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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Commonwealth v. Grajales

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the defendant waived her appellate claims. After the Commonwealth charged DUI and other crimes, the defendant did not file a pretrial omnibus motion. The trial court convicted her, and the defendant appealed. The Superior Court affirmed and held that the defendant could not argue…

Commonwealth v. Grajales
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that the defendant waived her appellate claims. After the Commonwealth charged DUI and other crimes, the defendant did not file a pretrial omnibus motion. The trial court convicted her, and the defendant appealed. The Superior Court affirmed and held that the defendant could not argue issues about the police officers’… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Grajales

Commonwealth v. Hayes
Pennsylvania Superior Court

After the defendant was found guilty of DUI, the sentencing court refused to consider one of the defendant’s prior DUIs from Maryland as a triggering offense for an enhanced sentence. The certified record in that case indicated that the defendant had pleaded not guilty and then was sentenced to “probation before judgment.” The Pennsylvania Superior… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Hayes

Commonwealth v. Jones
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the denial of the defendant’s suppression motion, though the Court questioned the validity of the phrase “mere encounter”. Two police officers saw the defendant walking on the sidewalk and noted an L-shaped bulge in his right jacket pocket. One officer immediately recognized that bulge as a firearm. Thus, the officer… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Jones

United States v. Johnson
3rd Circuit

Judge Matey aptly described this as the “Case of the False Praecipe”. The Third Circuit dipped a toe into the Cosby saga and vacated the defendant’s conviction for making false statements. The defendant became obsessed with Bill Cosby and decided to go to the entertainer’s defense. The defendant emailed Andrea Constand’s civil attorney and threatened… Continue reading United States v. Johnson

Commonwealth v. Heidelberg
Pennsylvania Superior Court

An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the lawfulness of the defendant’s arrest and the denial of his suppression motion. A police officer saw the defendant seated in the driver’s seat of a car. The officer recognized the defendant and the vehicle from a prior arrest. The officer radioed police dispatch, which… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Heidelberg

Commonwealth v. Moye
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed a former juvenile lifer’s sentence in the defendant’s third direct appeal. The Court remanded the case after the defendant’s first two appeals, finding the trial court abused its discretion when the court sentenced the defendant. In this appeal, the defendant’s primary argument was that the trial court imposed a de… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Moye

Commonwealth v. Dunkins
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed an order denying the suppression of wireless internet network (WiFi) connection records obtained by the police without a warrant. After two students were robbed in their dorm room at Moravian College, campus police requested the college’s Director of Systems Engineering to analyze its WiFi connection records and compile a list… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Dunkins

Commonwealth v. Wharton
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

In this capital case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of the defendant’s fourth PCRA petition. The defendant raised three issues on appeal. First, the Court held that, because the PCRA court determined that the claims in the defendant’s petition did not necessitate an evidentiary hearing, he was not entitled to the appointment of… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Wharton

Commonwealth v. Pacheco
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court revisited cell site location information (CSLI) and the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Carpenter in holding that orders issued by a trial court that authorized the disclosure of the defendant’s CSLI were the functional equivalent of search warrants and must comport with the Fourth Amendment. Since the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Pacheco

United States v. Shulick
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit affirmed the defendant’s convictions for conspiracy, fraud, embezzlement, and other crimes. The defendant owned a for-profit education company through which he contracted with the School District of Philadelphia to run a school. But instead of spending the money he received on the students as the contract required, he embezzled funds for his… Continue reading United States v. Shulick