TRIAL COURT MUST CONDUCT OBJECTIVE INQUIRY INTO WARRANTLESS SEARCH OF BLOOD TO DETERMINE WHETHER EXIGENCY EXISTED

The Pa. Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Trahey, No. 730 EDA 2017 (March 26, 2018), holding that it was error for the trial court not to conduct an objective inquiry of the totality of the circumstances to determine whether exigent circumstances justified the officers’ warrantless testing of Trahey’s blood during a […]

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DRUG OVERDOSE? IF YOU CALL FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE, YOU MAY BE IMMUNE FROM PROSECUTION IN CERTAIN CASES.

The PA Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Sheila Marie Lewis, No. 257 MDA 2017 (March 2, 2018), holding that if a person has a reasonable belief emergency medical care is required due to a drug overdose, they are entitled to immunity from prosecution for certain crimes under PA’s Drug Overdose Response Immunity […]

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PA SUPREME COURT PUTS POLICE ON NOTICE: If you want to obtain information from a cell phone, get a warrant.

The PA Supreme Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Fulton, No. 3 EAP 2017 (February 21, 2018), holding that accessing any information from a cell phone without a warrant contravenes the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie, 134 S. Ct. 2473 (2014) (hereinafter, “Riley/Wurie”).  During the […]

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BIRCHFIELD CASE DECLARING WARRANTLESS BLOOD TESTS FOR DUI TO BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL DOES NOT APPLY TO CIVIL LICENSE SUSPENSION CASES

The PA Commonwealth Court has decided the case of Renfroe v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing, No. 1907 C.D. 2016 (February 15, 2018), holding that Birchfield does not extend to civil license suspension cases. Renfroe was arrested for DUI. He was read and signed his Implied Consent warnings (DL-26 form), confirming […]

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IT IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA TO SHOW POLICE YOUR HANDS (especially if you don’t want them to find the gun in your pocket).

The PA Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Kareem Thomas, No. 2164 EDA 2016 (February 1, 2018), holding that it was error for the trial court to have granted Thomas’s suppression Motion because the officers had reasonable suspicion to seize Thomas and conduct a limited pat-down when he failed to show them his […]

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GUN SHOT DETECTION WARNING PLUS OBSERVATIONS OF SUSPICIOUS CONDUCT PERMIT AN INVESTIGATIVE DETENTION

The PA Superior Court has decided the case of Commonwealth v. Raglin, No. 1152 WDA 2016, January 23, 2017, holding police had reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigative detention of Raglin after they received a gunshot detection warning notice, quickly followed by observations of Raglin’s suspicious activity in the area where the gunshots were detected. Police […]

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POLICE ARE NOT REQUIRED TO WARN MOTORIST OF UNENFORCEABLE, ENHANCED PENALTIES FOR REFUSING A BLOOD TEST

The PA Commonwealth Court has decided the case of Garlick v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing, No. 48 C.D. 2017 (January 3, 2018), holding that the suspension of Garlick’s driver’s license was lawful where the Trooper specifically and accurately warned him about the consequences of refusing a blood test, i.e. – […]

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