Pardons easier to get under Governor Tom Wolf

Filed under: Criminal Law by Contributor @ February 3, 2018

Prior to Governor Tom Wolf’s entrance to office, it was incredibly difficult to receive a pardon.  However, Governor Wolf is now giving his constituents the opportunity for the second chance that they many have long sought. In an effort to reduce the backlog of pardon applicants, since taking office, Governor Wolf has initiated a system […]

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Social Media Companies May Prevent Your Ability to Defend Yourself

Filed under: Criminal Law by Contributor @ January 29, 2018

The Stored Communications Act of 1986 prohibits third parties, including social media giants like Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook, from “knowingly” disseminating customers’ information with any individuals apart from the sender and intended recipient.  The law, passed long before the invention of social media and much of the technology used to communicate in 2018, is […]

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SORNA now dead in Pennsylvania – at least for now

Filed under: Criminal Law, Sex Crimes by Contributor @ January 23, 2018

The United States Supreme Court has denied the appeal of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s  ruling that Pennsylvania’s sex offender registration law was unconstitutional . Example sex offender registrant under Pennsylvania Law. This past summer, Jose Muniz, convicted in 2007 of indecent assault against a minor and a required registrant under the Sex Offender Registration and […]

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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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