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Criminal Law

Suppression motion denied in cigarette trafficking case (access required)

Appellant’s conviction for trafficking cigarettes is affirmed. The trial court correctly ruled that the circumstances of the initial traffic stop (for illegal window tint) justified an ongoing detention and a canine sniff that led to the discovery of untaxed cigarettes. ...

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Informant’s identification of suspect by single photo approved (access required)

Where an informant identified, from a single photograph, the person from whom he was to make an undercover drug purchase, the trial court correctly ruled that this was an admissible out-of-court identification. Appellant’s conviction for distributing a Schedule I or ...

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Waiver of presentence report objections ineffective assistance (access required)

Where a woman charged with possession with intent to distribute had several meritorious objections to her presentence report that were waived by her trial counsel, and there was a reasonable probability that her sentence would have been reduced if the ...

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Fair market repair costs include contractor’s profit (access required)

Where appellant damaged a contractor’s property and the contractor did his own repairs, the “fair market repair costs” include the contractor’s profit for determining whether the damage exceeded the $1,000 threshold for a felony. Overview “Though previously undecided in a ...

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Abduction charge reinstated after oral ‘nolle pros’ (access required)

Where the trial court orally granted the commonwealth’s motion to nolle pros appellant’s abduction charge because the victim-witness was not in the courtroom, this did not prevent the court from allowing the commonwealth to withdraw the motion when she appeared ...

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Witness who caused mistrial held in contempt (access required)

Where a witness appeared at a felony assault trial “while voluntarily intoxicated” and gave “legally incompetent as well as unfairly prejudicial testimony throughout her testimony[,]” causing the court to declare a mistrial and to hold the witness in criminal contempt, ...

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Simultaneous concurrent sentences remain distinct (access required)

Where the defendant was sentenced to 26 months’ imprisonment for a drug conviction, which he served while also serving five other concurrent sentences, the concurrent sentences remain separate and distinct terms of imprisonment even though they are served simultaneously. Background ...

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