Criminal defense and mandatory minimum sentencing
In a recent Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling, it was found that some of the mandatory minimum sentencing laws in the state aren’t constitutional. The PA Superior Court’s ruling in Commonwealth of PA v. Newman followed a recent United States Supreme Court decision in Alleyne v. United States. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Constitution requires that facts that trigger the imposition of mandatory minimum sentences are to be proven to a judge and jury beyond reasonable doubt. In the Newman v. Commonwealth of PA case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided that the old PA law, which required only a judge to decide mandatory minimum sentencing, was unconstitutional. Those who are faced with criminal charges should be made aware of this law change immediately, as it can affect them as they move forward with their case. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney will ensure the accused receives a fair trial and that the criminal justice process follows the law. Because the law is still looked upon with ill repute by some courts and judges, some prosecutors are using this to their advantage by seeking mandatory minimum sentences with the full intention of eventually appealing to a higher court. However, I have been following the development of this new ruling very closely since it came to pass. What I have realized in that time is that it is imperative that a person have their case thoroughly reviewed by a criminal defense lawyer so that they can better understand how the changes in the law will affect them as they move forward with their case. If you have questions about mandatory minimum sentencing or you have been arrested and aren’t sure where to begin, please call Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney Gary Gerson today for a free consultation at 412-219-6875.