In my last post, I talked about Miranda and the rights that accompany Miranda. In this post, I want to answer this commonly asked question: the police contacted me, and they want to talk to me. What should I do? Answer: contact an attorney immediately. It likely comes as no surprise that I, as an […]
One of the most common questions that people ask me, “the police didn’t read me my rights—can’t we get the charges thrown out?” Relatively simple question but, like most things in the law, a complicated answer. The answer most of the time is “No.” Before I proceed any further, I would note that it’s important […]
The law regarding searches and seizures is constantly in flux and both federal and Pennsylvania state courts issue decisions regularly that define the contours of this area of criminal law. One such area is searches and seizures about drug and gun cases. As discussed more fully below, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling […]
The District Attorney for Lancaster County is arguing that persons convicted of burglary should receive longer sentences. According to a news report, Craig Stedman, the Lancaster District Attorney, bemoans the fact that convicted burglars may be incarcerated for only a few months, and that this leniency does not deter violent criminals from victimizing random individuals. […]
Statutory mandatory minimum sentencing provisions are controversial nationwide. These laws take away discretion from judges in sentencing and prevent defendants from arguing for factors that serve to mitigate a person’s sentence. In Pennsylvania, the criminal code provides for mandatory minimum terms of particular crimes involving drugs, firearms, violent offenses, and sex crimes involving children and […]
When scientific advances occur that may affect the legal system, there are often important questions that must be answered before those advances can be brought into widespread use. For example, a new computer program has been developed which can help law enforcement authorities untangle DNA samples from crime scenes which may contain the DNA of […]
By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a Maryland law that allows police to collect DNA, without first getting a warrant, from persons who are arrested. The Court’s majority wrote that when officers make an arrest and brings the suspect to the station to be detained in custody, taking and analyzing a […]
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