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Butler Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Blog

How serious are stalking allegations in Pennsylvania?

Defense attorneys are known for saying all allegations are serious allegations, and this is certainly true if someone accuses you of stalking. All states take a serious stance against such allegations. Of the many state charges a person could face, crimes centered on possibly endangering other people require a solid criminal defense.

As you may know, stalking often leads to other crimes such as assault, rape and murder. Most likely, you are innocent of all these offenses, and you may be innocent of stalking as well. However, it is unwise to assume you will not face state charges when someone accuses you of stalking behaviors. Because of the somewhat close relationship between stalking and more serious offenses, prosecutors and courts aggressively seek conviction if such a case makes it to trial.

Can federal charges lead to a death sentence if convicted?

The last time an inmate was executed for engaging in federal crimes was in 2003. However, the death penalty is still a possibility if a defendant receives a conviction on federal charges. Not all of these crimes result in the death penalty, but if you are facing federal charges, it is wise to learn what is at stake should a conviction occur.

Below you will find only a partial list of the federal crimes for which a defendant might receive a sentence involving capital punishment.

  • Murder of a federal law enforcement officer
  • Murder of a judge with the Supreme Court
  • Murder of a member of congress
  • Murder of a foreign prisoner
  • Murder during a hostage crisis or a kidnapping
  • Murder via weapons of mass destruction (bombs, biological weapons, etc.)

Yes, you can defend against drunk driving charges

It seems so cut and dried. A police officer arrests you on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol. Even if you are innocent, there is no way to beat the charge, right? Wrong! It seems hard to believe, but you can successfully stand up against such charges with the right approach and solid legal counsel.

You would likely be surprised at how many defendants sit back and take a passive role when facing drunk driving charges. We have seen this for ourselves when a defendant's family member asks us to build a DUI defense. Sure, Pennsylvania courts frown quite harshly upon such charges, but you still have the right to defend yourself.

What is Butler County Pennsylvania's Drug Treatment Court?

Drug addiction is a nationwide crisis, and many Pennsylvania residents are victims of addiction. As a result, these individuals may face drug charges if they are caught possessing illegal substances. It is safe to assume that no one wants to be addicted to drugs, but it is a cycle from which escape often seems impossible. However, the state is just as interested in reducing addiction as addicts are in escaping their conditions.

In some cases, courts offer those facing drug charges a chance to avoid harsh consequences in exchange for full participation in a diversion program. Here in Butler County, repeat offenders may receive the opportunity to enroll in Drug Treatment Court as an alternative to spending time in jail.

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.

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