Commonwealth v. Given

The Superior Court began the opinion in Commonwealth v. Given by letting the appellant know all the ways in which he waived his claims and filed a bad brief. But the Court sua sponte addressed a sentencing issue. The appellant was convicted of two counts of DUI, one count for having marijuana in his bloodstream, … Read more

Commonwealth v. Sami

In Commonwealth v. Sami, the Commonwealth appealed the trial court’s denial of a motion in limine to admit other acts evidence in a murder case. On appeal, the Commonwealth argued that the admission of drug paraphernalia evidence found in the defendant’s home was admissible under Rule 404(b) to show the defendant had “access to, knowledge … Read more

Commonwealth v. Ballard

In Commonwealth v. Ballard, the defendant was found in possession of multiple credit cards that were alleged to be fraudulent because the information contained in the magnetic strips did not match the names and numbers imprinted on the cards themselves. After a bench trial, the defendant was convicted of access device fraud and identity theft. … Read more

Commonwealth v. Carlson

In Commonwealth v. Carlson, prior to trial, the public defender (“PD”) filed a motion to withdraw, asserting that the defendant’s job rendered him ineligible for the PD’s services. The trial court granted the motion. Before trial, the defendant asserted that he was unable to afford counsel, but the trial court did not conduct an inquiry … Read more

Commonwealth v. Asher

While Commonwealth v. Asher was pending in the Superior Court, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rendered its decision in Commonwealth v. Torsilieri, 232 A.3d 567 (Pa. 2020). In Torsilieri, the Supreme Court was asked to decide whether SORNA’s inherent irrebuttable presumption that sex offenders are likely to recidivate violates due process. In Torsilieri, the Supreme Court … Read more

Commonwealth v. Smith

In Commonwealth v. Smith, the defendant was convicted of robbery and related offenses. After the Superior Court affirmed the convictions, he sought allocatur. Before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on the petition, the defendant filed a PCRA petition. The PCRA court acknowledged that the filing was premature but chose to accept it as of the … Read more

Commonwealth v. Leone

In Commonwealth v. Leone, the Superior Court held that the defendant’s designation as a sexually violent predator (SVP) was constitutional. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court previously held in Commonwealth v. Butler, 226 A.3d 972 (Pa. 2020), that the mechanism by which defendants are determined to be SVPs is constitutional.

Commonwealth v. Reslink

In Commonwealth v. Reslink, the defendant appealed his sentence after he was convicted of molesting his nephew. The Superior Court held that the trial court did not err when, at sentencing, the court did not merge two counts of indecent assault. The Court found that one count was based on a course of conduct, while … Read more

Commonwealth v. Donoughe

In Commonwealth v. Donoughe, the defendant was charged with DUI and accepted into the ARD program. Pursuant to a written policy, ninety days after the defendant was accepted into ARD, the Pennsylvania State Police destroyed the mobile recording video of the arrest. But the defendant got kicked out of ARD and proceeded to trial. He … Read more

Z.F.1. v. Bethanna

In Z.F.1. v. Bethanna, the Superior Court heard the Defender Association of Philadelphia’s appeal after a jury found it liable for damages for failing to provide adequate representation as guardian ad litem to two children in foster care. The Defender Association asked the Court to hold that a guardian ad litem should be immune to … Read more