Much Ado About Nothing?: Montville, New Jersey’s Underage Drinking Ordinance and What’s Left of the 4th Amendment

There’s been some discussion of a new ordinance in Montville, N.J. that supposedly allows police officers to enter homes at will (or at least upon probable cause) that underage consumption of alcohol is occurring on the premises. The news reports have some truth in them, but are also not complete. Under current state law, it … Continue reading Much Ado About Nothing?: Montville, New Jersey’s Underage Drinking Ordinance and What’s Left of the 4th Amendment

A Brief Overview of the Criminal Process

After charges are filed, a date will be set for the preliminary arraignment. One will also have to be fingerprinted and photographed. At the preliminary arraignment the Magisterial District Justice will inform you of the charges against you, advise you of a right to an attorney, set bail, and give you a copy of the … Continue reading A Brief Overview of the Criminal Process

I left my firearm in my suitcase, I do have a permit to carry, and was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport and charged, now what?

First of all, be thankful that this occurred in Philadelphia. Being the ex-Thin Line Blue, a Professional Philadelphia Police Officer, long ago, we preferred real crime, which is why you are only being charged a summary, for it could have been much worse. A summary offense on the totem pole of charges is the very … Continue reading I left my firearm in my suitcase, I do have a permit to carry, and was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport and charged, now what?

Search Warrant needed to search seized Smartphones

Pennsylvania Superior Court held that a search warrant must be obtained to search Smartphones seized search incident to arrest. “The specific issue that we address in this case is whether a police officer may search the data contained on a modern day cellular telephone, often referred to as a “smart phone” due to the computer-like … Continue reading Search Warrant needed to search seized Smartphones

Remain silent or make admissions?

We have the best judicial system in the world. Under the United States Constitution and Pennsylvania Constitution, we have the right to remain silent. The right to remain silent also means one cannot be forced to testify against oneself. “Defendant's prearrest silence may not be admitted into evidence when the defendant does not testify at … Continue reading Remain silent or make admissions?

What is a Preliminary Hearing?

            The preliminary hearing is one of the most important pre-trial criminal proceedings because it is an invaluable tool to learn what the Commonwealth’s case is, what the police officers will say and what they want, along with what witnesses will say against you.             The preliminary hearings main purpose is to make sure that … Continue reading What is a Preliminary Hearing?

I just got notice for a preliminary arraignment, what is a preliminary arraignment?

It is very upsetting when ones liberty is placed in jeopardy. However, of all the criminal proceedings, a preliminary arraignment is a minor proceeding. All the preliminary arraignment is, is for the Magisterial District Judge to inform you: of your right to counsel, your charges, a copy of the criminal complaint and affidavit of probable … Continue reading I just got notice for a preliminary arraignment, what is a preliminary arraignment?

Pulled Over??? PAY ATTENTION !!! Pennsylvania Police DO NOT Need a Warrant to Search Your Vehicle !!!!

By Tom Beveridge .....  The Pa Supreme Court has ruled that cops DO NOT need a warrant to search your vehicle during a traffic stop if they have "reasonable" probable cause!!!!   What does this mean????? In the case of Commonwealth v. Gery, decided on April 29, 2014, Philly police pulled over a SUV because they … Continue reading Pulled Over??? PAY ATTENTION !!! Pennsylvania Police DO NOT Need a Warrant to Search Your Vehicle !!!!

Pennsylvania’s Marijuana Legislation – How Many Bills Are Now Up in Smoke?

By Tom Beveridge.         Recently, I found that nothing raises the hackles of Pennsylvanians like the discussion about the legalization of marijuana in the Commonwealth - be it for personal use or medical purposes.  Over the past two years, legislators in both the House and Senate introduced bills in support of each of these options.   However, … Continue reading Pennsylvania’s Marijuana Legislation – How Many Bills Are Now Up in Smoke?