Criminal Lawyer Update: Pennsylvania Superior Court Rules Most Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Statutes Unconstitutional in Commonwealth v. Newman, 2014 Pa. Super. 178 (Aug. 20, 2014)

In Commonwealth v. Newman, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, ruling unanimously, en banc, holds most mandatory minimums in Pennsylvania unconstitutional as a result of Alleyene v. United States.  Defendants in criminal court will no longer have to endure...

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...

United States Supreme Court Rules that Facts Triggering Mandatory-Minimum Sentences Are Elements of a Criminal Offense in Alleyne v. United States

The following story was originally published in the July 2013 edition of Upon Further Review, a publication of the Philadelphia Bar Association. Re-printed here with permission of the Philadelphia Bar Association.  The original work can be viewed at...

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...