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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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“CLOSE” IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR HORSESHOES, HAND GRENADES, and SOBRIETY CHECKPOINTS

The PA Superior Court recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Mercado, No. 1444 EDA 2016 (February 27, 2019) holding that the police “substantially complied” with the Tarbert/Blouse guidelines (adopted by the PA Supreme Court to establish the constitutionality of a DUI roadblock) when they selected the location and operation of the checkpoint at issue.  The Philadelphia Court of […]

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SUPERIOR COURT IRONS OUT “HIT and RUN” CASE INVOLVING A LAUNDROMAT

The PA Superior Court has recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Odom, No. 617 MDA 2018 (February 11, 2019), holding that term “attended” under the “hit and run” statute is not synonymous with “occupied;” rather, it requires the presence of someone who is “available to take care of the property” before it triggers a driver’s […]

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FACT THAT PHOTO ARRAY DOES NOT MATCH THE PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION PROVIDED BY THE VICTIM IS NOT UNDULY SUGGESTIVE.

The Superior Court recently decided the case of Commonwealth v. Mbewe, No. 1004 WDA 2017 (February 1, 2019), holding that the photo array shown to a witness to the robbery was not unduly suggestive, even though the photos did not match the description provided by the witness.  Mbewe was found guilty on both counts of […]

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