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Butler Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Blog

The importance of depositions when facing state charges

If you're facing state charges, regardless of whether for misdemeanor or felony offenses, then you're likely going up against a prosecutor who wants nothing more than to obtain a conviction. This means that they are going to do everything they can to build their case. They will leave no stone unturned in their effort to find evidence of guilt, which can put you in a difficult position. However, you can take the same steps prosecutors do in order to protect yourself as fully as possible.

Courtroom dramas seen in movies and on television oftentimes portray moments during criminal trials where one attorney takes the other side by surprise, thereby swaying the judge and jury in their favor. This is unrealistic. The reality is that surprises at trial are almost always bad, and the best litigators are fully prepared before stepping into court on the day of trial.

Has a heroin charge left you in a harrowing situation?

Whether you anticipated trouble with the law at some point in your life or not, you now have criminal charges to face. No matter how you ended up in the situation, it is still unknown what your fate will be. You have legal options for creating and presenting a meaningful criminal defense if you wish to do so.

Of course, if you have never faced this type of ordeal before, you may not know whether you want to create a defense or even how to go about doing so. Most people facing first-time criminal charges likely feel this way. As a result, it is important that you understand the charges that authorities have brought against you, and from there, you can work to defend against them.

Woman faces DWI offenses and more after hitting police car

In Pennsylvania, drivers who are alleged to have been driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated can face a series of charges and penalties. Often, however, the charges they face can include other allegations that can make the situation worse. If, for example the driver tried to flee law enforcement, they can be charged with a crime for that. When accumulating the potential penalties, convictions can have a life-changing effect. Therefore, it is important to think about effective ways to formulate a defense.

A 52-year-old woman is facing several charges related to a DWI. According to the investigation, at around 8:30 p.m., she made a turn and entered the road heading in the opposite direction of traffic. She came close to hitting a police car that had been contacted about a suspected drunk driver. After the near-miss, she is accused of trying to ram the officer's vehicle. The officer's vehicle had its overhead lights activated the entire time.

Suppressing evidence when facing drug charges

Drug charges can threaten to rip a lot away from an accused individual. To start, an individual's freedom can be taken upon conviction with the implementation of a lengthy prison sentence. A criminal conviction on drug charges can also land an individual with significant fines that can ruin his or her financial viability for years, sometimes even decades, to come. Drug charges alone can also threaten an individual's reputation in his or her professional communities. With so much at stake, it is crucial that those who have been accused of committing a drug crime develop the best criminal defense possible under the circumstances.

One of the best defense tactics is seeking the suppression of evidence. When evidence is suppressed, the prosecution is barred from presenting it in court to the judge and jury and it cannot be considered when making a determination as to the accused individual's guilt. Perhaps the most common way that evidence is suppressed in drug cases is by demonstrating that law enforcement either broke the law or failed to follow certain protocols during their investigation. In these instances, any evidence gathered subsequent to the illegal act may be considered "fruit of the poisonous tree" and therefore inadmissible.

What is a plea negotiation?

Criminal defense guidance should always be sought from Butler-based legal professionals who actively work in the state and federal criminal defense field of law. The following post will briefly discuss the legal concept of plea negotiations and how they may be used during a criminal defendant's trial prep and defense planning. However, the information provided herein should not serve as a substitute for individual legal advice.

Like a business negotiation where entities may work out terms to an agreement or contract, a plea negotiation involves a prosecutor and a criminal defendant, and their counsel, working together to resolve an alleged criminal matter. Readers may be familiar with plea negotiations from watching their favorite crime dramas on television and may regard them as a means of reducing a defendant's potential sentence for their alleged crimes.

Drug sting leads to 12 arrests, multiple drug charges

According to papers filed by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office, drug charges have been filed against 12 people with reference to their role in an interstate drug trafficking ring. The tip that led to the investigation was called in more than a year ago.

Two weeks after the tip was received in 2018, authorities conducted a traffic stop, whereby they found a written ledger that detailed the ring's activities.

Defenses to theft charges

Theft, known as larceny in some states, refers to the crime of taking someone else's property without their permission. There are multiple categories and degrees of the federal crime of theft, depending on the amount being taken, the person whose property was taken, whether a weapon was involved and the venue at which the theft took place. Penalties also vary depending on the severity of the crime being charged.

However, what many Pennsylvania residents may not know is that it is possible to defend oneself against the crime of theft, even if the underlying taking did in fact take place. While duress is often thought of as the most common defense to theft, there are others available to those who are facing federal charges of theft that have the potential to change rest of their life.

What is the difference between simple and aggravated assault?

Though the terms simple battery and aggravated assault exist in criminal law in Pennsylvania, the truth is that there is nothing simple about it. If someone is found guilty of these crimes, they may find themselves facing serious penalties that can impact the rest of their life.

There are two types of assault in the state. Simple assault exists when the accused knowingly, intentionally or recklessly attempts to cause bodily harm to someone; the accused negligent causes harm to someone with a deadly weapon or attempted to make physical menace to threaten someone with imminent serious bodily harm. The elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecutor in order to prove the crime. It is considered a second degree misdemeanor, with factors that can increase the severity of the penalties.

What are drug paraphernalia charges?

A pipe or a roach clip can seem innocuous on their own, but when prosecutors put them together with the circumstances in which they were found and the instructions accompanying the items, the owner may face serious drug paraphernalia charges.

Possession of drug paraphernalia often accompanies other drug charges, and conviction on drug paraphernalia charges can result in jail time even if the defendant is not convicted of the additional charges.

Former NFL player stabbed, but faces domestic assault charge

When there is a domestic dispute in Pennsylvania, it is possible that people will be seriously injured and the circumstances will be difficult to decipher. If a person is hurt so severely that he or she needs to be hospitalized, that individual might seem to be the obvious victim, but that person could end up being arrested and confronted with various charges. With an unusual situation of unfortunate violence in a home, those arrested must consider the long-term consequences they will face and have a legal defense.

The former college football star and NFL player, Terrelle Pryor, was arrested after a domestic incident in which he was stabbed and hospitalized. He is charged with simple assault. In its investigation, law enforcement states that Mr. Pryor was in an apartment with a 24-year-old woman. They had a disagreement, and she is alleged to have stabbed him.

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