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...

Mere Encounter Escalates Into Investigative Detention

In a recent opinion in Commonwealth v. Hudson, 2010 PA Super 96, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that what began as a mere encounter escalated into an investigative detention when a police officer in Reading, Pennsylvania, took a defendant’s identification...

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...

Criminal Lawyer Update: Court Finds Exigent Circumstances Exception to Search Warrant Where Individual Identified as Armed and Dangerous

Under Pennsylvania jurisprudence, the searches and seizures clause of Article 1, Section 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution requires a search warrant for the search and seizure of an automobile unless the police have probable cause and exigent circumstances. In...