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criminal defense Archives

Encounter at Solebury Township park results in teacher's arrest

Ask any teen in Greensburg about their readiness to deal with adult matters, and most will tell you that they are more than prepared to do so. Yet the actions of their particular demographic often indicate otherwise. Thus, when issues arise between teens and adults (especially those of a sexual nature), the immediate reaction is often to place the blame for any incidents that occur on adults. That blame is magnified when the adults involved are in positions of authority over the teens, as it is often assumed that they either used such authority to compel the teens to do what they wanted, or that they simply should have known better. 

Pennsylvania's Drug Overdose Response Immunity Law

Most people are aware of the devastation caused by the recent opioid epidemic. In many communities, there has been a steady increase in the number of overdose deaths each year. Many who have died could have been saved if prompt medical treatment was received. And in some of those cases, medical treatment was not received because a friend or family member, who may not have realized the seriousness of the situation, failed to call 911 out of concern that criminal charges would be filed. In response, the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the Drug Overdose Response Immunity Law, 35 P.S. ยง 780-113.7.

Right to a Speedy Trial - PA Rule of Criminal Procedure 600

A person charged with a crime has a right to a speedy trial under Article I, Section 9 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  While neither Section specifies the time within which a criminal defendant must be brought to trial, the Pennsylvania Criminal Procedural Rules Committee has adopted Rule 600 (formerly Rule 1100) which sets forth when a defendant must be brought to trial in various situations.

Pennsylvania and the opioid crisis

Drug crimes -- especially those involving opiates -- are a bleak but concerning matter in Pennsylvania. The state is not exempt from the opioid crisis currently at stake across the country, and recent news shows that officials in the area are cracking down on the issue now more than ever before. While the drug problem is one the nation hopes to see come to an end sooner than later, Pennsylvania law enforcement say they are here to stay until the epidemic's bitter end.

Car theft and the numbers

Vehicle theft is no small crime in Pennsylvania. Regardless of the motivation of the crime, the state penalizes incidents of theft seriously, and through a complex and detailed system. However, some situations create doubt as to whether a defendant intended to steal the property; such legal situations can stem from a defendant's age, mental capacity and other factors. While determining a charge can prove to be a complicated process, it is also important to know the state's regulations, crime climate and other factual information on car theft.     

What is embezzlement?

Like many in Greensburg, you likely hear the term "white collar crime" and conjure up images of sophisticated criminals using advanced technology to steal millions of dollars from greedy corporations. This romanticizing of such activity, while understandable, is often misleading. While yes, a white collar crime perpetrator may not meet your assumed image of a standard criminal, his or her actions can be equally as devastating (in many cases, even more so). One form of such crime that is crippling to both companies and their individual employees is embezzlement. 

Theft and the law

Theft, like many crimes in the United States, is an act that often arises from complex circumstances. Poverty and psychological issues are among the many reasons an individual may commit a theft. In Pennsylvania, theft comes with lasting consequences, including the charging of fines and even jail time.

Washington stabbing prompted by sexual assault of child

Many in Greensburg may claim that the criminal actions that they are accused of were only done in their own defense or that of another. It may be easy for many to dismiss such an assertion as an attempt deflect responsibility for one’s actions, yet at the same time, nearly everyone may be able to contemplate a scenario where physical force may be warranted. It should also be remembered, however, that not all threatening or violent scenarios empower citizens to take the law into their own hands. The interpretation of such situations is left up to the state’s statutes.

Body camera bill allows recording in homes

A bill recently passed by the Pennsylvania Senate would change the laws regarding body cameras worn by law enforcement. According to Gizmodo, the bill was introduced by Senator Stewart Greenleaf and will change the state's Wiretap Act so that officers are allowed to record in the home of residents and do so without informing the people who are being filmed. Under the current law, it is illegal in most situations for officers to record conversations that occur in a private residence, and typically both parties need to be aware that they are being recorded. This bill would exempt body camera recordings from the law.

Mandatory minimum sentencing bill advances

Although mandatory minimum prison sentences have been falling out of favor across much of the country, the Pennsylvania House is advancing a bill reintroducing them in the state. According to the Morning Call, the bill has yet to be voted on by the State Senate, but did pass the House with a recent vote, although another was scheduled before passing the bill on to the higher chamber. The Senate has previously rejected similar bills, and Gov. Tom Wolf is not in favor of mandatory minimum sentences, so it may never become law.

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