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April 2019 Archives

Criminal Defense Use of force for the protection of property

As mentioned in previous posts about Criminal Defense, the right to the use force for the protection of property or to stop a threat in self-protection is an American principle that makes the United States a unique country. Violent Crimes In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania not only are you allowed to use force in self-defense or for the protection of another, you are also allowed to use force for the protection of your property. The use of force for the protection of property is written in section 507 in the Pa criminal code. It is very similar to the pervious mentioned statutes in that it lays out when and when an individual can use force in order to protect property. The first provision states that an individual can use force to protect their property to prevent the unlawful entry into their property. Essentially if someone breaks into your house with the intention of stealing your property or committing another felony, you can use force to stop that threat.

Criminal defense Execution of public duty

There are many cases in Criminal Defense cases where individuals find themselves in a situation in which the use of force is necessary in order to execute a public duty. Section 504 of the Pa criminal outlines the specifics of when the use of force is necessary in the execution of public duty. public drunkenness There are a number of provisions that outline when exactly force can be used and would be protected under this statute. The first provision is about defining the duties or functions of a public officer or the assistance to be rendered to such officer in the performance of his duties. Essentially this gives public officers the right to use force when they deem it necessary to perform their duties. The next provision protects anyone who is executing a legal process. The third provision protects individuals who are enforcing a contempt of court order. The fourth provision protects individuals who are in the armed forces that are acting within the lawful conduct of war.

Theft Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud is a type of theft criminal offense that is perpetrated by an individual who has the intent to defraud another person, whether it be an agency, insurer, or self-insured individual. The statute for insurance fraud is written under section 4117 of the Pa criminal code. access device fraud The key component of the statute is that the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual knowingly tried to defraud anyone. Under this statute there are a number of different ways an individual can attempt to defraud certain agencies. Certainly, the first thing that comes someone's mind when they hear insurance fraud is the depictions of it in mafia movies where the mobster blows up their restaurant and collects the insurance money. That is definitely a type of insurance fraud but there are many other listed acts that are far less exciting than the previously mentioned example. For instance, making false claims on any report that is going to an agency. Let's say an individual's house is burglarized and for insurance purposes they are asked to come up with a list of every item that was taken from their house. If they report anything that was not actually taken, they can be charged with insurance fraud.

Criminal Defense False swearing

The act of false swearing in Criminal Defense cases is very similar to the act of perjury. self-defense Specifically, the act of false swearing is defined under section 4903 of the Pa criminal code. It essentially is lying under oath or the equivalent affirmation. False swearing can take place during any official proceeding and the statements must be made with the intention to mislead the public official and prohibit him from preforming his official function. In addition, there is also a provision of the statute that covers a situation in which an individual lies to a notary. The main difference between perjury and false swearing is that the false oath in perjury must be made in a judicial proceeding, whereas in false swearing does not need to be made in such a proceeding. While perjury can be based only on an oath required by law, in false swearing the oath may be made in a voluntary statement or affidavit, and it is not necessary that the purpose of the oath was to influence or mislead anyone.

Criminal Defense Unsworn falsification to authorities

One Criminal Defense charge in regards to statements made to the police is Unsworn falsification to authorities. While the offenses of perjury and false swearing both cover lying under oath or the equivalent affirmation, unsworn falsification to authorities covers, as the name suggests, the times when false statements are made while not under oath. sex crimes The act of unsworn falsification to authorities is written under section 4904 of the Pa criminal code. It essentially means that an individual is guilty of this offense if he has the intention to mislead any public official in the course of their duties. This can include giving either written statements or oral statements. In addition, if an individual provides a document that he knows to be false or forged or altered in any manner to an official, he is also guilty of this offense. This statute can be confused with providing false statements to a law enforcement officer, however, in the legal sense they have different meanings and different penalties if found guilty of the offense.

Traffic offenses Driving on a suspended license

One of the more serious traffic offenses cases is driving on a suspended license, Traffic stops are a fairly often occurrence across all counties in the United States. Typically, the first thing the officer asks you when you pull over is "show me your license and registration". If your license is suspended for any reason, that can be a problem for you. vehicular manslaughter There are many reasons why and individual's license would be suspended. The range of reasons is pretty long from having your license suspended due to numerous traffic violations and accumulation of points on that license, to charges involving DUI. What the officer decides to do with the violation, depends on why your license was suspended in the first place. However, regardless of why it was suspended, you will not be able to drive away from the sight where you were pulled over. If it was minor offenses, the officer will write you up a ticket for driving on a suspended license and with a conviction of the summary offense you get at least a $200 fine.

Criminal Defense Rule 600

Rule 600 is a rule of procedure that comes up in Criminal Defense cases. child endangerment Under the 6th amendment of the constitution of the United States, there is a clause that guarantees our right to a speedy trial. Similarly, if you are facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania, under the rules of criminal procedure, rule 600 also guarantees that right. The prosecution must bring every criminal defendant to trial within 1 year of them being charged with the offense. If they fail to do so, then the defense attorneys for the defendant can file a motion to dismiss the charges. With every rule, there come exceptions. There are many exceptions to the rule 600. The prosecution must be the ones at fault to get the charges dismissed, if the trial is not happened within a year of being charged. If the defense files motions or asks for continuances, and the trial has not happened within a year, you cannot file for dismissal under rule 600.

Criminal Defense Statute of limitations

One major aspect of criminal defense cases is the statute of limitations. In Pennsylvania, like many other states around the United States, set what are known as statute of limitations on certain crimes. rape Essentially a statute of limitation is the time period in which the prosecutor may bring charges against an individual. If the time period elapses over the set limit, then charges cannot be filed. It may seem unusual to set a time period for when a person can and cannot be charged with a crime, but statutes of limitations are put in place for a good reason. They are put in place to ensure that the evidence that applies to a certain case, is protected against degeneration. Witnesses to crimes may die off, move or their memories of the event may fade if charges aren't filed in a timely manner. Blood samples and other key pieces of evidence may be misplaced when filing or deteriorate over time.

Drug Crimes Molly

Drug Crimes include the possession or deliver of Molly. Methyl​enedioxy-​methamphetamine (MDMA) is an illicit street drug that effects the central nervous system and the brain. drug paraphernalia MDMA is commonly referred to as "molly". Users of molly experience altered sensations, increased energy and empathy, and a euphoric sensation that typically lasts anywhere from 3-6 hours, depending on the potency of the drug. Molly is very common in the club scenes, where the users will take the drug which typically comes in a pill form, to experience the euphoric effects and dance to the music. Music festivals in recent years have been shut down due to people dying from taking molly. This is due to the fact that the drug heats up your internal body temperature, and in the cases where people die, they are unware of this change and die of dehydration or heat stroke. Due to the high potential for abuse, the DEA lists MDMA as a schedule one drug, meaning that there is no current accepted medical use for the drug.

Violent Crimes Making false statement with purchase of a firearm

Although not specifically considered in the violent crimes category, making a false statement with the purchase of a firearm can be very serious. murder In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, like all other states, in order to purchase a firearm a federal background check must be completed to ensure that the buyer is allowed to own and operate a firearm. In addition to the background check, there is also a 48-hour holding period where the buyer of the firearm must wait 48 hours before he can receive their firearm. This is to ensure that the background check is complete. The most common reason for not being able to purchase a firearm would be due to a felony conviction on your criminal record. However, in some cases buyers and sellers will illegally make false statements on their application about certain factors such as misreporting the individual's past criminal record, in order to ensure that the sale is made.

Criminal Defense right to a speedy arrest

A right that might sound somewhat odd in Criminal Defense cases is the defendant's right to a speedy arrest. What that basically means is that a defendant has a due process right under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be charged promptly with a crime under most circumstances. The reasons for this are straightforward. violent crimes Specifically, the greater the amount of time that goes by before a defendant is arrested, the greater the chance that various witnesses to the case will be more difficult to locate, or if they are located, they may not remember what occurred. Accordingly, there are motions that an accused can file in court alleging that his rights to a speedy arrest were violated when the Commonwealth takes their time bringing criminal charges. Specifically, this is the case where the Commonwealth delays making an arrest and later, after they finally make the arrest they are unable to specify with reasonable certainty the day that the crime occurred on. In addition to this, the defense must able to show that the delay resulted in the unavailability of possible exculpatory evidence.

Drug Crimes Methamphetamine

Possession of Methamphetamine constitutes one of many drug crimes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug which effects the central nervous system. drug paraphernalia  When most people think of this drug, they typically thing of it in its crystallized form, known as the street drug crystal meth. In this form, the DEA classifies it as a schedule two drug which places it in the same category as PCP. Both of these drugs have a high potential for abuse which may lead the user to develop a serious physiological and psychological dependence on the drug. Users typically experience periods of intense energy, alertness, paranoia and psychosis and in many cases smoke the drug. If the drug is abused for a long period, the psychical toll the drug takes on your body is immense. Users typically have rapid weight loss, tooth decay and permanent damage to the brain that could contribute to the development of serve psychotic disorders. Due to the fact that the DEA places crystal meth in the schedule two category, most states have harsh penalties for possession and distribution. The guidelines set out in the Pennsylvania statues make it a misdemeanor for first time offenses. This also depends on the amount that the offender has on them at the time of the arrest. Above a certain amount and the simple possession charge can go from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Criminal Defense owning or operating a chop shop

In the realm of Criminal Defense cases, a chop shop is known as a building where a person or group of persons who take apart or dismember cars or parts of cars that they know or should know have been stolen or obtained by fraud. Section 7702 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code states the obvious and makes it a crime for a person to either own, operate or work in a chop shop. child endangerment The Commonwealth still has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt in order for an accused to be found guilty of this crime. So let's explore what criminal elements they are required to prove. First, the government must prove that they accused knowingly operates or runs or owns a chop shop. Generally speaking it is difficult to run a chop shop by accident, unless of course the owner of the building has no idea what the renter or leaser of his building is operating a chop shop inside.

Violent Crimes Criminal coercion

One of the Violent Crimes that an accused can be charged with in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the crime of Criminal Coercion. Criminal Coercion can be found in section 2906 of the Pennsylvania Crimes code. attempted murder Criminal Coercion is a fairly serious crime. Generally speaking, Criminal Coercion 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. However, the crime can be punished by a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine under certain circumstances. In order to be found guilty of Criminal Coercion, the government must prove the following criminal elements beyond a reasonable doubt: First, that the accused acted with the intent to unlawfully to restrict an individual's ability to move about freely. Second, that the defendant restricted the victim's movement to the detriment of the victim. And finally, that the defendant threatens to either:

Violent Crimes Simple Assault

Generally speaking, violent crimes such as simple assault involve either the intentional causing of bodily injury to another person or the attempt to cause bodily injury to another person.assault crimes  An example of this would be one person punching another individual in the mouth or nose. Although this is the most frequently seen example of a simple assault crime there are less frequently discussed elements of simple assault that are not discussed as much as they should be. Specifically, criminal defendants can also be charged with simple assault for in some cases negligently inflicting injury onto another person, Additionally, a person also commits this crime if they take actions which would put a victim in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. The main point of this blog is to discuss examples of simple assault through the threat of imminent serious bodily injury. The Pennsylvania Superior Court discussed this situation in the case of Commonwealth vs Klieber which was decided in 2017

Violent Crimes PFA Protection from abuse

One of the more recent acts that helps victims of abuse in violent crimes receive relief from their abuser is the act know as a Protection From Abuse PFA. Domestic Violence charges A PFA is similar to a restraining order. The difference is that a PFA is typically used in emergency situations and serves as a temporary measure to seek relief from a person in which they have a domestic relationship with. A domestic relationship can be husband and wife, parent and child, brother and sister, etc. In cases where the victim and abuser do not have a domestic relationship, a restraining order is required. The PFA is designed to give victims another avenue to help them escape from their abusers. However, it is only a temporary act and the maximum amount of time to have a PFA against someone is 3 years. This means that if the victim wants protection from the abuser for a long period of time, they will need a restraining order.

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