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Category Archives: Criminal Law

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Some Counties in Western Pennsylvania Charge Inmates for Every Night That They Spend in Jail

By Gary E. Gerson |

Would you believe it if someone told you that your $1200 coronavirus stimulus check could pay for four months of room and board?  In some cases, it can, but only if the accommodations are in a county jail.  Is this the worst case of the criminal justice system punishing people for being poor?  Is… Read More »

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Confrontation Over All-Terrain Vehicle Leads to Shooting, Arrest for Attempted Murder

By Gary E. Gerson |

Online classified ads make it possible to find used vehicles for sale much more quickly, less expensively, and with less hassle than you would be able to by going to a dealership.  There is always some risk in these informal transactions, though.  If the worst thing that happens is that you get scammed, you… Read More »

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When a Cell Phone Becomes an Instrument of Crime

By Gary E. Gerson |

When is it a crime simply to have a phone in your possession?  It depends.  In general, almost anyone is free to have a phone.  You do not even have to have a license for it, like you do to buy a firearm or drive a car.  You do not even have to be… Read More »

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It Is Against the Law to Leave Your Car Unattended When Warming It Up

By Gary E. Gerson |

The winter, especially the holiday season, presents many season-specific opportunities for theft.  You or someone you know has probably learned the hard way about putting purchases in the trunk and locking your car if you have had newly bought gift items stolen while you were Christmas shopping.  An enterprising thief can steal unsecured holiday… Read More »

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Appeals Court Rejects Bill Cosby’s Appeal of His Conviction

By Gary E. Gerson |

Many of the biggest news stories of 2019 involved allegations of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment by famous figures in the entertainment industry.  Some of these involved survivors of sexual assault speaking publicly about their ordeal for the first time, while others were the continuation of allegations, which ranged from tabloid rumors to documented… Read More »

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Museum Thieves Could Face 20 Years in Prison

By Gary E. Gerson |

If you were going to steal something because of its resale value, what would it be?  Jewelry?  Electronics?  Gold and silver coins?  Most people are aware that these items can easily be resold if stolen, and so they keep their valuables secured.  Unless you have professional knowledge of rare books, it probably would not… Read More »

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Pennsylvania Senator Charged with Possession of Sexually Explicit Images of Minors

By Gary E. Gerson |

Mike Folmer, a Republican who became a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate has resigned after being arrested on charges of possession of sexual abuse of children after pornographic images that appear to detect minors were found on his phone.  Folmer is known for being one of the first conservative politicians in Pennsylvania to… Read More »

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Medical Marijuana and Defendants’ Rights in Pennsylvania

By Gary E. Gerson |

People with medical marijuana cards have more freedom to possess and consume cannabis in Pennsylvania than people who do not have them, but simply being a medical card holder does not give you free rein to do all sorts of things that are illegal for other people.  If the police catch you in possession… Read More »

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Meek Mill’s Probation Is Finally Over, but He Promises to Continue Fighting to Reform the Criminal Justice System

By Gary E. Gerson |

In 2017, when Robert Williams was 20 years old, he was convicted of felony weapons charges and felony drug possession.  He was sentenced to up 11 to 23 months in prison, to be followed by five years of probation.  In reality, his punishment lasted 12 years, only ending in 2019, when a Pennsylvania court… Read More »

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Pennsylvania’s Laws on HIV Exposure Leave Plenty of Room for Ambiguity

By Gary E. Gerson |

Despite that advances in treatment have made HIV infection a manageable and, in many cases, preventable condition, AIDS is still the scariest disease that many people in the United States consider a real threat.  For people who were alive in the 80s, the images of the extraordinary suffering of people with AIDS were unlike… Read More »

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