined under section 3928 of the Pa criminal code. This offense is considered a type of theft. Due to this fact, it is a misdemeanor of the second degree which can carry a jail sentence of up to two years. Built into the statute is an affirmative defense. The defense essentially is that the person operating the vehicle had a reasonable belief that the owner would have consented to them using the vehicle had the owner known about it. While it is a type of theft, it is considered a lesser offense than other types of vehicle thefts.

Juvenile Crimes

Juvenile crimes are crimes committed by an individual who is under the age of 18. Sometimes juveniles who are close to the age of being adult, such as an individual who is 16 or 17, can be tried for the crime as adult. juvenile sex offenses However, that is typically reserved for more serious offenses such as murder and is up to the prosecutor and the judge and can vary from district to district and state to state. When a juvenile commits a crime, they can be arrested just like adults. The difference is the which court system will deal with the crime that was committed. Juveniles go through the juvenile court system. This court system is unlike the adult court system in a lot of ways. The juvenile court system deploys a method of restorative justice. Restorative justice is a philosophy that uses a system of criminal justice which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large. The juveniles are made to look at the effect of their actions on the victim.

Sex Crimes Date Rape

One of the most serious sex crimes a person can commit is the act of date rape. Recent headlines across the United States have people talking about what is referred to as "Date Rape".  indecent assault Essentially what people mean when they use this term is that the victim knows the offender because they have been in a sexual relationship before. It is a misconception people have that if a prior sexual relationship has occurred, the individuals cannot be charged with rape. In order for it to be considered rape consent to the act must not have been given. Every sexual act must have consent from both parties, regardless if one individual has consented in the past. The term "date rape" has been heavily associated with people attending universities. There have been tons of campaigns on universities across the United States about the importance of receiving consent every time a sexual act occurs regardless of prior sexual history between the two individuals.

Violent Crimes Persons not to possess or use firearms

The Pennsylvania Crimes code deals with Violent Crimes and specifically the charge of Persons not to possess or use firearms. The second amendment of the United States constitution guarantees the right of all citizens to keep and bear arms. However, there is a population of individuals who have had that right revoked due to certain circumstances. Murder Those aforementioned are individuals who have committed a serious violation of law, namely an offense that rises to the degree of a felony. In addition to felons, there are a number of other populations that are prohibited from having anything to do with firearms. These include fugitives, those who are adjudicated as incompetent, anyone involuntary committed to a mental institution along with those dishonorably discharged from service. Every state has some version of a statute from prohibiting certain populations from the possession, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer of firearms. In the Commonwealth of Pa that statute is section 6105 of the Pa criminal code.

Criminal Defense Public Drunkenness

Many cases that make their way through the courts of Criminal Defense involve the use of alcohol in cases such as Public Drunkenness.  assault crimes One of the less serious offenses involving substances is public drunkenness and similar misconduct. This statute is defined under section 5505 of the Pa criminal code. An individual can be charged with this offense if they are in a public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance to the degree that they are a harm to themselves or others or property or they are annoying people in their vicinity. It is a common misconception that simply being drunk in a public setting is illegal. As defined in this statute that is not necessarily the case. In order for an individual to be charged with this offense they must be so intoxicated that it puts them at harm, others at harm, or they must act in a manner that, as the statute puts it, annoys someone. Some examples of acts that might put the individual who is intoxicated in harm's way are falling asleep outside in the cold or stumbling into traffic. Stumbling into traffic could also be considered putting others in harm's way as well because it increases the risk for an accident to occur.

Many Americans know someone convicted of a crime

There is a good chance that an individual in Pennsylvania has a direct member of the family who has been sent to prison or jail. According to a study by Cornell University in New York, 45 percent of Americans have a parent, grandparent or sibling who is or was incarcerated. Children and spouses also counted as direct family ties for the purposes of the study.

Sex Crimes Loitering and Prowling at night

Sex Crimes such as Loitering and prowling at night is a criminal offense defined under section 5506 of the Pa criminal code. Essentially, this act is defined as maliciously loitering or maliciously prowling around an occupied structure at night.  child endangerment Given the vague wording of the statue, in order to fully understand it, the terms used need to be defined. The state defines loitering as lingering, staying, remaining or waiting at one location. In addition, the state defines prowling as roving or wandering in a stealthy manner. Finally, the state defines the term malicious as vexatious, annoying, injurious, or with intent to do a wrongful act. The most important element of this statute is the malicious intent. In order for this charge to hold up, the commonwealth must prove that an individual's actions met the standard of malicious intent. This is a high burden of proof that the is on the commonwealth to prove. This statute is a misdemeanor of the third-degree which makes it a fairly serious offense. If found guilty, a sentence of up to a year incarcerated and a hefty fine can be imposed.

Sex Crimes What should I do if I am Accused of Rape

Current events have raised questions involving Sex Crimes and what a person should do if they are accused of rape. Recent events have really placed the topic of sexual misconduct, such as rape, in the news headlines across the United States. indecent assault The "me too" movement, along with the Kavanaugh hearings have really got individuals, especially men, thinking about what to do if they have been accused of sexual misconduct, especially rape. If you have been accused of any sexual misconduct, especially rape, they first thing that you will want to do is speak to a defense attorney as soon as possible. An accusation, whether true or false, can have a devastating effect on an individual's reputation and it is important to have an experienced attorney who will know what to do given the facts of your particular situation. If the police want to bring you in for questioning, it is extremely important that you do not give any answers to any questions, without the presence of your attorney. In the Miranda warnings, the officers explicitly say "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." It is really important to not talk to the police without the presence of your attorney.

Drug Crimes Police searches

The 4th amendment typically applies to police searches involving drug crimes. The 4th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Heroin Crimes So, when exactly can police search an individual, specifically a person's vehicle? There are several ways a police officer can obtain legal authority to do so. The first is the long drawn out process of obtaining a search warrant. The officer must outline specifically where they will be searching and must provide a reason or justification as to why the search is necessary, and a judge must sign off on the search. However, this is not how most officers obtain legal authority to search an individual's vehicle. Most searches are based on probable case (PC) alone. PC is essentially certain factors are present during an interaction with police that leads the officer to believe a crime has been committed. This gives the officer a reasonable ground to base the search off of. For instance, a very common form of PC is the presence of marijuana odor admitting from the individual's vehicle. If during the course of a traffic stop, the officer detects the odor of marijuana, that officer can use the presence of the marijuana odor as PC and search the vehicle without needing a warrant.

Younger Americans facing high rates of being taken into custody

Individuals who are currently age 25 or younger are more likely to be taken into custody compared to older individuals. Furthermore, the likelihood of a woman or white person being taken into custody is also greater now than in the past. This is according to research conducted by the RAND Corporation. The research found that Pennsylvania residents in the youngest age range had lower incomes, worked fewer hours and were less likely to be married.

College Crimes Aggravated Hazing

As a result of a recent string of college crimes on college campuses a new statute was enacted called Aggravated Hazing. Fraternities and sororities have a long-standing initiation tradition which is commonly referred to as hazing. In any circumstance that involves excessive amounts of alcohol and college aged individuals, things have a way of spiraling out of control very quickly and can result in serious injury. assaults on college campuses Incidents that have made headlines typically involve a new recruit at a fraternity dying or getting seriously hurt during that organizations initiation process. When this occurs, the people involved run the risk of being charged with the serious offense of aggravated hazing. Aggravated hazing is just defined under section 2803 of the Pa criminal code. It has the same definition as hazing, which is just any act that recklessly endangers the mental or physical health of an individual as part of the initiation process into an organization, except that the actions that took place results in serious bodily injury or death.

Violent Crimes Assault on an officer

One of the least common types of violent crimes that make their way to through the criminal justice system is assault on an officer. There are varying degrees of assault based on the level of harm caused to the victim. Murder In addition, there are different subsections of the statute that define different types of assault that are perpetrated against certain groups of individuals. One of the most serious cases of assault happen when an individual assaults an officer. Assaulting an officer is defined under section 2702 (a)(3). It is defined as the intentional cause of bodily injury to any of the officers, agents, or employees in the performance of duty. In this definition, there are three elements that need to be unpacked a little more. At first glance the terms officers, agents and employees might seem self-explanatory. However, when you really think about it these are very broad terms that can encompass a wide variety of different people. In fact, the statute further defines these terms and in total there are 38 separate individuals who if assaulted can open up that individual to assaulting an officer charge. Assaulting a firefighter, judge, district attorney, governor, and pretty much anyone who works for the state in some capacity are all individuals listed under this statute.

Sex Crimes Safe harbor for sexually exploited children

Victims in Sex Crimes cases can involve the Safe harbor for sexually exploited children. The criminal justice system is based entirely around the defendant. The defendant and not the victim has rights in the criminal justice system. child endangerment Throughout the history of our criminal justice system the victims of the crime were not really paid attention to unless they were needed in order to testify. That has changed over the years and many victim's rights bills have been passed at the federal level with the states following suit. One of the bills that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania passed to focus on victim's rights is the safe harbor for sexually exploited children statutes. The main statute is defined under section 3061 of the Pa criminal code and it establishes that the state must provide services for children who have been sexually exploited. Services such as housing, education, medical treatment, and therapy are all the types of services that sexually exploited children can choose to participate in which will all be provided by funds from the state.

Court rules jurors cannot be dismissed solely on personal views

It is common practice for potential jurors in Pennsylvania to be dismissed from a case due to their personal beliefs. However, jurors in Massachusetts will no longer be dismissed for their world views if they are capable of being impartial and fair, according to a recent ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

College Crimes Hazing

College Crimes such as Hazing consists of crimes committed at a University. For many Universities around the United States, fraternities and sororities are a big part of campus culture. Date Rape When most people think of these organizations, the first thing that comes to mind is the initiation rituals known as hazing. Fraternity hazing is nothing new, but as of recently it has been making news headlines when the acts go too far and result in the death of a new recruit. Incidents like the one that took place at Penn State, has changed the way the general public views rituals such as hazing, conducted by these organizations. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the act of hazing is actually a criminal offense. The statute defines hazing as any act that recklessly endangers the mental or physical health of an individual as part of the initiation process into an organization. Any individual that is in violation of this statute is committing a misdemeanor of the third-degree and is most likely open to other sanctions imposed by their university.

Penalties for underage college students caught drinking

Parents know that if their underage children consume alcohol it likely to result in serious charges. It is, unfortunately, something that happens. Many young people experiment with various substances. Others see underage drinking as a part of the college experience. Whatever the reason, it is something many young people face.

Violent Crimes Abuse and neglect of care dependent person

Violent Crimes such as Abuse and neglect of care dependent person is a criminal offense is defined under section 2713 of the Pa criminal code. This offense deals with the relationship between a caretaker (ex: parent) and a care dependent person (ex: a child). Murder The statute outlines three provisions in which a person can violate this statute. The first provision is a person commits this offense if a caretaker causes injury, serious bodily injury or death by failing to provide treatment, care, goods or services necessary to preserve the health, safety or welfare of the care dependent person. The second provision is if a caretaker uses physical or chemical restraints, medication, or isolation which results in injury, serious bodily injury, or death of the care dependent person. The last provision is similar to the first provision but does not include injury to the care dependent person. The circumstances surrounding the care dependent person are so bad that it has the possibility of producing harm.

Violent Crimes Discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure

A conviction for Violent Crimes such as the Discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure can lead to a state prison sentence. There are a considerable number of offenses that a person can commit under Pa law relating to the use of firearms. One of the more serious offenses that a person can be charged with is the discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure. firearm charges This offense is defined under section 2707.1 of the Pa criminal code. It is essentially the act of firing a weapon at any building or car that is occupied by people. This offense is a felony of the third-degree and with it comes a sentence of up to seven years incarcerated. It is important to note that this act does not involve injury to anyone. To be charged under this statute all that the prosecution needs to prove is that the firing of a firearm into any structure that is occupied took place.

Why We Succeed


We prepare every case as if it is going to trial. Our reputation for thorough preparation puts us in a much stronger negotiating position with prosecutors and opposing counsel.

See what our clients are saying...


For more than 15 years, people throughout Chester County and the surrounding area have turned to Law Offices of Kelly & Conte for sound legal advice and aggressive representation.

Learn more about our team...


We will not accept a deal simply for the sake of closing your case. We care about your future, and we pursue every available option in an effort to secure the best possible outcome.

View our case results...
Schedule Your Free Consultation

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


West Chester Office
126 W Miner St #1
West Chester, PA 19382

Phone: 610-314-7066
Fax: 610-344-7585
Map & Directions

Pottstown Office
934 E High St #2
Pottstown, PA 19464

Phone: 610-314-7066
Fax: 610-344-7585
Map & Directions

Kennett Square Office
110 East State Street
Suite 305
Kennett Square, PA 19348

Phone: 610-314-7066
Phone: 610-422-7041
Fax: 610-344-7585
Map & Directions