SEVERANCE OF “FORMER CONVICT NOT TO POSSESS FIREARM” CHARGE PROPER; PROCEEDING TO TRIAL ON THAT CHARGE FIRST, FOLLOWED BY REMAINING CHARGES BEFORE THE SAME JURY IS NOT

The PA Superior Court recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. James Edmund Brown, No. 1161 WDA 2017 (May 4, 2018), holding that, although it was proper for the trial court to grant Brown’s Motion to Sever a Former Convict Not to Possess a Firearm offense from the remaining offenses of Theft, Receiving Stolen Property, […]

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PENNDOT’s REVISED IMPLIED CONSENT FORM SATISFIES BIRCHFIELD REQUIREMENTS. (Oh … and we are ALL presumed to know all relevant statutory and case law.)

The PA Superior Court recently reversed the trial court suppression of BAC results in three separate cases, holding that the use of the PennDOT’s newly-revised DL-26B Implied Consent form complies with Birchfield and, placing us all on notice that we are presumed to know the law, whether it be case law or statutory compilations. In Commonwealth v. […]

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WHEN DOES 14 HOURS BEAT 6-23 MONTHS?

The PA Superior Court has decided the twin cases of Commonwealth v. Trevor Price, No. 307 MDA 2017 and Commonwealth v. Travis Price, No. 308 MDA 2017 (May 2, 2018), holding that the statutory requirement that a Defendant be “four years older” than the complainant means a full 1461 days older than the victim, i.e. […]

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PA COMMONWEALTH COURT DIRECTS POLICE TO RETURN $301,360.00 and LEXUS SEIZED DURING TRAFFIC STOP

The PA Commonwealth Court recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. $301,360.00 U.S. Currency and One 2011 Lexus, RX350, VIN #2T2BK1BA48C081250 (Appeal of: Clarissa Vasquez), No. 1229 C.D. 2016, holding that it was error for the trial court to order the forfeiture of $301,360.00 and a 2011 Lexus when the Commonwealth failed to establish a nexus […]

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NEWS FLASH: MAKE SURE THAT YOUR CLIENT CAN UNDERSTAND THE COURT PROCEEDINGS OR … YOU WILL BE DEEMED INEFFECTIVE

The PA Superior Court recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Diaz, No. 1811 EDA 2016 (March 23, 2018), holding that Diaz was entitled to a new trial because his trial counsel failed to insist that he have a translator present during the entire court proceeding so he could understand the proceedings and assist in […]

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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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