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November 2013 Archives

AG calls for crackdown on heroin trafficking in Pennsylvania

In the last couple of years, there have been increasing reports of heroin-related deaths in the United States, and Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has deemed the state's heroin problem "dire." In fact, the Pennsylvania Association of Coroners reported that in the last two years, there have been 484 heroin-related deaths statewide.

Federal prosecutors charge 4 in connection with horse doping

Where a criminal case is tried -- in state or federal court -- is a matter that could have significant bearing on the outcome of the case. Federal sentencing guidelines are in place to advise judges, but many judges treat the guidelines as if they are mandatory. That means being convicted of a federal crime could lead to a long prison sentence, though it is possible in some cases to obtain a variance from the federal sentencing guidelines.

Federal Internet crime charges brought against West Deer man

Because the Internet spans state and national borders, allegations of Internet crimes can be prosecuted under federal law and state law. This can lead to a dizzying set of legal circumstances for a defendant, and anyone accused of federal or state Internet crimes would be wise to seek appropriate legal counsel.

Philadelphia arrest leads to sentence under federal gun law

The Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 is a federal law that provides for a 15-year minimum sentence for individuals who are convicted of weapons crimes and who have previously been convicted of a violent crime or a "serious" drug offense at least three times. Life in prison is the maximum penalty provided for under the law.

Federal judge gives 20-year sentence for smash-and-grab robberies

Federal authorities aggressively investigate and prosecute property crimes. In these cases, to achieve the best possible outcome for the accused, it is often necessary to look beyond the evidence presented in court. People accused of federal crimes have families and personal stories that could factor into a decision by a judge or a jury, and one defense strategy is to effectively tell the defendant's story.

South Park man accused of Bethel Park bank robbery

The criminal charge of bank robbery carries a federal status, and the penalties for a conviction are very serious. In many cases involving allegations of bank robbery, there are additional charges related to weapons. Prosecutors may file weapons charges even if no weapons were seen or discharged during the alleged robbery. A threat of using a weapon could lead to a gun-related charge.

Former executive at development firm pleads guilty to fraud

Federal allegations of fraud should always be taken seriously, and often the circumstances that lead to this kind of criminal charge are very complex, requiring close scrutiny of the evidence in the case. Fraud allegations are sometimes the result of oversight or a misunderstanding, and a criminal defense attorney may be able to achieve a reduction or dismissal of charges by effectively telling the defendant's story.

Allegheny County man could face federal sex crime charges

Last week authorities in Ohio were trying to decide if they would file federal charges against a 49-year-old Pennsylvania man accused of trying to set up a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old boy. The man was being held on a charge of importuning with a telecommunications device, and if a federal prosecutor decides to take up the case, then the possible penalties will increase significantly.

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Erie, PA 16508-2323
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