Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer Update: PA Supreme Court Reigns in Application of Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Drug Dealing with a Firearm

The case is Commonwealth v. Hanson, ___ A.3d ___ (2013), 2013 WL 6831854 (Pa. Supreme Ct., Dec. 27, 2013).  The opinion is written by Justice Saylor.   And, the application of a gun plus drug dealing mandatory minimum is overruled, because a defendant...

Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer Update: Passenger’s Nervousness and Movements Appearing to Be Reaching Beneath Seat During Nighttime Car Stop Enough to Justify Reasonable Suspicion for Protective Weapons Search

Criminal lawyers in Philadelphia need to be aware of cases where police claim their clients appeared nervous and made furtive movements.  The latest case on this issue is Commonwealth v. Buchert, — A.3d —, 2013 WL 1499347 (Apr. 12, 2013) from the...

Possession of a Gun During a Drug Delivery Triggers Mandatory-Minimum Sentence, Regardless of Whether it was Possessed Legally

Criminal defense work constantly presents criminal lawyers with bad facts coupled with bad law. A new case handed down by the Pennsylvania Superior Court is a prime example of this. The case is Commonwealth v. Stein, 2012 PA Super. 26 (Feb. 7, 2012). The defendant is...

Inquirer Reports that the ACLU Has Sued the City of Philadelphia Over Unlawful Stop and Frisk

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported today that the American Civil Liberties Union has sued the City of Philadelphia for illegal stop and frisk policy. Stop and frisk has been around for decades, but, in order to do it, the police need reasonable suspicion that criminal...

Inventory Search of a Lawfully-Immobilized Vehicle Held Lawful by the Superior Court

In a recent opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the inventory search of an immobilized automobile, immobilized under the Live Stop program was a lawful search, even though the automobile was not yet permitted to be towed. To read the case, click...