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Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

September 9, 2015

Common Criminal Cases in Philadelphia (State Court)

1. Drug Cases - The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act Drug cases are among the most common types of criminal cases in Philadelphia. Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (Act) defines drug possession offenses. See 35 Pennsylvania Statutes § 780-113. Common offenses under the Act include Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession with Intent to Deliver/Manufacture. Common drugs in Philadelphia criminal cases include marijuana, cocaine, crack or heroin. Other cases may...

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Posted in: Drug Crimes, Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

October 14, 2014

Appeals Court Tosses Conviction Based On Illegal Child Pornography Investigation

A federal appeals court has recently overturned a man’s conviction and 18 year prison sentence because of an illegal government investigation. The illegal search and investigation stems from a Naval Criminal Investigative agent using a software program to search private computers throughout the State of Washington for child pornography. The Department of Justice justified the search by arguing that the investigator was searching military installations when he came...

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Posted in: Child Pornography, Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

March 6, 2014

United States Supreme Court Rules No Warrant Needed To Enter Home

The Supreme Court recently ruled that police do not always need a warrant to search your property. As long as two occupants disagree about allowing officers to enter, and the resident who refuses access is then arrested, police may enter the residence. This contradicts previous case law from 2006. Prior to this new decision, when there was a disagreement between two occupants about allowing officers to enter, the refusal by one party would have kept authorities from entering the home, without a search. The majority of the Justices now say police need not take the time to get a...

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

January 9, 2014

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rejects Search of Automobile

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently reviewed a case involving “live-stop” procedures. A police Corporal in Harrisburg, PA initiated a vehicle stop after the defendant was observed entering the flow of traffic without using a turn signal. The vehicle, driven by the defendant, pulled over and came to rest with the passenger side tires close to the curb so that the vehicle was not blocking traffic or causing a safety hazard. The defendant was found to be driving under a suspended license and without the required emissions sticker. The defendant was placed under arrest and the...

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Posted in: Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes

October 25, 2013

United States Supreme Court Says GPS Tracking Requires a Warrant

Antoine Jones was being investigated by the FBI and a local police department for narcotics violations. During the course of the investigation, the FBI placed a global positioning device on Jones’s vehicle without a warrant. This device tracked his movements 24 hours a day for about four weeks. The government used the tracking information in the criminal trial against Jones to show his whereabouts and to show how Jones visited the “narcotics stash house” on multiple occasions. After numerous arguments and...

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Posted in: Drug Crimes, Misdemeanor / Felony Crimes