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Weekly Caselaw Updates

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Commonwealth v. White

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the defendant’s sentence for driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked (“DWS”). The defendant relied on Commonwealth v. Eid and claimed that Section 1543(b)(1)(i) of the statute was unconstitutionally vague. The Court distinguished Eid and held that although Section 1543(b)(1)(i) contains some of the…

Commonwealth v. White
Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the defendant’s sentence for driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked (“DWS”). The defendant relied on Commonwealth v. Eid and claimed that Section 1543(b)(1)(i) of the statute was unconstitutionally vague. The Court distinguished Eid and held that although Section 1543(b)(1)(i) contains some of the same language highlighted in Eid,… Continue reading Commonwealth v. White

State v. Comer
New Jersey Supreme Court

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s holding in these consolidated cases will enact a seismic change in the sentencing of juveniles convicted of murder in the Garden State. Two juveniles were sentenced under a statute that required them to serve a minimum of 30 years in prison with no possibility of parole. The Court assessed that… Continue reading State v. Comer

The New Jersey Appellate Division heard cross-appeals concerning the defendant’s sentence after convictions for leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident and endangering an injured victim. The State contended that the sentencing court’s decision to impose concurrent state prison terms was illegal because the statutes defining both crimes require that the prison terms… Continue reading State v. Herrera

Commonwealth v. Renninger
Pennsylvania Superior Court

An en banc panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled against the defendant in his challenges to his convictions for sexual abuse of two minors. But the Court vacated his judgment of sentence, finding that the sentencing court illegally altered the sentence without proper notice. The Commonwealth filed bills of information against the defendant, alleging… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Renninger

State v. Rivera
New Jersey Supreme Court

In this appeal, the New Jersey Supreme Court considered whether a defendant’s youth could serve as an aggravating factor in sentencing. The defendant pled guilty to aggravated manslaughter and conspiracy to commit robbery. At sentencing, the defendant was nineteen years old with no prior criminal history, no juvenile record, and no arrests. The sentencing court… Continue reading State v. Rivera

Commonwealth v. McCabe
Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court untangled a messy knot involving ARD, problem-solving courts, restitution, and probation. The defendant was admitted into Veterans Treatment Court (“VTC”), a problem-solving court created by the county pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 916. To enter VTC, the defendant pled guilty, and sentencing was held in abeyance while he participated in the… Continue reading Commonwealth v. McCabe

Commonwealth v. Conley
Pennsylvania Superior Court

Relying on Commonwealth v. Simmons, the Pennsylvania Superior Court vacated the the defendant’s sentence for a violation of probation. While on parole, the defendant violated his terms of supervision. He did not contest that violation. Prior to Simmons, the trial court anticipatorily revoked a consecutive probationary sentence the defendant had yet to commence. It was… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Conley

The defendant claimed that the trial court erred when it: 1. granted the Commonwealth’s motion in limine; 2. denied the defendant’s motion in limine; and 3. relied on impermissible factors to impose an excessive sentence.

United States v. Jacobs
3rd Circuit

The Third Circuit affirmed the defendant’s convictions but vacated the sentence for distributing and conspiring to distribute fentanyl and heroin that caused someone’s overdose death. The defendant made claims about the sufficiency of the evidence, the jury instructions, the jury panel, and the sentence. First, in challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence, the Court… Continue reading United States v. Jacobs

The trial court resentenced Mr. Harvey, a juvenile lifer, to a term of years for a homicide conviction. At both his original sentencing and resentencing, he also received the statutory maximum for an attempted murder charge. Originally, the sentences were ordered to run concurrently. At resentencing, the court ordered the sentence for attempted murder to… Continue reading Commonwealth v. Harvey