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...

Mandatory-Minimum Sentence for Drug Offense Committed with Firearm Affirmed by Superior Court Where Gun Found in Basement of Apartment Building

In Commonwealth v. Hawkins, ___ A.3d ___ (2012), 2012 Pa. Super. 85 (Apr. 12, 2012), the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a mandatory-minimum sentence of five years imprisonment for certain drug offenses committed with a firearm under 42 Pa.C.S. Sec....

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...