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    Archived pages: 125 . Archive date: 2013-10.

  • Title: Criminal Defense Attorney & Criminal Lawyer in Pennsylvania & Montgomery County
    Descriptive info: .. Tipping the Scales in Your Favor.. Contact Us.. (215) 997 1000.. Home.. Practice Areas.. Criminal Defense.. Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD).. Drug Charges.. DUI.. Expungements.. Felonies.. Homicide and Assault.. Juvenile Court.. Miranda Rights.. Misdemeanors.. PA Mandatory Sentencing.. Phases of the Criminal Court Process.. Protection From Abuse or Domestic Violence Restraining Orders.. Sex Crimes.. Theft.. Traffic-Related Laws Offenses.. Underage Drinking.. White Collar Crimes.. Personal Injury / Automobile Cases.. FAQ.. Car Accidents.. Catastrophic Injuries.. Dog Bites.. Drunk Driving Accident Lawyers.. Knee Injuries.. Motorcycle Accidents.. Montgomery County PA Accident Lawyers.. Shoulder Injury.. Slip and Fall.. Spinal Cord Injuries.. Wrongful Death.. Courts.. Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.. Montgomery County District Justices.. Bucks County Court of Common Pleas.. Bucks County District Justices.. Attorney Profiles.. Blog.. Contact and Location.. One of Pennsylvania s Most Recognized Law Firms.. We are highly skilled trial lawyers with 62 years of proven courtroom experience and quality recognized across Pennsylvania through awards such as Philadelphia Magazine s.. Pennsylvania SuperLawyer.. designation for Pennsylvania Criminal Defense and Pennsylvania Personal Injury as well as their lists of the Top 100 Lawyers in Pennsylvania and the Top 100 Lawyers in Philadelphia, The National Trial Lawyers.. Top 100 Trial Lawyers.. , Top Rated Attorneys in Philadelphia as published in The Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, and the The Legal Intelligencer,.. Martindale-Hubbell s AV rating.. , The Legal Intelligencer s.. “Pennsylvania Lawyers on the Fast Track”.. award, and.. perfect 10.. 0 ratings.. on AVVO.. com.. We have some of the best Pennsylvania Criminal Lawyers and Personal Injury Lawyers to be found in Montgomery County or Bucks County.. Contact us  ...   Philadelphia area, and across the state of Pennsylvania.. We emphasize Montgomery County and Bucks County because that is where we live and work and have an intimate knowledge and familiarity with the Court systems.. We value each case and dedicate individual attention to each matter.. Our Criminal Lawyers and Personal Injury Lawyers work together with our clients towards accomplishing their goals and recognize that this is the foundation for winning each case.. The relationships that we build with our Criminal Defense and Personal Injury clients are evidenced by the high volume of referrals from our existing clients.. Our firm is aggressively growing in a poor economy because we work hard to make each client satisfied, which in turn leads to referrals of new clients and rapid growth.. A.. free initial consultation.. with our accomplished attorneys to discuss your important matter will convince you that Fairlie Lippy, P.. C.. is the best Pennsylvania law firm for you.. Criminal defense and personal injury attorneys in Montgomery, Bucks and surrounding counties.. Experienced, knowledgeable and determined trial attorneys for your criminal defense and personal injury needs.. Free initial consultation.. Fairlie Lippy, P.. 1501 Lower State Road, Suite 304.. North Wales, Pennsylvania 19454.. (215) 997 1000.. Steven F.. Fairlie.. is a Philadelphia Magazine SuperLawyer, Chair of the Montgomery County Criminal Defense Committee, and.. AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.. Read.. my full bio.. Contact:.. or (215) 997-1000.. Sitemap.. are Pennsylvania lawyers representing criminal, DUI and personal injury clients throughout Montgomery County and Bucks County including Horsham, Montgomery Township, North Wales, Norristown, Doylestown and surrounding communities.. Copyright 2013 Fairlie Lippy, P..

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  • Title: PA Law Firm Serving Montgomery & Bucks County
    Descriptive info: Homicide Assault.. Steve Fairlie’s Innocence Project Opinion.. Traffic-Related Offenses.. Personal Injury/ Automobile cases.. Drunk Driving Accidents.. Negligence Accidents.. Shoulder Injuries..

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  • Title: Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
    Descriptive info: WHAT IS ARD?.. ARD stands for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition.. It is a program designed to address several goals: to rehabilitate the offender, to dispose of charges promptly, and to eliminate the need for costly and time-consuming trials or other court proceedings.. WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR ARD?.. The ARD program is geared to addressing offenders who lend themselves toward treatment and rehabilitation rather than punishment.. This translates, lacking special circumstances, to first-time offenders who have never been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, in or outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.. WHAT CRIMES ARE ELIGIBLE FOR ARD?.. ARD is reserved for charged crimes that are relatively minor and do not involve a serious breach of the public trust.. Typical offenses are DUI, Retail Theft, Theft, Criminal Mischief, and other Misdemeanors.. Montgomery County does not give ARD for minor drug cases, which can be handled by a similar program known as Section 17.. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ARD?.. There are a number of substantial benefits of the ARD program.. First, the end result is not a conviction.. Rather, the offense is dismissed if the offender complies with all of the ARD conditions successfully, and thereafter, the records themselves may be suitable for expungement.. Thereafter, one s  ...   must review, approve, and move for the admission of the applicant into the program, and a Common Pleas Judge would have to grant admission into the program.. Thereafter, the offender would be placed on ARD probation and have to comply with prescribed conditions.. WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF ARD?.. The conditions depend on the nature of the crime, or if for a DUI, the level of the offender s blood alcohol content or which substance the driver was under the influence of.. License suspension may range from zero to two months, and typical conditions include performance of community service, payment of fines and costs, and compliance with court-ordered evaluations and treatment programs.. Regardless, the offender is required to remain free from further arrest and/or criminal activity.. WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMEONE BREAKS THE ARD CONDITIONS?.. If the offender does not comply with the conditions of the ARD program, then ARD may be terminated and the underlying criminal case may resume from the point at which it left off when ARD was granted.. Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Montgomery County, Bucks County, and the surrounding communities.. Experienced.. Knowledgeable.. Determined.. is Chair of the Montgomery County Criminal Defense Committee, a National Trial Lawyers Top 100, a Philadelphia Magazine SuperLawyer, and..

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  • Title: Pennsylvania Drug Lawyer
    Descriptive info: How Can Fairlie Lippy Help You Win Your Pennsylvania Drug Case?.. Recent reports indicate that drug-related offenses account for approximately one-third of all arrests in Pennsylvania.. Drug charges can have severe consequences, including forfeiture of property, suspension of Driver’s License, and incarceration.. If you are facing drug charges, the best way to take action is to speak with an experienced Pennsylvania Drug Lawyer.. As a former prosecutor from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Narcotics team, managing partner Steven Fairlie is well-versed in all aspects of handling drug cases.. He has handled every type of drug case, from 550 kilos of cocaine in a tractor trailer to Possession of a Small Amount of Marihuana or Drug Paraphernalia, and he works every case using the same methodology and concepts.. He has handled drug forfeiture cases and managed to save the home of a woman who had a forfeiture order entered against her home while represented by another attorney.. He has convinced a Judge that 28 grams of cocaine was possessed for personal use rather than Possession With Intent to Deliver, making it a misdemeanor instead of a felony and avoiding a three year mandatory minimum state prison sentence.. He is familiar with Carroll hearings, wherein he argues to the Court that a portion of drugs possessed were for personal use, so that no mandatory minimum applies to the balance of the weight.. He has handled cases involving just about every drug around – some of the more common being Marihuana, Crack and powder Cocaine, Heroin, Methamphetamine (and crystal meth), MDMA, Psychedelic Mushrooms, Oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, and many more.. Steven Fairlie is intimately familiar with suppression hearings and the applicable case law, and has had many cases dismissed based on suppression of illegally obtained evidence (car stops without probable cause, illegal search warrants, and coerced consent searches).. He is knowledgeable in strategies such as reducing a charge of Acquisition of a Controlled Substance By Fraud under the Drug Act (which carries an offense gravity score the same as armed robbery) to a charge under the Pharmacy Act (which is a very minor offense).. Steven frequently lectures at seminars for lawyers around the state, including a recent presentation at the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer’s statewide seminar The Defense of Narcotics cases in State College.. Whether you are looking to fight tooth and nail, or prefer to cut a deal or cooperate with the authorities, Steven Fairlie can provide you with the professional advice and direction that you need.. Call 215-997-1000 for a free no-obligation consultation.. Drug Laws Generally.. Pennsylvania drug penalties can be harsh.. In many cases there are mandatory minimum penalties if you are convicted.. Mandatory minimum refers to the minimum sentence a person convicted of a particular crime must receive under the Pennsylvania state or federal sentencing guidelines, regardless of any extenuating circumstances or mitigating factors.. Specifically, drug charges in Pennsylvania can be divided into two broad categories:.. Simple possession.. Manufacturing, delivering, or possessing with an intent to deliver.. Possession Charges.. What is needed to convict?.. In Pennsylvania, to prove a charge of possession, the prosecution must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that:.. The defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed a controlled substance (without a valid prescription).. The defendant knew the drug was an illegal controlled substance.. The defendant had actual or constructive control or possession of the drug.. What Penalties am I potentially facing?.. Penalties for drug offense convictions in Pennsylvania differ by the type of drug, the amount in question, prior criminal record, and particular facts of the case.. Talking to an experienced drug-defense lawyer about your particular case is the only way to learn accurate information applicable to your case.. Below are rough guidelines for various possession convictions in Pennsylvania.. Possession of Marihuana in Pennsylvania:.. 30 grams or less: Misdemeanor penalties of up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of $500.. More than 30 grams: Penalties increase to a maximum of one year in jail and/or $5,000 in fines.. Automatic six-month loss of license.. Possession of other Controlled Substances.. Up to one year in prison and/or $5,000 fine for first offense.. Up to two years in prison for a second offense.. Up to three years in prison for a third offense.. Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.. Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.. Drug Dealing or Drug Trafficking Charges.. How are these charges different from possession? The primary difference between drug dealing or drug trafficking charges and a charge of possession is that possession is when the controlled substance is for personal use without the intent to distribute the substance to another individual.. Dealing or trafficking on the other hand can be divided into four broad  ...   firearm – 5 years.. School Zone – 2 years.. There are other maximum and mandatory minimum penalties that can apply to Pennsylvania drug cases and the rules can change without an update to this website so be sure to check with an experienced Pennsylvania Drug Lawyer.. Depending on the charges, you may also face separate Federal penalties for drug distribution, sale, or trafficking.. Forfeiture:.. After a home or a car is searched for controlled substances, the government often attempts to seize the property where the alleged criminal activity occurred if they can show that the property was used in the commission of the criminal activity.. It is therefore critical to consult an experienced narcotics attorney if you are facing drug related charges to fight back and keep what is yours.. Defenses.. Constitutional Defenses:.. The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.. The 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution protects against abuse of government authority in a legal procedure.. Search and seizure is a critical aspect of any drug case.. Law enforcement officers must follow very specific search and seizure rules in drug crime cases.. These rules ensure that your rights under the Constitution are protected.. If the police violate Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights or Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination, the court will suppress the drugs or statements as being unlawfully obtained.. Without this evidence, the prosecution may not be able to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.. A well-versed drug-defense attorney will examine every Constitutional angle to reveal as to whether there was probable cause for the search in question, whether a search warrant was obtained legally, or whether consent to search was coerced.. Carroll Hearing:.. In Pennsylvania, defendants facing mandatory minimum drug distribution penalties can bring a Carroll Motion, named after a 1994 Pennsylvania case Commonwealth v.. Carroll.. During a Carroll hearing, the sentencing judge receives evidence from the defendant and the prosecution to determine the weight of the drugs possessed and to determine whether the drugs were intended for distribution or personal use.. Fairlie Lippy has the knowledge and experience in drug-related cases to make compelling arguments where at least a portion of the seized weight was possessed for personal use and not for distribution, potentially dropping the weight involved below the limit at which a mandatory minimum sentence would be imposed.. It is critical to have a well-versed drug-defense attorney in your corner, as a successful Carroll Hearing could save you years in prison.. These are just a sampling of the defenses available.. To determine what defenses might work in your case you should contact one of our lawyers for a free, in-depth consultation addressing the facts, circumstances and law applicable to your case.. Alternative Options.. Drug Court:.. Many drug offenses are committed by people who struggle with addiction.. As a result, a drug addiction treatment option is a relatively new alternative available in Montgomery County, Bucks County, as well as other counties throughout Pennsylvania.. In these cases, it may be possible to work out an agreement that allows for time in treatment instead of jail.. Successful completion of drug court programs can result in a more lenient sentence as well provides a first step towards a brighter future.. Section 17 Probation:.. Refers to paragraph 17 of The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act in Pennsylvania.. Under Section 17 Probation, individuals charged in Pennsylvania with possession of drugs and no prior record may be eligible for a probationary program.. After successful completion of the program, charges are legally dismissed and the individual can petition the court to have his or her criminal record expunged.. Section 17 is similar to the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program and in fact replaces the ARD program for minor drug cases in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.. State Intermediate Punishment (SIP) Program:.. This program is being more heavily used in 2013 than it was in earlier years.. It is great for people who are charged with serious drug-related offenses that could be facing lengthy state prison sentences.. A complete description of the program is available here:.. Pennsylvania SIP Program.. Call Today.. At Fairlie Lippy we will examine your drug charges from every angle, protecting your Constitutional rights and securing the best possible outcome.. Whether you plan to fight the charges or plea guilty, a Pennsylvania Drug Lawyer from Fairlie Lippy will focus on reducing any penalties you may face while increasing your opportunities to move ahead toward a brighter future.. Call 215-997-1000 for a free no-obligation consultation so we can put our 45 years of experience in handling drug crimes to work for you..

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  • Title: PA DUI Lawyers Serving Montgomery County, Bucks County & Pennsylvania
    Descriptive info: DUI — FAQs.. DUI Penalties.. DUI Defenses.. Field Sobriety Testing and Chemical Testing.. Probationary Licenses/Occupational Limited License.. ARD.. We handle DUI s across Pennsylvania, but for the most part we are Montgomery County, PA DUI lawyers and Bucks County, PA DUI lawyers.. We are happy to answer questions from across the rest of the state, and suggest that anyone in Pennsylvania interested in  ...   pages hyperlinked from this page.. Learn all about the best DUI defenses, frequently asked questions, and the applicable DUI penalties.. Please call us if you have further questions after reviewing these materials.. For 2013, be sure to ask us about the recent Schildt case and the possibility that your case could be dismissed if the police used a breathalyzer to measure your BAC..

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  • Title: Pennsylvania Expungements FAQ
    Descriptive info: What is a Pennsylvania Expungement?.. An Expungement is a Motion that is filed with the Court requesting that any record of past criminal charges be purged from the searchable record and any database or office that may be holding that information.. Who is eligible for Expungement in Pennsylvania?.. Anyone who was accepted into the A.. R.. D.. program and has paid all fines and costs and completed all of the terms and conditions of probation can apply for an expungement.. Anyone who pled guilty to a summary offense more than five years ago and has no subsequent criminal charges is eligible for expungement, and underage drinking charges can be expunged after the subject turns 21 years of age.. Anyone who was charged with any criminal charge that was dismissed, withdrawn or found not guilty after trial is eligible for expungement.. Although the docket sheets may show that the case was withdrawn or dismissed many people prefer that there be no record of ever being charged at all.. Anyone under Section 17 supervision is automatically eligible to have their record expunged if there are no subsequent arrests, the terms and conditions of probation are met, and all fines and costs are paid.. What are the benefits of a Pennsylvania expungement?.. An expungement gives you a second chance to have a clear record.. Mistakes you made in high school or college, long before you were concerned with the job market, can be erased from your record, allowing you peace of mind as you search for a new job, apply to grad school, or coach your child’s youth sports team.. A criminal record is a public record.. Anyone with access to the internet can search your record on the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial  ...   and electronic information pertaining to your case.. They then mail verification to our office confirming their compliance with the Order.. We monitor compliance, compel them to comply when they don’t, and collect the verifications and mail copies to you once they are all received.. Can an expungement be denied?.. Yes, if the District Attorney does not think that expungement is appropriate he or she will object.. You should speak with an attorney at Fairlie Lippy, P.. , about the odds of success under your particular facts.. How long does the process take?.. A Pennsylvania expungement requires a lot of paperwork that is handled by various offices.. Therefore, a large part of the process is determined by the backlog of each office.. We work diligently to get the appropriate paperwork filed to expedite the process as quickly as possible.. Generally, the entire process can take anywhere from 3-8 months to complete, though there are exceptions.. What are the advantages of having an Attorney handle my expungement?.. It is true that you could file for an expungement on your own.. However, there are a number of rules and requirements to successfully file your expungement.. The filing can be tedious and time consuming if you are not well versed on these requirements.. We have substantial expertise in getting your Pennsylvania expungement filed as quickly, thoroughly, and efficiently as possible.. How do I get started?.. If you would like Fairlie Lippy, P.. to assist you in the expungement of your record please contact us for a free consultation.. At the consultation we will review your eligibility for expungement and quote you a fee for our work.. If you would like to clean up your record call us today at 215-997-1000 or email.. steve@fairlielaw.. net..

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  • Title: Pennsylvania Felony Lawyers
    Descriptive info: Felony Offenses.. The Pennsylvania Crimes Code categorizes crimes into three categories: felonies, misdemeanors, and summary offenses.. Felonies and misdemeanors are further categorized based on the severity of the offense.. The three classes of felonies are Felony 1 (F1), Felony 2 (F2), and Felony 3 (F3) and the three classes of misdemeanors are Misdemeanor 1 (M1), Misdemeanor 2 (M2), and Misdemeanor 3 (M3).. The minimum and maximum penalties for felony offenses are as follows:.. Category.. Incarceration.. Fine.. Examples.. Felony 1.. 10 -20 years.. $25,000.. Third Degree Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter, Aggravated Assault, Kidnapping, Rape.. Felony 2.. 5-10 years.. Involuntary Manslaughter (when victim is under 12), Aiding or Soliciting a Suicide, Sexual Assault, Owning or Operating a Chop Shop, Interference with Custody of Children.. Felony 3.. 3 ½ 7 years.. $15,000.. Possession of Child Pornography, Homicide By Vehicle,  ...   and factual circumstances of the case.. For example, robbery is graded as a felony of the third degree when one takes or removes property from another person using force, however slight, during the theft.. Robbery is graded as a felony of the second degree if one inflicts bodily injury upon another or threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury during the theft.. Robbery is graded as a felony of the first degree if one inflicts serious bodily injury upon another, threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate serious bodily injury during the theft.. Specific facts often dictate the category of the offense.. That is why it is important to consult an attorney who can evaluate the charges against you and the specific facts of your case..

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  • Title: Pennsylvania Homicides and Assaults
    Descriptive info: Homicide.. A person is guilty of criminal homicide if he intentionally, knowing, recklessly or negligently causes the death of another human being.. In Pennsylvania, homicide is the generic term that includes murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter.. Murder.. Murder is further classified as first degree murder, second degree murder, or third degree murder.. A criminal homicide constitutes first degree murder when the killing is committed with intent.. An intentional killing is willful, deliberate, and premeditated.. One who has been convicted of a murder of the first degree can be sentenced to serve a term of life imprisonment or receive the death penalty there are no other options.. A criminal homicide constitutes second degree murder when the killing is committed during the commission of a felony.. The commission of the felony can include the attempt to commit a felony or the flight after committing a felony.. One who has been convicted of murder of the second degree can be sentenced to serve a term of life imprisonment.. All other kinds of murder are considered to be third degree murder.. Essentially this is a killing involving gross recklessness rather than intentional conduct.. Third degree murder is a felony of the first degree.. One who has been convicted of murder in the third degree will be sentenced to up to 40 years in jail.. Voluntary Manslaughter.. A person who kills an individual without lawful justification commits voluntary manslaughter if at the time of the killing he is acting under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation by either the individual killed or another person whom the actor endeavors to kill but negligently or accidentally causes the death of the individual killed.. Pennsylvania law also provides for a voluntary manslaughter charge when a person intentionally or knowingly kills an individual if, at the time of the killing, he believes the circumstances would justify the killing-even though the belief is unreasonable.. Voluntary manslaughter is a felony in the first degree and punishable by up to 20 years in prison.. Involuntary Manslaughter.. A person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when, as a direct result of the doing of an unlawful or lawful act committed in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, causes the death of another person.. Involuntary manslaughter is a misdemeanor of the first degree and punishable by up to five years in prison.. Where the victim is under 12 years of age and is in the care, custody, or control of the person who caused the death, involuntary manslaughter is a felony of the second degree.. Pennsylvania and the Death Penalty.. Pennsylvania s death penalty statute is still in effect.. The prosecution may only seek the death penalty in cases where a defendant is found guilty of first degree murder.. A death penalty case is tried in two parts: the guilt phase and the penalty phase.. It is after a judge or jury finds a defendant guilty of first degree murder that the penalty phase is held.. There, a judge or jury determines whether aggravating and/or mitigating circumstances are present to warrant the application of a death sentence.. Homicide Defenses.. The only way  ...   the victim is a child under the age of 12.. 18 Pa.. S.. A.. § 2701.. Aggravated Assault.. The Pennsylvania statute sets out seven ways one can be found of aggravated assault:.. Attempting to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causing such injury intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life;.. Attempting to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to any of the officers, agents, employees or employee of an agency, company or other entity engaged in public transportation, while in the performance of duty (.. this includes but is not limited to a police officer, firefighter, probation or parole officer, sheriff, jail or prison employee, district attorney, assistant district attorney, public defender, assistant public defender, emergency medical service personnel, parking enforcement officer);.. Attempting to cause or intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury to any of the officers, agents, employees, or other persons enumerated above, in the performance of duty;.. Attempting to cause or intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;.. Attempting to cause or intentionally or knowingly causing bodily injury to a teaching staff member, school board member or other employee, including a student employee, of any elementary or secondary publicly-funded educational institution, any elementary or secondary private school licensed by the Department of Education of an elementary or secondary parochial school while acting in the scope of his or her employment or because of his or her employment relationship to the school;.. Attempting by physical menace to put any of the officers, agents, employees or other persons enumerated above while in the performance of duty, in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; or.. Using tear or noxious gas or using an electric or electronic incapacitation device against any officer or other person enumerated above while acting in the scope of employment.. Aggravated Assault under the first two points constitutes a felony of the first degree punishable by up to 20 years in prison.. Aggravated assault under all the other subsections constitutes a felony of the second degree punishable by up to 10 years in prison.. § 2702.. Recklessly Endangering Another Person.. A person is guilty of recklessly endangering another person when he recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury.. Recklessly endangering another person is a misdemeanor in the second degree.. § 2705.. Terroristic Threats.. A person is guilty of terroristic threats if the person communicates, either directly or indirectly, a threat to:.. Commit any crime of violence with intent to terrorize another.. Cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation; or.. Otherwise causes serious public inconvenience, or cause terror or serious public inconvenience with reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.. Terroristic Threats is usually graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree.. The charge is upgraded to a felony in the third degree, however, when the threat causes the occupants of the building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation to be diverted from their normal or customary operations..

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  • Title: Montgomery County | Bucks County | Juvenile Court Lawyer
    Descriptive info: Juvenile Court in Montgomery County and Bucks County.. What is a delinquent act?.. A delinquent act is an act that would be considered a crime if committed by an adult.. Any person charged with murder, however, no matter how young, will be charged as an adult in Pennsylvania.. Summary offenses, such as underage drinking or disorderly conduct, are not heard in juvenile court.. They are heard by magisterial district justices or, in Philadelphia, by Municipal Court Judges.. The failure to pay a fine after conviction for a summary offense may be considered a delinquent act.. The following crimes may be heard in adult court if the youth charged was 15 years or older at the time of the offense, and a deadly weapon was used, or if the juvenile was previously adjudicated delinquent for one of these offenses.. rape.. involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.. aggravated assault.. robbery.. robbery of a motor vehicle.. aggravated indecent assault.. kidnapping.. voluntary manslaughter.. attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit the above crimes.. What does it mean to be a delinquent child?.. A delinquent child is a child 10 years of age or older whom the court has found to have committed a delinquent act and to be in need of treatment, supervision or rehabilitation.. When may a child be taken into police custody?.. According to the laws of arrest, which require that arrest warrants are issued only upon a finding of probable cause supported by one or more affidavits or a properly sworn complaint.. There are certain exceptions that can allow the police to arrest without a warrant, primarily in cases where there is an exigency.. You should consult with a criminal defense attorney familiar with practice in Montgomery County, Bucks County, or other area where the case is.. A child can also be taken into custody for violating probation or a Court Order.. The parent, guardian, or custodian of the minor should be notified with all reasonable speed about the whereabouts of the child taken into custody and be given a written statement of the reason for taking the child into custody.. Arrest Detention.. Juvenile cases may be commenced by an arrest or by filing a Petition alleging delinquency.. The juvenile probation department may choose to divert less serious, first-offender cases from court and have the individuals placed on an informal adjustment or consent decree.. These programs are similar to ARD and may result in a period of probation, community service, supervision, etc.. but they do not result in an adjudication of delinquency (the juvenile court version of a conviction) if the child successfully completes the program.. If the juvenile is detained, a detention hearing must occur within 72 hours at which the juvenile must be represented by counsel.. If the juvenile is not detained, the first meeting with an attorney is often at the initial court appearance.. That is.. not.. because there is no role for counsel earlier in the process.. In fact, early intervention by lawyers, to investigate the charges, provide legal advice, and explore alternatives to secure detention, may have significant impact on the entire course of the case.. Getting arrested can be frightening, especially if children are detained.. By the time youth meet their attorneys, they may have been questioned by many adults, including police officers, probation officers, or family members.. A youth may view additional adult questioning with distrust.. Thus, at the start of a case, lawyers must make an extra effort to build a relationship with their clients.. Counsel must take the time to explain that their job is to help their clients defend against the charges.. In addition to asking for information, it is vital that counsel take the time to discuss with clients what is likely to happen in court.. Detention Hearing.. If a youth is detained, counsel s first opportunity to question removal of the juvenile will be at the detention hearing, where the allegations must be presented by the Commonwealth in juvenile court and proven by probable cause.. Effective representation and advocacy at this stage of the proceedings has a significant influence on the ultimate disposition of the case.. Juveniles who are securely detained prior to adjudication-rather than released to parents or placed in community-based program-are much more likely to be incarcerated at disposition than youth who have not been detained, regardless of the charges against them.. Thus, it is vital that defense attorneys contest secure detention and explore less restrictive alternatives as early as possible.. May a juvenile be fingerprinted or photographed after arrest?.. Yes.. Police may fingerprint or photograph a juvenile, age 10 or older, who has been arrested for an offense that would be a misdemeanor or felony if committed by an adult.. If the juvenile is found not guilty, the fingerprints or photographs must be destroyed immediately.. May a juvenile be kept in a juvenile detention center until a detention hearing?.. Yes, but only if one or more of the following conditions exist:.. Confinement is required to protect the person or property of another or the child.. There is reason to believe that the juvenile will run away or be removed from the jurisdiction.. There is no parent, guardian or custodian to care for or supervise the juvenile.. If none of the above conditions exist, the juvenile may not be held.. What happens when a child is detained?.. A petition must be presented to the court within 24 hours or on the next court business day after a child has been admitted to a detention center or to shelter care and a detention hearing must be held within 72 hours.. What is decided at the detention hearing?.. The detention hearing is an informal hearing at which the court will determine:.. If there is probable cause to believe that the child has committed the delinquent act(s) with which he or she is charged, and.. Whether the child should remain in detention, shelter care or under some other pretrial supervision until the adjudicatory hearing (trial).. Where may juveniles be detained before trial?.. If detained before trial, the child may be placed in a variety of settings, including a secure detention center, a foster home, or any other appropriate placement approved by the court.. A shelter placement is usually unlocked.. Children may also be released before trial, subject to certain conditions or restraints, such as electronic monitoring, intense supervision, and in-home detention.. The conditions of confinement for a juvenile are limited by the following restrictions:.. A juvenile can only be securely detained at a police station for up to six hours after arrest.. Being held securely includes confinement in a locked room or cell, or cuffing to a rail or stationary object.. A juvenile cannot be held securely in a facility which also houses an adult lockup unless:.. The holding is for the purpose of identification, investigation, and transfer, AND.. The child is separated by sight and sound from incarcerated adult offenders, in which case the child must be under the under the continuous visual supervision of law enforcement  ...   fine, acceptable to the victim, not in excess of the actual damage, and paid for from earnings the child received through participation in a constructive program of service or education, as a condition of probation.. How long can a juvenile s court disposition last?.. A child may be committed to an institution or kept under probation or supervision only as long as is necessary to provide treatment or rehabilitation services.. A child may be placed in an institution for a maximum period of either four years or the amount of time that an adult would receive if convicted of the same offense, whichever is shorter.. In no event can the child be confined beyond the child s 21.. st.. birthday.. This creates a very difficult situation for someone who committed a crime while a juvenile but was not caught until after the age of 21.. These individuals are prosecuted in adult court and adult mandatory minimum sentences apply.. I know of several cases where juveniles committed crimes for which they may have only been detained briefly in a juvenile detention facility, but because they weren t caught until they were older than 21 they were sentenced to 5-10 years in a state correctional institution and will likely serve close to the 10 year maximum sentence.. The juvenile court must review each commitment or disposition every six months, and conduct a disposition review hearing every nine months.. The judge may alter the original disposition at a review hearing if it is decided that a change would best meet the treatment goals of the child.. Can the court order a child s parent or guardian to participate in a disposition?.. A parent, guardian or custodian of the child can be ordered by the court to participate in the treatment, rehabilitation, or supervision of the child.. A parent can be found in contempt of court if he or she does not comply with the court ordered participation and a bench warrant could be issued for his or her arrest.. Can parents be held responsible for reimbursements ordered as part of disposition?.. When a child is ordered to reimburse the person who suffered injury as a result of the child s tortious act, the child s parent or guardian is ultimately held responsible for the repayment.. A tortious act is something that causes injury to property or to people.. If a parent fails to comply with this order of the court, a civil action can be filed against the parents to recover the money owed to the victim.. The monetary limit for liability is $1,000 for injuries suffered by one person and $2,500 for more than one person, regardless of the number of persons suffering injury from a child s tortious act or series of acts.. Can a juvenile be transferred to a less restrictive placement before the initial disposition has been completed?.. An institution in which a child has been placed may seek to transfer the child to a less secure facility such as a group or foster home.. If the transfer is from a secure facility, the institution or facility must make a written request for a transfer to the court and to the attorney for the state.. If no objections are made to the request within 10 days of its receipt by the court, the child may be transferred.. If, instead, there are objections to the transfer, a hearing must be held within 20 days of the objection to reevaluate the disposition.. Can a juvenile appeal a court s decision?.. The child may appeal the court s delinquency adjudication and/or the disposition order.. No appeals can be filed prior to final disposition.. All appeals must be filed with the Superior Court of Pennsylvania within 30 days after the final disposition hearing.. Is the juvenile court closed to the public?.. In most cases juvenile court proceedings are only open to the parties involved in the alleged incident.. Those parties include: the child; attorneys and witnesses for the defense and prosecution; persons accompanying the child for assistance; the victim, counsel for the victim and persons accompanying the victim for assistance; and any other persons that the court finds have a proper interest in the case.. The general public, however, will not be excluded from juvenile court hearings under the following circumstances:.. The delinquency petition concerns a child 14 years or older who has been accused of conduct that would be considered a felony if committed by an adult.. The delinquency petition concerns a child 12 years or older who has been accused of one of the following offenses:.. murder.. arson.. attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above offenses.. In any of the above circumstances, however, the child and district attorney can agree that the proceedings should not be opened to the public.. Are juvenile records automatically erased (expunged)?.. No.. A person must petition the court if he or she wants their juvenile records erased; otherwise the records will remain on file permanently.. Such records often come up when the child is later arrested as an adult for another crime.. Records may be expunged upon court order under any one of the following circumstances:.. The original delinquency petition was dismissed or not proven true.. Six months have passed following the successful completion of the terms of a consent decree.. Five years have passed since the child has been discharged from the court s supervision and no other charges have been filed or are pending.. In addition, the court may order expungement, with the agreement of the district attorney, if the child is 18 or older.. To make this decision, the court must weigh the following factors:.. The type of offense.. The age and criminal/juvenile history.. The adverse consequences to the child if the records are not expunged (such as the inability to enter an educational/vocational program or the military) Whether public safety demands that the records be maintained.. There are different rules for expungement of underage drinking cases or other summary offenses.. You should call our office for a detailed explanation of your particular situation.. Can a juvenile by charged and tried in adult court?.. Yes, on more serious offenses a juvenile may be charged as an adult, or if originally charged as a juvenile, may be transferred to adult court.. A good criminal defense attorney in Montgomery County or Bucks County will file a Petition to Decertify the case to juvenile court.. I have had cases where the first lawyer hired was from Philadelphia and assumed that the Philadelphia procedures for automatically obtaining a decertification hearing would apply in Montgomery County, which is not the case.. My clients were ultimately transferred to juvenile court and got short-term treatment in a juvenile facility rather than the five year mandatory minimum sentence for armed robbery in adult court that they very nearly got under the watch of the previous attorney.. An attorney well-versed in juvenile criminal offenses in Montgomery County or Bucks County can make all the difference..

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  • Title: Miranda Rights in Pennsylvania Criminal Cases
    Descriptive info: I.. Miranda Rights/Warnings.. We all know from every popular police or detective show that when the police arrest a suspect they are required to read him his rights.. These rights are more commonly known as Miranda Warnings.. The requirement that police officers read a suspect his/her Miranda warnings has become so much a part of our culture that the word mirandize has even become a recognized verb in the dictionary and most people can recite the warnings by heart.. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in court.. You have the right to an attorney and have an attorney present with you during questioning.. If you are indigent and cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you.. (being considered indigent and not being able to afford the cost of an attorney are different issues and usually if you have a job you would.. only.. be considered indigent if earn less than a poverty level wage.. For a more detailed explanation of your right to an attorney see section on Right to Counsel ).. Do you understand these rights?.. Do you waive these rights and wish to talk with investigators about the matter?.. II.. Confusion regarding Miranda Rights/Warnings.. Despite the fact that most people know what Miranda warnings say; how they are applied and what effect they may have on your.. criminal.. case is a complicated analysis and almost always requires the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.. In addition, as you will read below, the failure of the police to provide you with your Miranda warnings rarely results in the total dismissal of your criminal case.. III.. When do my Miranda rights apply?.. Miranda rights apply only when.. custodial interrogation.. is performed by.. law enforcement officials.. and the person in custody makes.. verbal statements in response to the questioning.. Custody.. Before a person s Miranda rights apply, they must first be placed in custody.. While no single definition exists to define custody, if a police officer prevents you, for more than a brief time, from voluntarily leaving an area or significantly restricts your freedom, it is a safe bet is that you are now in custody.. Some common examples of custody include; being handcuffed and placed into the back of a police car, being taken to a police station, being placed into an interrogation room or holding cell with the door locked and without being able to walk out if you wanted.. On the other hand some common situations where a person is.. NOT.. in custody include brief traffic stops where you remain in your car, voluntarily going into a police station where you  ...   officers while in a police car driving back to a police station or while being processed at the police station.. If you offer spontaneous statements to police officers that are not in response to police questioning your statements are not protected by your Miranda rights and they will likely be used against you in a later trial.. Also keep in mind there may be a situation where the police do not ask you any questions, in that situation the failure to read you your rights would not be an issue that could be raised in the later criminal trial.. In addition, in order for your Miranda rights to apply, the information sought by police officers must be statements.. Things like taking photographs, obtaining hair, blood or saliva samples or making a person appear in a line up are all forms of conduct and not statements so your Miranda rights do not apply.. Law Enforcement Officials.. Even if a person is in custody and interrogated their Miranda rights do not apply if the interrogation was not performed by law enforcement officers or agents.. Statements given to other non-law enforcement people are not protected by your Miranda rights.. These people can include other prisoners, private security guards, private investigators, or private citizens.. IV.. What happens if my Miranda rights are violated?.. If after analyzing the above issues, it is determined that your Miranda rights have been violated the result will be that any statements you provide will.. not.. be admitted against you into evidence in a subsequent criminal trial.. The exclusion pertains.. only.. to statements or confessions and it will not prevent other forms of evidence like, video surveillance, finger prints, DNA, photos or lab results from being used against you at trial unless the evidence was obtained as a result of your statement (pursuant to the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine).. If the prosecutor determines that you could still be convicted based on other evidence and without your statements your case will likely still proceed to trial.. V.. Summary.. As you can see the issues involved with your Miranda rights are highly complex and not easily answered without first analyzing all the facts and circumstances surrounding your case.. Despite what most people believe, not every encounter with a police officer requires that you be read your rights.. Only statements that are the result of a.. by a law enforcement official are subject to the protections of your Miranda rights and even if the police fail to provide you with your Miranda warnings in most situations a criminal case can still proceed against you.. Therefore it is always critical that you contact an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney..

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  • Title: Pennsylvania Misdemeanors
    Descriptive info: The minimum and maximum penalties for misdemeanor offenses are as follows:.. Fine.. Misdemeanor 1.. 2 ½ -5 years.. $10,000.. Possessing Instruments of Crime, Terroristic Threats, Indecent Assault, Endangering Welfare of Children, Bookmaking.. Misdemeanor 2.. 1-2 years.. $5,000.. Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Manufacture or Sale of False Identification, False Reports to Law Enforcement Authorities.. Misdemeanor 3.. 6 months 1 year.. $2,500.. Harassment, Defiant Trespass, Disorderly Conduct, Loitering and Prowling, Selling Liquor to Minors.. For example, retail theft constitutes a summary offense when it is a first offense and the value of the merchandise is  ...   value of the merchandise is less than $150.. The offense becomes a misdemeanor of the first degree when it is a first or second offense and the value if the merchandise is more than $150.. The offense becomes a felony of the third degree when the offense is a third or subsequent offense, regardless of the value of the merchandise.. The offense is also a felony of the third degree when the amount involved exceeds $2,000 or if the merchandise involved is a firearm or a motor vehicle.. Retail theft is not the only escalating offense..

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