Hodge Podge Round-Up of Criminal Law

Lots of questions today. Must be everyone is home for Columbus Day? I will do my best.


1. How can someone be sentenced to a crime of simple assault in regard to domestic violence if there is no police report of violence or any hospital reports of injury to corroborate the claim?

In Pennsylvania, mere testimony alone is enough to convict. Plain and simple. If the trier of fact, be it judge or jury, believes that the assault occurred, a person will be found guilty and subsequently sentenced.


2. My fiancee recently received his Pre Sentence Investigation (PSI). At trial, he was found guilty of conspiracy and not guilty of Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act (VUFA). The PSI is giving him a 2 point increase for the gun. This seems unfair and wrong to me. Is there such a law?

I am not sure if you mean to say that he got a "deadly weapon" enhancement or if the Prior Record Score was increased by two, or if the Offense Gravity Score was enhanced by two. I would need to know that answer. But, if the conspiracy is for an underlying violent crime and a gun was possessed or used to commit the crime, the DWE can be used to increase the sentencing range.

If you mean the PRS, the PRS is only computed with PRIOR conviction, not current, so your question is incorrect on its face. If you mean the OGS, the guidelines are specific on the OGS as to what must be found at trial for any charge, including conspiracy as to what the OGS will be. I wrote a previous answer about this issue.


3. If I get a third DUI with a one year mandatory minimum, can I get less than one year? If no can I get early parole?

You can get IP or IPP (Intermediate Punishment Program) if the county your are in has that program for 3rd dui's and the DA's office agrees. I have never heard of early parole for DUI cases, though I am not saying it is impossible.


4. After you have been re-sentenced at a Gagnon II, violation of probation, re-sentencing, of 4 years, how do you file a motion for modification?

I am not sure what a Motion for Modification is, but you have 10 days from the day of sentencing to file a Motion for Reconsideration with the Trial Judge in the Court of Common Pleas, or 30 days to appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.


5.I got served with a petition for emergency relief from abuse, filed by my daughter's mother for herself and my daughter. What happens next? When can I see my daughter again?

You should have a court date within the next 10 days. Depending on the county, some counties will see if things can be worked out on the day, other counties will make sure no serious criminal activities are taking place, limit the visitation, if any, then schedule you for a formal hearing months from now.


6. Is a pcra the same as a post collateral relief act?

PCRA stands for the post conviction relief act. Once you have exhausted your direct appeal (also a bunch of other possibilities), you can file a PCRA. A PCRA generally means that your lawyer did a bad job.


Lots of great questions. Remember, if you need to find a criminal defense lawyer in your area, visit us at our new directory www.criminaldefensedirectory.org

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