Officer Must Show Citizen in Need of Assistance to Apply Community Caretaking Exception

Filed under: Criminal Law by Contributor @ November 30, 2017

There are three categories of interaction that occur between an individual and a police officer: 1) a mere encounter; 2) an investigative detention; and 3) an arrest. A mere encounter is a request for information and need not be supported by any level of suspicion. In Terry v. Ohio, the US Supreme Court described an […]

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Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan Law

Filed under: Drug Crimes by Contributor @ November 22, 2017

At the end of 2014, Pennsylvania’s new Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Immunity Law went into effect. The law provides major changes to Pennsylvania’s drug laws by providing immunity for both individuals experiencing an overdose and those who attempt to save their lives. In an effort to encourage bystanders and/or friends of an overdosed person to […]

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Expectation of Privacy for Commercial Drivers Less Than Those of Non-Commercial Drivers

Filed under: Criminal Law by Contributor @ November 15, 2017

On November 8, 2017, the Pennsylvania Superior Court determined that applying the Tarbert/Blouse guidelines is improper in cases involved with the traffic stop of a commercial vehicle and suppression of evidence related to that stop. The PA Superior Court explained their holding in Commonwealth v. Maguire, No. 654 MDA 2016 (November 8, 2017).  The case […]

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Court Cannot Determine SVP Status

Filed under: Sex Crimes by Contributor @ November 3, 2017

In Pennsylvania, an individual who is convicted of a sexually violent offense must be assessed before sentencing to determine if the individual should be designated as a “sexually violent predator” (SVP). After the assessment, a hearing is then held in which the Commonwealth must prove to the court, by clear and convincing evidence, that the […]

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Convictions, Credibility, and Confidential Informants

Filed under: Criminal Law by Contributor @ October 21, 2017

In June of 2016, a York County Regional Police Officer met with her confidential informant (“CI”) and he informed her that within the last 72 hours he had “observed marijuana packaged for sale, multiple marijuana plants growing, and marijuana growing accessories” at the Manuel’s residence. The officer obtained and executed a warrant to search the […]

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