State v. Oguta

The New Jersey Appellate Division confronted the intersection of a justification defense and N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5(d), which prohibits possession of a weapon “under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for such lawful uses as it may have.” The trial court refused to instruct the jury on self-defense regarding that charge. The Appellate Division reversed. The Court noted that … Read more

Commonwealth v. Wroten

The Pennsylvania Superior Court heard the Commonwealth’s appeal from the lower court’s order dismissing the prosecution at the preliminary hearing level for failure to establish the crimes. Initially, the Court sidestepped an interesting question: Under McClelland, at a refile-level preliminary hearing, can the Commonwealth establish its case with the transcript from the earlier live hearing? … Read more

State v. Ahmad

The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s order, which found the defendant’s statement to police admissible. The 17-year-old defendant arrived at a hospital with gunshot wounds and told responding officers that he was the victim of a random shooting. After surgery, the police took him to the district, where he was ordered to … Read more

Commonwealth v. Campbell

The Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the defendant committed terroristic threats when he told the victim, “if you don’t give me my money, I’m going to finish you.” The Court distinguished this case from others where it held that the utterance was merely transitory anger. Here, the threat was sandwiched between actual physical violence.

Adams v. Pa. State Police

The Commonwealth Court rejected the petitioner’s application to declare that he was not required to register as a sex offender under SORNA I. The petitioner was placed on the original Megan’s Law when he was sentenced in 1998. Over the years, he was subject to Megan’s Law I, Megan’s Law II, Megan’s Law III, and … Read more

Commonwealth v. Wright

The defendant appealed to the Pennsylvania Superior Court after a jury convicted him of drug charges. The defendant had been sitting outside his brother’s house when his brother’s state parole agent visited. The parole agent knew that the defendant was also on state parole. The Court reiterated that parolees agree to endure warrantless searches based … Read more

Commonwealth v. Aulisio

The Pennsylvania Superior Court dealt with a juvenile-lifer resentencing under Montgomery/Miller. Here, the juvenile-lifer received two consecutive sentences of 30 years to life. He argued the sentence was illegal because it was a de facto life sentence. Based in large part on its prior holding in Commonwealth v. Foust, the Court affirmed the sentences. The … Read more

Commonwealth v. Jefferson

Jefferson appealed the denial of his suppression motion. He argued that the police lacked reasonable suspicion to stop his vehicle based solely on the inference that the registered owner of the vehicle, who had an outstanding warrant, would be found in the vehicle. An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed and based … Read more

State v. Ramirez

The New Jersey Appellate Division reversed an order from the Law Division that granted in part the State’s motion to redact the victim’s address from discovery. Defense counsel sought to have the victim’s address made available to his investigators but not the defendant. The Appellate Division held that the order failed to adequately consider the … Read more

Commonwealth v. Koger

The defendant appealed following revocation of parole for his conviction of two crimes. He challenged the sufficiency of the evidence, arguing the Commonwealth did not establish the specific conditions of his parole and probation. The Pennsylvania Superior Court agreed and vacated. The Court cited 42 Pa.C.S. § 9754(b) and held that because the VOP court … Read more