PennLaw, LLC

Criminal Defense Representation in State and Federal Courts

Free Initial Consultation
Local 724-602-4583
Local 412-342-8000
toll free 866-675-1792
Nav Menu

March 2013 Archives

SCOTUS: dog sniff of home equals police search, requires warrant

Back on March 6, we discussed a pair of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court that could have a big impact on police powers in Pittsburgh versus the Fourth Amendment's search warrant requirement to prevent random, unlimited government searches of people and their personal property. The cases were heard by the Court simultaneously because they both involved police in the same state using a police dog to search for drugs without a warrant.

Agent accused of defrauding insurance companies

A Pennsylvania insurance agent has been charged in federal court with several white collar crimes after insurance companies complained that the woman circumvented their policies regarding older applicants. Prosecutors allege that the agent misled the providers about a client's age and financial situation in order to collect larger commissions from selling insurance to the client.

Man's sentence after prank: don't say 'bingo' for 6 months

The First Amendment protects most forms of speech in Pennsylvania from government censorship or punishment. The right to publicly state one's opinion without fear of criminal charges is widely seen as a necessary cornerstone of a democratic society. However, statutes and case law over the more than 200 years since the Bill of Rights was ratified have established some exceptions to this right.

Police enter apartment, arrest woman on drug charges

A Pittsburgh-area woman's arrest on suspicion of drug crimes was triggered mostly by a smell in the foyer of the woman's apartment building. Though police say they seized more than five pounds of marijuana and a significant amount of hashish from the woman's apartment, officers' conduct may lead to a challenge of the evidence in court.

Mother of shooting suspect facing weapons charges

An Allegheny County woman was arrested on March 11 and taken to jail on suspicion of weapons charges in connection with a shooting at a local bar. While the woman was not involved in the shooting, which ended in one person dead and another in critical condition, but her son was the alleged shooter. Authorities say that the woman was a straw buyer of some of the guns her son allegedly used in the shooting.

Supreme Court may split 2 dog sniff 4th Amendment cases

How much and under what circumstances should police in Pittsburgh and across the U.S. be empowered to search your home or vehicle based on a police dog's nose? That was the question before the Supreme Court last year when it heard oral arguments in two cases involving warrantless police searches justified by dog sniffs. In its first ruling on the cases, the Court unanimously ruled that an accidental identification of drug paraphernalia was rightfully allowed in court -- even though studies have strongly questioned whether dogs actually can be trained to alert police to the presence of illegal drugs.

City solicitor receives reduced sentence in car accident

When someone in Pittsburgh is arrested and charged with a crime, prosecutors often will offer a plea bargain. In a plea agreement, the defendant usually will plead guilty to the charges in exchange for the prosecution recommending a reduced sentence. Depending on the circumstances, it may make sense to accept the plea bargain instead of taking the case to trial and risk a harsher sentence.

Office Locations

Butler Office
106 South Main Street
Suite 801
Butler, PA 16001
Phone: 724-602-4583
Toll Free: 866-675-1792
Fax: 724-284-9402
Phones Answered 24 Hours A Day
Email | Map & Directions

Pittsburgh Office:
100 Ross St., Suite 340
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: 412-342-8000
Phones Answered 24 Hours A Day
Email | Map & Directions

Erie Office
1415 West 38th Street
Erie, PA 16508-2323
Toll Free: 866-675-1792
Phones Answered 24 Hours A Day
Email | Map & Directions

blog twitter you tube facebook
Nav Menu