Author Archive | Michael Winters

PA SUPREME COURT: OPERATORS OF COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES HAVE A LESSER EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY THAN THE GENERAL PUBLIC

The PA Supreme Court has recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Maguire, No. 41 MAP 2018 (Pa. August 22, 2019),holding that statutorily authorized warrantless inspections of commercial vehicles do not need to comply with the Tarbert/Blouse guidelines (which gauge the constitutionality of safety checkpoints to which the entire public are subjected); rather, they are to be […]

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NEXT BLOG: in ct … bored … judge yelling at me … blah blah blah … hahaha :) … gotta go … uh oh #seeyouin10days :(

The PA Superior Court today upheld the conviction of an Allegheny County Juvenile Court Probation Officer (JPO) for contempt of court, letting stand the 5-10 days sentence that was ultimately imposed by the trial court. The contemptuous conduct arose when the 19-year veteran JPO was sitting in the front row of the general seating area […]

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Defendant’s right to a public trial was violated when the trial court excluded his family members from voir dire.

In his trial for Conspiracy, Attempted Homicide and other related crimes, the Defendant, Dante Jordan, alleged that his Sixth Amendment right to a public trial was violated when the court closed the courtroom during voir dire.  Specifically, he argued the court erred in excluding his mother and stepfather from the proceedings, after a disturbance occurred the […]

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Failure to prove Sexual Offense precludes conviction of Felony Corruption of Minors (relating to sexual offenses)

The PA Superior Court recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. James Duane Baker-Myers, No. 1398 WDA 2016 (May 21, 2019), holding that the Commonwealth failed to prove an essential element of Corruption of Minors (COM-Felony) after the jury acquitted Baker-Myers of Rape, Sexual Assault, Aggravated Indecent Assault, and Indecent Assault. In this case, the […]

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TRIAL COURT SHOULD HAVE ALLOWED EXPERT TO TESTIFY ABOUT THE LACK OF A SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS TO DETECT DRUG IMPAIRMENT

The PA Superior Court has held that a York County trial court erred in declining to qualify a defense expert as an expert in the methodology behind standard field sobriety tests. Commonwealth v. Taylor, No. 715 MDA 2018 (Pa. Super. 5/6/2019). Taylor was convicted of driving under the influence of drugs and endangering the welfare […]

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TRIAL COURT FAILS TO PROVIDE FACTS & LEGAL BASES FOR SUPPRESSING PLAIN-FEEL SEIZURE OF DRUGS: CASE REMANDED FOR NEW HEARING

The Pa. Superior Court recently remanded the case of Commonwealth v. Sharaif, No. 4019 EDA 2017 (March 8, 2019) to the trial (suppression) court for a new suppression hearing after the suppression court failed to comply with the applicable rules and specifically state what facts and legal bases it used to determine that suppression was warranted.   […]

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