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Firm Name Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer
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Pub Owner Who Appealed Assault Conviction Gets New Trial


The “no double jeopardy” rule means that the state cannot try you twice for the same offense, but exactly what counts as being tried twice?  If the jury returns a not guilty verdict, then that verdict is final, even if the state later discovers additional evidence that it could have used against you at your trial.  If the case ends in mistrial, where the jury cannot reach a verdict or the judge calls off the trial before jury deliberations begin, then it is up to the judge’s discretion to order a new trial or to dismiss the charges against you.  If you were wrongfully convicted because you did not get a fair trial, you have the right to appeal your conviction, and if your appeal is successful, you can have a new trial that is fairer than the first one.  If you have been unfairly convicted of assault, contact a Pittsburgh assault defense lawyer.

Understanding the Duress Defense

The question that jurors must answer is not as simple as, “Did he do it?”  Even though their goal is to determine whether there is reasonable doubt about the defendant’s guilt, their task is not even as simple as answering the question, “Are we sure he did it?”  Defendants can advance affirmative defenses, in which they acknowledge that their actions satisfy some, but not all, of the criteria for the definition of the crime.  For example, a defendant charged with attempted murder can use the defense that she injured the victim accidentally; she admits that she caused the victim’s injuries but denies that she intended to cause harm.

The duress defense is an affirmative defense where you admit that you only engaged in the criminal act because someone else coerced you to do it.  The coercion can take the form of physical violence or a credible threat of physical violence or criminal prosecution.

In the News

On Christmas Day in 2015, surveillance video footage from the store then known as Molly’s Pub in Lancaster shows four men beating Shaliek Rivera until he lay unconscious on the sidewalk in front of the bar.  The four men shown beating Rivera all received prison sentences after being convicted of assault; they were the owner of Molly’s Pub and three of its employees.  Anthony Maglietta, the owner of the pub, received a sentence of five-and-a-half to 11 years in prison.  He appealed his conviction.  At his trial, he argued that the only reason he participated in the beating was because of coercion by the employees.  He claimed that the employees were gang members who had taken over the pub and were extorting money from Maglietta; they had beaten Maglietta five times before, but he had never complained to the police for fear of retaliation.  In his appeal, Maglietta claims that his lawyer made a major error by not asking the judge to ensure that the jury understood the legal definition of duress.  In 2023, the court ordered a new trial for Maglietta.

Contact Gary E. Gerson About Criminal Defense Cases

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you were convicted of a crime after an unfair trial.  Contact the law offices of Gary E. Gerson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania about your case.


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