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May 2019 Archives

Violent Crimes Terrorism

One of the least charged violent crimes in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania is Terrorism. murder Since the attacks on the world trade center on September 11th in New York, many states have added statues that revolve around terrorism. In the state of Pennsylvania, terrorism is defined under section 2717 of the Pa criminal code. It states that a person can be found guilty of terrorism if they commit a violent act with the intention of doing the following three provisions. First provision is, if they commit a violent act with the intention to intimidate or coerce a civilian population. Next, if they intend to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion. Lastly, if they intend to affect the conduct of a government. The key to this statute is the intention behind the violent act. The government bears the burden of proving that the individual committed the violent act with the intention of doing any of the mentioned provisions.

Traffic offenses Ignition interlock

In the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, if you have been found guilty of a DUI or certain traffic offenses, you may still be allowed to drive a vehicle but an ignition interlock must be installed for the duration of your sentence. An ignition interlock is installed in a vehicle which makes it inoperable until certain requirements are fulfilled.  defending dui cases These may include breathing into a breathalyzer to make sure that no alcohol is present in your system before driving. As of August 25, 2017, Act 33 officially became an enforceable law making it is mandatory for first time DUI offenders with a high BAC, repeat DUI offenders and people who refuse chemical testing to have an ignition interlock be installed in their vehicle. Act 33 also established an ignition license limited license which only allows the individual to operate vehicles with the interlock installed. On the physical license, there are big red letters saying "Limited License" and in the yellow outline of the state the words "Ignition Interlock" are written. This allows law enforcement to easily identify drivers who are only allowed to operate vehicles with the interlock system on.

Sex Crimes Aggravated indecent assault

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, one of the more serious Sex Crimes that an individual can commit is the act of aggravated indecent assault. child endangerment This offense is defined under section 3125 of the Pa criminal code. An individual commits this offense if they penetrate the genitals or anus of another without their consent. In addition, there are a number of provisions that are outlined in the statue. In total, there are eight provisions that are listed. With aggravated indecent assaults the offender uses force or threat of force, there is no medical, hygiene, or law enforcement reason for the penetration, drugs or alcohol may have been used to make the alleged victim unaware of the offense, or the alleged victim was unconscious during the commission of the act. Aggravated indecent assault is a felony of the second degree. If found guilty, an individual can face up to ten years incarcerated in a state facility.

Criminal Defense evidence in a cell phone

Discovery in criminal defense cases can involve evidence in a witness's cell phone. One of the most important and lengthy parts of a legal case is the discovery phase. sex crimes trials In some cases, critical information or pieces of evidence might lie in someone's cell phone. With the advancement of technology more and more cases rely on evidence that is discovered on a phone or laptop. As a defense attorney builds their case for their client, they can file motions to gain access to the content of an individual's phone. However, the courts must consider the constitutional right to privacy of the individual with the phone, and the constitutional right that the accused has to properly defend themselves. This is a very delicate balance and this issue has come up in the past. For instance, the case of Commonwealth v. Lloyd, discussed this issue and made a decision that would help future courts on how to properly weigh the conflicting rights.

Juvenile crimes indecent assault

An adjudication for juvenile crimes such as indecent assault can have serious repercussions. juvenile sex crimes The criminal justice system for juveniles or anyone under the age of eighteen is separate from the system that adults go through. The juvenile courts often focus on rehabilitation rather than simple punishment, and they try to avoid incarceration unless absolutely necessary. One situation where incarceration maybe used is when the person under the age of eighteen commits the act of indecent assault. The act of indecent assault is defined under section 3126 of the Pa criminal code. It states that an individual is guilty of the offense if they have indecent contact with another individual or they have the individual have indecent contact with them, or if for the purposes of being aroused they make another individual have contact with urine, feces or semen. The statute has eight provisions outlining more circumstances in which someone might have committed this act. Due to the inherent nature of the crime, it is considered a pretty serious sexual offense and even for juveniles, incarceration, placement or house arrest is likely if adjudicated delinquent.

Theft of a motor vehicle

In the state of Pennsylvania, there is a distinction between theft of a motor vehicle and robbery of a motor vehicle. Theft by unlawful taking is defined under 3921 of the Pa criminal code. access device fraud It states that a person commits this offense if an individual is guilty of unlawfully taking, or exercising unlawful control over, movable property of another with intent to deprive thereof. Theft of a motor vehicle is a felony of the third degree and with it comes a sentence of up to seven years in a state prison. Motor vehicle robbery is defined under section 3702 of the Pa criminal code. It is defined as the stealing or taking a motor vehicle from another person in the presence of that person or any other person in lawful possession of the motor vehicle. This act is often referred to as carjacking and is a more serious offense than theft by unlawful taking. Carjacking is a felony of the first degree and is punishable by a sentence of up to 20 years incarcerated in a state prison.

Parent and teen risks for marijuana possession

Your teen was just caught smoking a marijuana joint at a college party when the police showed up to shut it down. Now law enforcement has charged your son or daughter with marijuana possession. For your teen, smoking the joint seemed innocent enough. Colorado, Washington and several states allow recreational marijuana use. But Pennsylvania does not. In addition, the federal government still classifies marijuana and cannabis products as Schedule II drugs.

Juvenile crimes Juvenile placement

When the topic of juvenile crimes arrises and the juvenile is then adjudicated delinquent of the offense, depending on the offense, they could end up incarcerated at juvenile placement or at a juvenile detention center. juvenile sex crimes This is often a last resort or as a means to get serious offenders the rehabilitation they need before they end up in the adult system. A lot of time and effort goes into deciding where the juvenile is placed. Most often, the juveniles are placed on some kind of probation and are released to the custody of their parents. However, the more serious offenders are often placed into a secured detention center. There are several high security detention centers located across the state of Pennsylvania. For the central Pennsylvania area, there is the Loysville Youth Development Center and the South Mountain Secure Treatment Unit. South Mountain is high security facility for juveniles deemed very aggressive and most of whom have past placement issues.

Violent Crimes Justification a defense

In some Violent Crimes cases, the defendant will offer up a justification defense for the actions that took place. domestic violence A justification is any act that an individual deems necessary to avoid any type of evil. Using a justification as a defense, is known as an affirmative defense. Essentially an affirmative defense is a defense in which the defendant introduces evidence, which, if found to be credible, will negate criminal liability or civil liability, even if it is proven that the defendant committed the alleged acts. There are many types of justifications that can be used in a criminal case. It is important to note that if a defendant decides to use a justification as a defense, the burden of proof shifts from the prosecution to the defense. The defense then has to prove every element of that defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Using a justification as a defense is not always in the best interest of the defendant, however. This is due to the fact that in order to build the case that their actions were justified, the defendant admits that the act took place, which then makes the prosecution's job a lot easier.

Violent Crimes Simple Assault Mutual combat

Violent Crimes can encompass crimes such as simple assault mutual combat and aggravated assault. While it is not necessarily a justification for a crime, the idea that the assault took place due to a fight where both parties are actively involved can knock a simple assault charge down from a misdemeanor of the second degree to a misdemeanor of the third degree. Murder This idea is referred to as the mutual consent provision of the simple assault statute. Simple assault is defined under section 2701 of the Pa criminal code. It states that an individual is guilty of the offense of simple assault when they cause a bodily injury to another individual. Simple assault can assault be applied to the situation if and individual negligently causes injury to someone else if it is done with a deadly weapon. As mentioned previously simple assault is a misdemeanor of the second degree which means that if found guilty of the assault, a sentence of up to two years incarcerated may be imposed.

Violent Crimes protection of other people

A defense to violent crimes charges is that force was used in the protection of other people. One of the founding principles that make the United States a unique country is the idea that as citizens, it is a right of ours to protect ourselves and others. assault crimes Most states, including Pennsylvania have some type of statute that lays out the parameters of when force can and cannot be used to protect not only yourself, but use force to protect others. The statute in Pennsylvania that deals with the use of force to protect others is in section 506 of the Pa criminal code. It is very similar to the section pertaining to the use of force in self-protection. There are three provisions about when it is appropriate to use force in the protection of others. The first provision essentially gives the individual the right to use force to protect another if the circumstances meet the standard laid out in the use of force in self-protection section. In simpler terms let's say a person is being held at gun point. In that scenario, a third person could use force to protect the individual being held at gun point.

Violent crimes Justification

Justification can be a defense in the criminal justice system concerning violent crimes. Additionally, there are two types of ways defendants try and offer up a reason for why the act was committed. The first is an excuse. Excuses do not justify an individual's actions. gun charges` They are merely offered up as a reason for why the individual would do what they did and, in some cases, can reduce the severity of the sentence, depending on the judge. One of the most common excuses used was being intoxicated. While this excuse most likely will not get you off the hook for the crime, it can be offered up as a reason for why the individual acted that way. On the other hand, a justification which is any act that an individual would deem necessary to avoid any evil, would most likely dismiss any charges against you. It is important to note that the burden of proof for a justification is on the defense unlike all of the other criminal proceedings where the burden of proof is on the prosecution. One type of justification that would not make an act criminal is self-defense. If the defense is able to prove that the induvial was acting in self-defense when the act was committed, then the act would no longer be considered a criminal act.

Criminal Defense Perjury

 Lying while under oath in criminal defense cases is known as perjury. Perjury is a criminal offense in the United States. sex crimes  Specifically, in Pennsylvania, this statute is written under section 4902 of the Pa criminal code. It states that a person commits the act of perjury if they provide any false information while under oath, in any official proceeding. The offense of perjury is a felony of the third-degree and with it comes a sentence of up to seven years in a state prison. Most people associate the crime of perjury with idea that a witness in a criminal trial lied while testifying. While that is considered perjury, as mentioned in the statute, perjury applies to any official proceedings where the person given statements is under oath. This can include depositions and testimony that is not given on a witness stand. Due to the fact that it can be hard to prove that perjury took place, there are a number of defenses that an individual can use if charged with perjury.

Violent Crimes self-defense

Under Pennsylvania law regarding violent crimes and self-defense, an individual is allowed to use force in order to protect themselves from a threat. assault crimes In order for it to be justified, the individual must believe that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force. The statute includes a number of subsections each dealing with the various elements that relate to the amount of force and when it is not justifiable to use force. For instance, under section 505(b)(1) of the statute it lists two circumstances where the use of force is not justifiable. The first is when an individual is being lawfully arrested. The second is when an individual is essentially being kicked out of a business or home for a justified reason. Then in section 505(b)(2), you will find the section that deals with the use of deadly force. The previous section was just force in general, which did not include deadly force. The use of deadly force is justified when an individual deems it necessary to protect himself from death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat of force.

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