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Drug Crimes

Can the Police Search My Car if it Smells Like Weed?
  • Published: October 30, 2021

Marijuana laws have continued to evolve in Pennsylvania and state residents are now allowed to use cannabis for medicinal purposes. In 2020, over half a million patients were registered for Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program. Now that marijuana is no longer illegal in all circumstances, probable cause and search laws have changed to protect private citizens who use weed for medicinal purposes. Have Search Laws Changed because of Marijuana Legalization?   In the case of Commonwealth v. Barr, Timothy Barr and his wife Terri Barr were pulled over in a routine traffic stop for failing to completely stop at a stop sign while driving through Allentown, Pennsylvania. Upon pulling over the…Read More

Motion to Suppress: Search Warrant PA Legal Update
  • Published: March 1, 2021

Motion to Suppress: Search Warrants Required for Car Searches (Again!) A Motion to Suppress from the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas has significantly changed Pennsylvania law. On December 22, 2020, The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that a warrant is (once again!) required for car searches in Pennsylvania.  This ruling gives new strengths to Motions to Suppress evidence from car stops throughout the Commonwealth. Elections have consequences and the new Democratic majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court have ruled in favor of people’s rights.  The Supreme Court explicitly overruled Commonwealth v. Gary, which since 2014 had reduced the rights of Defendants in Pennsylvania to the federal bare minimum standards. Commonwealth…Read More

What If The Witness Doesn’t Show Up At My Preliminary Hearing?
  • Published: July 23, 2020

Clients often ask me, “What if the witness doesn’t show up at the preliminary hearing? Will the case get thrown out? Will the charges be dismissed?” The courts in Philadelphia, PA have long recognized that a preliminary hearing or probable cause hearing is an important step in the criminal justice process. In the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, there is a long-standing practice of dismissing charges if a witness does not show up at the preliminary hearing. However, the counties surrounding Philadelphia, PA such as Montgomery County, Bucks County, Delaware County, and Chester County have, up until recently, treated preliminary hearings as nothing more than a formality and matters…Read More

Drug Delivery Resulting in Death Charge – PA Superior Court Expands Jurisdiction
  • Published: February 25, 2019

Commonwealth v. Peck, 2019 Pa. Super. 8 (January 8, 2019) In the above captioned case, the Pennsylvania Superior Court has expanded the jurisdiction and liability of those who deal drugs inside the Commonwealth of PA. Traditionally, state level possession with intent to deliver and related charges are subject to the jurisdiction of the state. i.e. must take place within said state’s jurisdiction. However, Commonwealth v. Peck expands the Court’s jurisdiction with regards to drug delivery resulting in death. Drug Delivery Resulting in Death: Delivery not in Pa.:  The defendant sold heroin to the decedent in Maryland.  The decedent then died in the PA of an overdose.  The trial court…Read More

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