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Criminal Defense Archives

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Criminal Defense False Statement to Police Officer

Criminal Defense charges such as False Statement to a Police Office can be found in title 18 section 4906 of the Pa criminal code. Under the code, it is illegal to give false information law enforcement authorities. assault crimes The first subsection of the statute makes it illegal to falsely accuse someone of committing a crime you know they did not commit. This act is considered a misdemeanor of the second-degree and with it comes a sentence of up to two years in prison and a fine not to exceed $5000. The statute then goes on to define two different types of fictitious reports that are illegal to make. The first type of fictitious report is plain and simply making up an act that did not occur. For instance, someone might make up a robbery story in order to make an insurance claim for the "stolen" items.

Stalking laws in Pennsylvania

The common conception of stalking is a shadowy figure lurking in the bushes as they watch and follow their victim. According to Pennsylvania law, however, the crime of stalking is a bit more broad. Stalking occurs when a person willfully and persistently behaves in a way that causes their victim to become fearful or emotionally distressed. Perpetrators can do this by following their victim physically or through other means like the telephone or Internet.

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