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April 2014 Archives

Woman Arrested After Calling Cops on Drug Dealer for Selling Substandard Weed

When a person buys prescription narcotics or over-the-counter drugs from a pharmacy, the person expects to get a quality product because of the voluminous regulations that are imposed by the FDA to ensure safety. However, when a person chooses to buy illegal drugs off the street, the FDA regulations do not apply, so you must take a "buyer beware" approach. When a person is looking to hire a company or a person to provide a service, they often check online for reviews from former clients to ensure that they are dealing with a reputable businessperson. Regrettably, I do not believe that people that are involving in the illegal distribution of drugs are posting online profiles with client reviews. I  represent many Penn State students that are charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia because they had a scale. Why would a student that was not dealing drugs have a scale? Because they didn't trust the dealer to actually give them the agreed upon amount, so the student wants to independently weigh the drug to ensure that he or she isn't being cheated.

Serial Retail Thief - Stole Beer 54 times from Convenience Store

An Arizona man was recently arrested after allegedly stealing beer from Circle K convenience stores 54 times over a 9-month period of time. The total value of the stolen beer was slightly under $7,000.00. The store employees had provided video of the thefts to the police, but the police were unable to identify the suspect. The man was recently stopped by police for some other suspected criminal activity, and the police then identified the man as being the suspect in the retail thefts caught on video. It is claimed that the man admitted at least some of the thefts to the cops and claimed that he stole the items because he  needed the money. I guess that he was selling the alcohol as opposed to just having a lot of parties.

Pennsylvania Prosecutor Ignores Court Order, Judge Suppresses Evidence

Over my many years as a criminal defense lawyer, I have found that I do not always agree with a judge's decision; but the law is what the judge says it is, and people must comply with the court orders. The rules also apply to everyone, both normal people and lawyers, both defense lawyers and prosecutors.  A Pennsylvania court recently reiterated that even a prosecutor must follow a court order issued by a judge, and the failure to follow an order can result in severe penalties.  The prosecutor is lucky that the judge did not impose a fine or even a sentence of incarceration for contempt of court.  Many people that violate a court order, such as people that violate a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, are sentenced to serve time in jail.

Heading to Court, Leave Illegal Drugs at Home

First, I need to emphasize that people should not possess anything that is illegal, be it drugs, a fake ID, stolen property, or any other form of contraband. However, if you are going to possess such things, leave them at home when you are heading to court. Most Pennsylvania court facilities require a person to pass through a security checkpoint, and some of those checkpoints use X-ray machines. Simply stated, taking drugs or contraband with you to court is not a good idea.

Judge Rules School Zone Sentence is Constitutional in State College Drug Delivery Case

A Centre County judge has recently issued a ruling in a State College drug delivery case that held that the "drug-free school zone" mandatory minimum sentence is constitutional. The school zone mandatory sentence can be invoked by prosecutors in Pennsylvania drug distribution, possession with intent to deliver, or manufacturing cases if the alleged criminal activity occurred within 1,000 feet of a school, which includes colleges and universities, or within 250 feet of a recreational facility. The school zone sentencing law requires a judge to impose a 2 year mandatory minimum sentence for every felony drug conviction that occurred within the required distances.

Man Loses Half a Million in Vegas then Sues Claiming Too Drunk to Gamble

A man that lost $500,000.00 while gambling in Las Vegas is trying to use his public intoxication as an excuse and is suing the casino to recover his losses. The man is blaming the casino for giving him free drinks, getting him drunk, and then taking his money. The man is not claiming that the casino forced him to drink but is instead arguing that it was the casino job to make sure that he drank responsibly. I think that most people would expect that a 52-year-old man would be responsible enough to know that he should not spend 17 hours drinking and gambling.

Man Jumps on Car at Busy Intersection and Gets Naked

A Delaware man was recently arrested after he jumped on top of a vehicle that had been stopped at the red light of a busy intersection, and the man then decided to take of his clothes. When the police arrived to get the man off of the car's roof, the partially naked man taunted and spit at the officers. This all occurred at 4:15 p.m. in the afternoon. Not so surprisingly, the police believe that drug use, namely PCP, was a precipitating factor in the man's behavior.

Assault with a Sexual Weapon - Daughter Hits Mother with Vibrator

I am sure that almost everyone has heard the phrase "assault with a deadly weapon," but few, if any, of us have heard of someone being accused of assault with a sexual weapon. According to a Huffington Post story, a 35-year-old New Mexico woman was arrested for assault after her 60-year-old mother contacted the police and reported that the daughter struck her in the head with a vibrator. When the Albuquerque police responded, they found the mother and noticed that she was bleeding profusely from her head. The mother informed them that she and her daughter had been arguing when her daughter picked up a nearby vibrator and struck her in the head. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, I pay careful attention to a person's story and take note of things that do not make sense or are generally not true. Here, I find it a little odd that the "nearby weapon" was a vibrator as opposed to a pen, spoon, knife, or any other instrument that is routinely found nearby. Then again, this is just a very odd story.