SUPERIOR COURT ENCOURAGES REVIEW OF SENTENCING SCHEME FOR SORNA FAILING TO REGISTER VIOLATIONS

In Commonwealth v. Williams, No. 2191 EDA 2016 (Pa. Super. 7/18/2017), the PA Superior Court recently reaffirmed a Judgment of Sentence for Appellant’s failure to report, having found that the penalty provisions of SORNA do not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause. The Court also noted that it was precluded from reconsidering whether the registration requirements […]

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SUBSTANTIAL DEVIATION FROM WORK RELEASE PROGRAM CONSTITUTES ESCAPE

We conclude that [Appellant’s actions] constituted a substantial deviation from his work-release program to establish the offense of escape where, although Appellant maintained contact with his work and the prison, he never went to work. Moreover, Appellant also stipulated that after he left the prison, he went to his girlfriend’s house for one hour, and […]

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POLICE DASHCAM FOOTAGE MUST BE PROVIDED TO THE PUBLIC, UNLESS IT INCLUDES “INVESTIGATIVE INFORMATION”

The PA Supreme Court has recently held, in the case of PA State Police v. Grove, No. 25 MAP 2016 (June 20, 2017), that police dashcam mobile video recordings (MVRs) MUST be released to the public when requested pursuant to the Right To Know Law (RTKL), unless the MVR contains criminal investigative records. On March […]

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UNLAWFULLY HOLDING A GUN AND WEED? PROBABLY BEST NOT TO MENTION THE WEED WHILE CHATTING WITH POLICE (unless you want to be arrested)

The PA Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Young, No. 573 EDA 2016 (May 11, 2017), holding that Young’s arrest was supported by probable cause after he admitted, during a mere encounter with police, that he was in possession of two bags of marijuana. Three plain clothes officers in an unmarked car […]

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ACT OUT IN COURT AND PUNCH YOUR LAWYER AND YOU MIGHT WATCH THE REST OF YOUR TRIAL BY VIDEO-CONFERENCE

The PA Superior Court has recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Tejada, No. 403 MDA 2016 (April 26, 2017), holding that the trial court committed no error when it barred the defendant from physically attending his trial or a pre-trial hearing after he continued to act in a manner so disorderly, disruptive, and disrespectful of the […]

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NOTE TO POLICE: IF YOU UNCUFF AND LEAVE YOUR ARRESTEE AT THE HOSPITAL UNGUARDED, THEY ARE NO LONGER IN “OFFICIAL DETENTION”

The PA Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Treece, No. 115 WDA 2016 (May 5, 2017), holding that a person does not “escape” from “official detention” after being arrested, handcuffed, and taken to the hospital by police who choose to then uncuff him and leave the hospital after he is admitted for medical treatment. Treece was […]

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