A criminal defendant, now 59 years old, is being granted his third trial in the famous 1977 shooting of two men at a Fayette County resort. Recently, a Pennsylvania judge ruled that prosecutors in the previous trials have withheld crucial evidence that supported the defendant's innocence.
Should you be sentenced under Pennsylvania's mandatory firearms sentencing laws for possession of a firearm if that gun isn't actually working? In Pennsylvania, the answer appears to be "yes."
A hunting accident has led to a 10 to 25-year prison sentence for a 49-year-old Pennsylvania man. The accident happened last November when the 49-year-old defendant was hunting with some friends on a plot of land he owned.
The use and possession of firearms are strictly regulated in Pennsylvania and people who are accused of weapons crimes in Pennsylvania can face serious criminal charges. In addition, people accused of weapons crimes can face federal charges as well as state charges.
A young man is pulled over for speeding and police officers discover a reason to search his automobile. During the search, they discover a loaded weapon inside of the vehicle and the young man is forced to answer to weapons charges.
A 20-year-old man was arrested by Erie police last week after officers found an allegedly stolen gun in his car during a traffic stop. His arrest came days after police arrested another man on suspicion of a similar offense.
Previously, we have discussed legal developments surrounding the use of bath salts that are designed to mimic the intoxicating effects of illegal drugs. Some jurisdictions have already banned these substances and Pennsylvania state authorities are considering a similar ban. Recently, using these bath salts led to criminal charges being filed against a Pennsylvania couple.
Pennsylvania has very strict and often confusing laws regulating the possession and use of firearms. While the law recognizes the rights of homeowners to defend themselves and their property, there are limits to this right. When a homeowner uses force or the threat of force on his own property, he can face criminal charges if authorities view his actions to be excessive.
Recently, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania heard an interesting appeal involving the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The appeal involved a Pennsylvania man's 10-year sentence on theft and firearms charges, and whether the evidence used against him should have been suppressed.
Pennsylvania state and federal laws make it a crime for a person who has previously been convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm. Felon in possession laws are often strictly enforced and this can result in prison time. However, in order for a person to be convicted of this crime, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant actually possessed the firearm. A recently reported gun arrest illustrates this principle.