Archive for the ‘Criminal Law’ Category

Pennsylvania State Police Lack Standing to Pursue SORNA Appeal

The Pennsylvania State Police filed seventy-three (73) appeals to the Superior Court after the Commonwealth and defendants in those cases entered into negotiated plea agreements which would alter registration requirements the defendants would otherwise be required to follow under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).   (more…)

Governor Changes Position on Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett recently began the process of supporting a senate bill for the introduction of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. On May 1, 2014, governor Corbett issues the following press release: (more…)

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Requires a Lower Standard of Proof to Maintain Names on Statewide Register for Child Abuse

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released on opinion earlier this week which overturned a lower court’s decision that clear and convincing evidence must be presented in order to maintain a name on the statewide register for perpetrators of child abuse.  In G.V. v. The Department of Public Welfare, the Supreme Court held that only substantial evidence is needed to maintain a name of a perpetrator of child abuse. (more…)

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Allows Warrantless Searches of Vehicles

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania recently issued an opinion which allows for the warrantless search of a vehicle in Commonwealth v. Gary.  The Court adopted the federal standard which allows for the search of a vehicle, without a warrant, when probable cause exists.  (more…)

Superior Court Affirms the Exclusion of Evidence for the Commonwealth’s Refusal to Identify its Confidential Informant

The Commonwealth was prohibited from introducing evidence it obtained through a search warrant because the affidavit of probable cause relied on information supplied by a confidential informant and the Commonwealth refused to provide the defense with information about this confidential informant.  The Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s decision to preclude this information from evidence earlier this month in Commonwealth v. Jordan, 2014 Pa.Super. 57. (more…)

Foreman & Caraciolo, P.C. Successfully Argues That Statute is Unconstitutional in Franklin County Pennsylvania

In a decision published on April 17, 2014, Judge Carol L. Van Horn of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas has ruled that that 42 Pa.C.S. A. §9712.1(c) related to mandatory minimum periods of incarceration for offenders possessing a firearm in connection with the manufacture or delivery of a  controlled substance is unconstitutional.

Judge Van Horn utilized the Supreme Court of The United States case of Alleyne v. United States (2013) and reviewed recent decisions of the Pennsylvania Superior and Supreme Courts, as well as recent decisions from other Courts of Common Pleas in her well reasoned opinion published below.

Opinion of the Court

Legal Cannabis in Pennsylvania

On January 15, 2014, Senator Folmer introduced Senate bill 1182  providing for the medial use of cannabis in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  (more…)

Foreman & Caraciolo, PC argues against the Constitutionality of Mandatory Minimum’s in Pennsylvania

Following the Supreme Court decision in Alleyne v. United States, 133 S.Ct. 2151 (2013), where the Supreme Court of the United States held that Mandatory Minimums were unconstitutional both in denying an accused’s sixth amendment right and being in a violation of due process, State Courts have slowly began to adjust practices involving mandatories. In Franklin County, Pennsylvania, Foreman & Caraciolo, PC is arguing that the practice of enforcing a mandatory minimum so long as a jury slip is utilized is unconstitutional.  The decision of the Franklin County court could have ramifications to the individual defendant of saving up to five years of incarceration, but could also have State wide repercussions as Courts may need to strictly follow the language of Alleyne.  Argument is scheduled for April 3, 2014 in Courtroom four of the Franklin County Courthouse, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

New Law Proposed to Combat Revenge Porn

The Pennsylvania Senate is presently proposing legislation which would amend the Crimes Code to add a provision to address ‘intimate partner harassment’. (more…)

Is Marijuana Legal in Pennsylvania?

Not yet, but a recent proposed Senate Bill seeks to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.  Pennsylvania could join the twenty other states which have legalized medical marijuana.  A full copy of the proposed law can be found here. (more…)