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Federal Narcotics Sentencing Reduction Made Retroactive

Filed under: Criminal Law, Drug Crimes, News by Contributor @ July 31, 2014

On April 10th, the United States Sentencing Commission voted to lower the federal narcotic sentencing guidelines by two levels. This would apply to all offenders facing federal drug charge and would result in the average drug sentence being reduced by 11 months. This does not, however, affect mandatory minimums attached to certain drug crimes; someone guilty of a crime […]

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Limits Expungements

Filed under: Criminal Law by Contributor @ July 26, 2014

In Commonwealth v. Wallace, 2014 WL 3579692 (7/21/14), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court limited the availability of expungements. An inmate with 12 arrests between 1988 and 1992, numerous other arrests, and a 14 page criminal record with a total of 228 charges, sought an expungement for approximately 150 of these charges. The expungement petitions were denied, with the trial court reasoning that the records should be […]

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Pennsylvania Blood Draw Without Probable Cause

Filed under: DUI by Contributor @ July 24, 2014

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently held that consent to a blood test could be given even if a defendant is not told that the results of the blood test could be used against him in criminal proceedings. The case arose from a car crash on Street Road in Bensalem, where a pedestrian in a motorized wheelchair had […]

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What Are “Jagged Humps” in Blood Test Results?

Filed under: DUI by Contributor @ July 20, 2014

Thousands of blood alcohol test results were called into question in Wisconsin because of a phenomenon dubbed “jagged humps” that has been observed in one blood testing lab. The science behind headspace gas chromatography tests is complex and the details can be found here, but in essence these jagged humps are unexplained anomalies in the results […]

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Retroactive Application of SORNA

Filed under: Criminal Law, Sex Crimes by Contributor @ July 18, 2014

In Commonwealth v. Perez, 2014 WL 3339161 (Pa.Super. July 09, 2014), the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the retroactive application of SORNA, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, did not violate the Ex Post Facto Clause of the Federal Constitution. SORNA requires offenders of certain sex crimes to register with the government so they […]

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