Friday, September 30, 2011

Search and Seizure - What You Need to Know

"Search and seizure" is a term that describes the right for police and other officials to legally search and confiscate a person’s property when it is deemed as evidence to a criminal act the individual is believed to have committed. Although there are other extenuating circumstances, there exist three key situations that make a search and seizure a reasonable act as interpreted by the courts.
  1. If a person gives their consent, it is legal for the officer investigating a crime or situation to search through the person’s property.
  2. When a valid warrant has been issued by the court and describes the specific property to be searched, a search and seizure is legal.
  3. When it is believed that evidence may be destroyed or is in serious danger, police have the right to conduct a search without going through the steps to have a warrant issued.
When a person believes the search and seizure conducted on their property was invalid, it could be beneficial to consult with an experienced Philadelphia criminal lawyer. They can help to file a motion that challenges the legality of the search. In cases where this process is not done legally, it is likely the evidence will not even be introduced in court.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What are Sentencing Challenges

When a person has been charged with a crime and a conviction is expected, there is a wide variety of sentencing challenges that the person may end up facing which should be handled by an experienced criminal lawyer. For example, there is a minimum and a maximum sentence that is set in the statutes of each state for a large number of crimes that are committed. This means a person must face at least the minimum amount of time set in the statutes when they are convicted of a certain crime. This is perhaps one of the biggest sentencing challenges that many people have to face.
Another of the sentencing challenges that can make it extremely tough on a person that has been charged of a crime is when the prosecutor they are facing is overzealous or excessively aggressive. In situations such as this, the person that is accused of a crime will often wind up facing the maximum sentence that is possible as a punishment.
This is exactly why it is very important to consult with an experienced defense attorney that has a high level of knowledge and skill to strategically plan a legal course of action that prevents any sentencing challenges from stepping on the rights of their clients.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What You Need to Know about State Grand Jury Cases

The specific procedures that are commonly used for state grand jury cases are determined by each individual state. There are quite a few states which follow the practices that are commonly used in a federal grand jury. There are, however, other states that have the indictment process as an optional choice. This leaves the prosecutor with the option of filing a complaint to charge the defendant formally with a crime.
There are numerous prosecutors who take advantage of being able to use state grand jury cases to investigate situations where a person has been arrested for a specific crime. They also use these grand juries in situations where a person has not yet been arrested for a crime.

When a person has been arrested for a crime after the indictment of state grand jury cases, the first and best step he or she can possibly opt for is consulting with an expert Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer who specializes in state grand jury cases. Defense attorneys who have years of experience behind them and a thorough knowledge in this particular field can help a great deal in formulating the most beneficial defense for further criminal proceedings that a person may be facing.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Proper Criminal Defense against Federsl Weapons Charges

When a person is being charged with a federal crime that has been committed, along with receiving a weapons charge, chances are that they will end up spending a large amount of time in prison once a conviction has been made. This is true even if the person has registered the weapon as required by law. Because of the severity that the penalties on charges like this carry, it is essential for a person facing these charges to consult with an experienced federal weapons defense attorney. This is especially true of individuals that have been involved in a violent federal offense or drug trafficking, while carrying a weapon. A conviction of serious charges like this could result in as much or more than 15 years in the penitentiary.
There is a wide range of different federal crimes that involve a weapon that a federal weapons defense attorney specializes in. Just a few of these are as follows:
  • When an unauthorized person is trafficking firearms
  • When a convicted felon is in possession of a firearm
  • The interstate transportation of firearms
  • Numerous others
When facing charges like this, an experienced federal weapons defense attorney can devise a strategic plan of action that will provide the best results possible. This is simply not possible without the right federal weapons defense lawyer on your side.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What to DoIf You Are Facing Federal Tax Charges

Getting into a situation where federal tax charges have to be faced is not a predicament that any person wants to be in. Paying yearly taxes is a responsibility that every working person has to pay attention to in order to avoid such serious situations. This is true whether they own their own business or they are employed by a private company or large corporation. When a person neglects the responsibility of paying the IRS for their yearly taxes, it is a serious crime that can result in harsh federal tax charges. This particular crime is one that is considered to be a felony charge. The people that are charged with and found guilty of federal tax evasion may find themselves ending up being responsible for paying hefty fines of up to $100,000. A person that commits this type of crime is also likely to face as many as five years in prison.
Before federal tax charges are filed against a person, they are given ample time to contact the IRS to make arrangements filing for an extension. However, in many situations this is simply not enough. Seeking professional representation via an experienced criminal lawyer should be the first step a person facing federal tax charges should make. They can help to avoid frozen bank accounts, a tax levy and excessive penalties.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Federal Sentencing & State Sentencing - What's the Difference?

There are several differences between the results obtained in federal sentencing as opposed to those that are generally given during state sentencing after a trial has been held for someone charged with any number of crimes. For instance, the specific punishment that may be handed down from a judge during the process of federal sentencing tends to be much harsher than the penalties that a person may receive from a judge in a state court proceeding. In some situations a person may receive as much as ten or more year’s punishment during federal sentencing for the crimes they have committed. Another person that has been convicted of the very same crime may only receive just a few years of punishment in jail when they are sentenced in a state court. The amounts of penalties in fines that a person may receive are frequently also a lot steeper than those that are given in state courts.
The first thing a person will want to do when they are facing federal sentencing is to hire a criminal lawyer before any formal charges are received. This raises their chances of possibly receiving a sentence that is far lower than what it would be without an experienced professional on their side.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What are Federal Grand Jury Cases

Federal grand jury cases tend to result in a sentence and fines that are much harsher than those that are generally handed down in state cases. Some of the most common types of federal grand jury cases usually involve the following types of charges:
  • Counterfeiting
  • Organized Crime
  • Kidnapping
  • Bank Robbery
The duties of a grand jury are much different than that of a trial jury. A grand jury of a federal case will only have to make the determination on if the charges of the accused party should be completely dropped or if they should be indicted on the charges of the crime they are said to have committed.

A judge swears in the jury that listens to federal grand jury cases. However, there is not a judge present during the proceedings. After the Attorney General supplies the evidence against the accused, testimony is then given by any witnesses that may exist. After this process is complete, the jury will then make a determination on filing charges by making a careful consideration in weighing evidence brought before them.

The expertise of a professional Philadelphia criminal lawyer can be extremely beneficial during federal grand jury cases. Their expert preparation can actually help tremendously in getting charges dropped, instead of having to face federal court trial proceedings.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making Sense of Federal Criminal Charges

When crimes have been committed across the state line or there are several different states that are involved with a specific crime that has been committed, it is not uncommon for the guilty party to ultimately end up facing federal criminal charges. This completely eliminates any confusion that might arise between states on making the decision of which particular state should handle the prosecution of the crime committed. It also means that the federal court will be handling the trail, which means the prosecution for federal criminal charges is much more involved than in trails that are held by the state.
Each case that involves federal criminal charges is held in accordance with the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. What this ultimately means is regardless of what the local, county or state laws may be, federal laws will take precedence over each of these. Federal Sentencing Guidelines are also used when the courts are making the determination of the specific penalties that will be handed down for federal criminal charges.

If facing conviction in the Philadelphia area, it is vital for people with charges of this nature to consult a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney that is thoroughly versed in all forms of federal litigation, including sentencing and prosecution. It could very well mean the difference of a few years behind bars verses the rest of your life.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Expungements Can Be Difficult

When it comes to expungements of convictions on a person’s criminal record, it can be a very difficult task and this can be especially true depending on the state you live in. There are some states that only allow charges like retired, dismissed, diversion, pre-trial or post-trial charges to be erased from a criminal record. Regardless of where a person lives, a conviction can be devastating. It is something that can have a negative effect on where a person is allowed to live or work. This is precisely why a person that is in the position of possibly having convictions expunged from their criminal record will want to consult with an experienced criminal attorney that specializes in expungements.
A lot of people are not even aware of the fact that even when they have went to trial and have been completely cleared of the charges that were filed against them, in many cases the charges will remain on their record. It is in situations like this that expungements can be especially beneficial. There are also other situations that expungements are in order and a few of these include the following:
  • When a person’s innocence is proven through new DNA evidence
  • Upon completion of deferred sentences like alcohol treatment, probation or anger management
  • When convictions have been overturned or acquitted

Monday, September 19, 2011

When You Need a Drug Attorney

A drug attorney is the very first person you will want to consult if you have been charged with any type of crime that involves narcotics. This is true of any type of drug charge and includes those that involve the possession, distribution, manufacture, fraud or prescription forgery of narcotic drugs.
In a majority of cases, an experienced drug attorney has the skill and expertise needed to successfully get a client’s narcotics charges reduced to the lowest possible charge. This is a huge benefit to many people because narcotics charges can be and often are rather steep. While some cases that a drug attorney represents a defendant that has narcotics charges held against them will only receive specific terms of probation, several others often receive a lengthy prison term and numerous fines. In some situations they are even able to get charges reduced to where the defendant only has to attend a drug treatment program.

The penalties and punishment you receive for narcotics charges is going to greatly depend on the consequences that surround the charges you have received. Even so, the drug attorney you hire will play the most important role in the punishment you ultimately end up serving.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

DUI Crimes & Punishments - What You Need to Know

Driving under the Influence, which is more commonly known by many people as a DUI, is a charge that is determined by the blood alcohol concentration of BAC. This level can be obtained in a variety of ways that include a urine test, a breath test or with the use of a blood test.
When a person receives a charge of driving under the influence, there are several different punishments that they could possibly end up facing. Below you will find is a list of several punishments that are often given when a person is charged with one or more driving under the influence convictions.
  • Many defendants are often required to attend alcoholic anonymous meetings
  • The defendant may face the requirement of having an interlock device installed on their vehicle
  • The license of many DUI drivers is suspended
  • The defendant’s vehicle may need to be forfeited
  • Jail time or a lengthy prison sentence is a very real possibility
If you are convicted in the Philadelphia area, the skill and expertise of an experienced Philadelphia defense attorney can provide defendants that have received a driving under the influence charge with a legal course of action that could very well result in a reduced penalty.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Should your Consult a Criminal Attorney for Domestic Violence Charges

There are some states that view the act of domestic violence as a very serious charge. In others, there are not a specific set of laws in place in regards to this type of crime. In these cases, the person that commits this crime is likely to face charges of assault and battery or other charges that may be related to the crime, such as sexual assault.
The specific charges that a person may receive for domestic violence may differ somewhat from one state to another. However, in most all cases a crime like this will entail fines that will have to be paid, a short stay in jail and probation. There are also some cases where the guilty party will end up having to attend a program such as anger management or other type of abuse program. The length of probation in most all states is usually set at one year. A restraining order is often another penalty that is placed against the person that is guilty of domestic violence.
The skill and experience of a professional criminal attorney is often what it takes to get charges of domestic violence either reduced or completely dismissed when clients find themselves facing this type of unfortunate dilemma.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Different Degrees of Burglary & Possible Jail Time

Burglary is a very serious crime that can cause a person to end up spending a minimum of one year in prison to the maximum of a number of years. There are several different factors that will be taken into consideration when the exact amount of jail time is determined for a case such as this. A few of these factors include each of the facts that surround the case and any prior convictions that may be found on the defendant’s criminal record.
There are actually three different types of burglary that a person can be charged with and they include first degree, second degree and third degree. The specific degree that a person is charged is going to play a huge role in the amount of prison time that a person may be looking at.
In a burglary case, each element included in the statute must be proven in order for a District Attorney to obtain a conviction. When a defendant consults with a criminal defense lawyer that has skill and experience, they work to ensure the burden of proof for burglary is placed on the District Attorney. This means that they will have to prove the guilt beyond any reasonable doubt.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bail Reductions - An Important Option to Consider

When a person has been charged with a crime, it is a common procedure for the courts to set a specific bail amount on the individual. Once the initial bail amount is set, the individual in question then has the option to consider bail reductions. The amount is to serve as a type of security used in exchange for the individual’s release. It is also considered a pledge that he or she will not miss any court hearings that have been set. A few factors for bail amounts and bail reductions that are set include the financial standing of the person charged, the flight risk associated with his or her case and the specific crime that he or she has been charged with are all taken into consideration when a bail amount is set.

In the event that the amount is considered excessive, individuals have the choice to consult with a criminal defense attorney to determine whether or not bail reductions are an option available to them. This is a privilege that provides numerous people with the ability to enjoy their freedom before the actual trial starts. Once an attorney files for bail reduction, the legal process will begin.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Getting Caught Lending Money to a Friend to Cover an Illegal Gambling Debt

You’re not a bad guy. And you are very non-violent. You are against the war. You donate to "Save the whales." You are a daily communicant. And you like to hire independent contractors. You know a guy. He has a reputation for being one of "those guys". And you ask him to go collect a debt. But you specifically instruct him not to threaten any force, or use any force. "That guy" goes to collect the debt. And he doesn’t threaten the deadbeat in any way, either verbally, or threw the use of weird signals. Unfortunately, the deadbeat is wearing a body wire and the meeting is on video. The F.B.I. was watching. You are indicted and charged with extortion. Can you be convicted of extortion? Nobody was even threatened. And you, personally, did not even try to collect the debt.
More specifically, if a disputed debt was arbitrated and negotiated by a known mobster, does that amount to the use of extortionate means within the meaning of Title 18 § 894? You hire a federal lawyer. This is not a strong arm robbery case. You need a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney who researches subtleties in the law, and most importantly, who will read the statute which provides:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Federal Defense Attorneys in Philadelphia

Individuals charged with Federal Crimes including public corruption, child pornography, illegal computer usage, fraud and weapons charges need to know who they can turn to when battling a complex legal system.
The Law Office of Peter J. Scuderi has consistently employed the #1 Federal Defense Attorneys in the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area. When choosing a Federal Defense Attorney in the City of Philadelphia or the surrounding suburbs, be sure to research a law firm’s history so you know which firm has a long proven record of accomplishing success when defending their clients charged with federal offenses.