Rape Charges

Being accused of committing a Rape can have devastating, far-reaching and irreversible consequences to an individual’s reputation, profession and liberty.  Rape charges / cases are often filled with emotional, factual, and credibility issues that a criminal defense attorney must effectively analyze and use to his client’s benefit before a judge or jury.

West Chester Pennsylvania Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Attorney
West Chester Pennsylvania Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Attorney

Under the Rape statute in Pennsylvania, there are different ways in which the crime of Rape can occur and therefore different elements that must be proven by the Commonwealth beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can result. Each different legal term in the statute has a specific definition that must be understood and analyzed in detail in comparison with the facts of a case before a proper and complete defense can be prepared.

If you or a loved one has been accused, charged or convicted of a crime or rape charges and are in need of legal help contact criminal defense attorney Mike DiCindio directly.

                          18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3121.  Rape.

(a)  Offense defined.–A person commits a felony of the first degree when the person engages in sexual intercourse with a complainant:

(1)  By forcible compulsion.

(2)  By threat of forcible compulsion that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable resolution.

(3)  Who is unconscious or where the person knows that the complainant is unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring.

(4)  Where the person has substantially impaired the complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the purpose of preventing resistance.

(5)  Who suffers from a mental disability which renders the complainant incapable of consent.


The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale

 

Merger of Criminal Offenses

Many times individuals enter a lawyer’s office wondering why they have been charged with numerous counts of the same or similar offense. While it is not always the case, it is important to know what crimes will or may “merge” for sentencing purposes after trial and conviction.  The legal explanation of merger of criminal offenses is detailed below, but the simple way to describe it is that when one crime merges with another, the defendant will only be sentenced on one – showing the obvious necessity of understanding this concept in practice.

To determine whether crimes merge for sentencing purposes, Merger of criminal offenses is governed by 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9765, titled, “Merger of Sentences”, which provides as follows:

No crime shall merge for sentencing purposes unless the crimes arise from a single criminal act and all of the statutory elements of one offense are included in the statutory elements of the other offense.  Where crimes merge for sentencing purposes, the court may sentence the defendant only on the higher graded offense. 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 9765.

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West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer

Each case, crime, and factual scenario must be addressed.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has explained the basis for isolating the particular portion of a statute at issue when determining whether two crimes merge.  The Baldwin Court stated:

“Therefore, while Section 9765 indeed focuses on an examination of “statutory elements,” we cannot ignore the simple legislative reality that individual criminal statutes often overlap, and proscribe in the alternative several different categories of conduct under a single banner. See, e.g., Aggravated Assault, 18 Pa.C.S. § 2702 (defining seven distinct violations of law); Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse, 18 Pa.C.S. § 3123 (setting forth eight separate violations). Consequently, in such cases, we caution that trial courts must take care to determine which particular “offenses,” i.e. violations of law, are at issue in a particular case. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Johnson, 874 A.2d 66, 71 n. 2 (Pa.Super.2005) (recognizing that a particular subsection of a criminal statute may merge with another crime as a lesser-included offense even though a different subsection of that same statute may not).  Com. v. Baldwin, 985 A.2d 830, 836 n.6 (Pa. 2009).”

In a criminal case, it is important to have an attorney who understands these concepts and knows when to raise these issues and how to effectively and persuasively argue this to a Court if it is a situation where the Commonwealth does not agree.  If you or a loved one has been accused, charged or convicted of a crime and are in need of legal help contact Mike DiCindio directly.

 


 

The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale

Aggravated Assault by Vehicle while DUI

In previous blog posts the charge of Aggravated Assault by Vehicle was discussed. A related but more severe offense that can be found under the Pennsylvania Code is the offense of Aggravated Assault by Vehicle while DUI.  The statute for Aggravated Assault by Vehicle while DUI specifically requires a defendant to have caused serious bodily injury to another person AND that the injury was caused negligently as a result of a violation of the DUI / Driving Under the Influence statute. If these elements are met, the person has committed a Felony of the Second Degree.

Michael D. DiCindio Chester County Criminal and Personal Injury Attorney
Michael D. DiCindio Chester County Criminal and Personal Injury Attorney

In many of these cases, the major issue in these types of cases often is not whether there was serious bodily injury or whether or not there was a DUI offense, instead the crux of the argument becomes whether the DUI was a direct and substantial factor in causing the accident. In these cases is not uncommon that the Commonwealth as well as the defense teams will employ/consult and/or hire experts who will either support or reject the notion that the DUI was a direct and substantial factor in the causation.

It is important in these cases, as in any other that evidence be preserved quickly, interviews of any witnesses be conducted in a timely manner, and experts be consulted and hired when appropriate.

If you or a loved one is facing prosecution for an allegedly violation of the Aggravated Assault by Vehicle while DUI statute, contact Mike DiCindio directly to discuss your case and begin planning your defense.

Title 75 § 3735.1.  Aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence (Pennsylvania)

(a)  Offense defined.–Any person who negligently causes serious bodily injury to another person as the result of a violation of section 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance) and who is convicted of violating section 3802 commits a felony of the second degree when the violation is the cause of the injury.

(b)  Definition.–(Deleted by amendment).

 


 

The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale

Aggravated Assault by Vehicle

While many car accidents are just that, accidents, there is a few circumstances that may turn an accident into a criminal proceeding. Aggravated Assault by Vehicle is a very serious offense which has serious ramifications to the accused’s reputation, livelihood, and future.

When an individual causes serious bodily injury to another person while engaging a violation of any law of the Commonwealth of

West Chester Criminal Lawyer
Chester County Criminal Defense

Pennsylvania which applies to driving will be guilty of a Felony of the Third Degree.

The key distinction between an accident and a case becoming a criminal matter is if the violation occurred with recklessness or with gross negligence. That becomes a question in which our case law in Pennsylvania has provided guidance. Nonetheless, these are serious situations and an allegation of committing Aggravated Assault by Vehicle can have a devastating impact on the individual accused. An aggressive defense must be mounted immediately in order to quickly and completely preserve evidence, evaluate potential defenses, and consult with expert witnesses about whether there are valid defenses to the allegations.

If you or a loved one is facing prosecution for an allegedly violation of the Aggravated Assault by Vehicle statute, contact Mike DiCindio directly to discuss your case and begin planning your defense.

 

 

Title 75 § 3732.1.  Aggravated assault by vehicle. (Pennsylvania)

(a)  Offense.–Any person who recklessly or with gross negligence causes serious bodily injury to another person while engaged in the violation of any law of this Commonwealth or municipal ordinance applying to the operation or use of a vehicle or to the regulation of traffic, except section 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or controlled substance), is guilty of aggravated assault by vehicle, a felony of the third degree when the violation is the cause of the injury.

(b)  Sentencing.–

(1)  In addition to any other penalty provided by law, a person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) may be sentenced to an additional term not to exceed two years’ confinement if at trial the prosecution proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the offense occurred in an active work zone.

(2)  In addition to any other penalty provided by law, a person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) as the result of a violation of section 3325 (relating to duty of driver on approach of emergency vehicle) or 3327 (relating to duty of driver in emergency response areas) and who is convicted of violating section 3325 or 3327 may be sentenced to an additional term not to exceed two years’ confinement when the violation resulted in serious bodily injury.

(3)  The prosecution must indicate intent to proceed under this section in the indictment or information which commences the prosecution.

(4)  The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing, under 42 Pa.C.S. § 2154 (relating to adoption of guidelines for sentencing), shall provide for a sentencing enhancement for an offense under this section when the violation occurred in an active work zone or was the result of a violation of section 3325 or 3327.


 

The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale

“SORNA” Act (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act)

Many sexually related offenses fall under the “SORNA” Act (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act). SORNA states which offenses create a requirement for a convicted individual to register as a sex offender.  SORNA also provides the length of registration that is required depending on the charge.

Because of the intricacy of the Act as well as the severity of the consequences, there is much litigation in the appellate courts relating to different parts of the Act.  Whenever possible, an experienced criminal defense attorney will make every possible legal effort in order to secure an outcome that does not include registration as a sex offender.   The Act also determines the length of the registration requirements, of which there are three – Annual Registration for 15 years, Semiannual Registration for 25 years; Quarterly for life.

Some of the offenses that fall under the SORNA Act are:

 

Rape

IDSI

Kidnapping

Sexual Assault

Incest

Aggravated Indecent Assault

Indecent Assault

Sexual Abuse of Children

Unlawful Contact

Obscene Materials

Statutory Sexual Assault

False Imprisonment

Unlawful Restraint

(Note: this does not include all offenses covered and not every subsection of each above listed offense implicated the SORNA Act)


 

The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale

 

 

Robbery or Burglary in Pennsylvania

 

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Chester County Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael D. DiCindio, Esq.

Many people commonly describe their home being broken into as “them getting robbed.” What many do not know is that, generally, this scenario in Pennsylvania is legally a Burglary.   Whether a crime is a robbery or a burglary in Pennsylvania boils down to the specific facts involved. A burglary in Pennsylvania occurs when an individual enters a building without permission and with the intent to commit a crime within. A robbery in Pennsylvania is able to be boiled down to a person using some level of force, or threat of force, during the course of committing a theft. Therefore, if your home is broken into, and your things are stolen, but you are not there or involved – you were not “robbed.”

There, of course, are different factual scenarios that would fit each crime depending on the circumstances, further, there are different variations within the statutes for each (the statutes can be found below). In the end, it is important to know that whether you or someone you love has been charged with robbery or burglary in Pennsylvania and the differences between each.  The defenses differ for both, but there is no doubt they are facing heavy potential penalties and a felony being on their record. Contact DiCindio Law, LLC to speak to Mike DiCindio directly and begin preparing your defense today.

 

18 Pa.C.S § 3701.  Robbery.

(a)  Offense defined.

(1)  A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he:

(i)  inflicts serious bodily injury upon another;

(ii)  threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate serious bodily injury;

(iii)  commits or threatens immediately to commit any felony of the first or second degree;

(iv)  inflicts bodily injury upon another or threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury;

(v)  physically takes or removes property from the person of another by force however slight; or

(vi)  takes or removes the money of a financial institution without the permission of the financial institution by making a demand of an employee of the financial institution orally or in writing with the intent to deprive the financial institution thereof.

(2)  An act shall be deemed “in the course of committing a theft” if it occurs in an attempt to commit theft or in flight after the attempt or commission.

(3)  For purposes of this subsection, a “financial institution” means a bank, trust company, savings trust, credit union or similar institution.

 

18 Pa.C.S. § 3502.  Burglary.

(a)  Offense defined.–A person commits the offense of burglary if, with the intent to commit a crime therein, the person:

(1)  enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof that is adapted for overnight accommodations in which at the time of the offense any person is present;

(2)  enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof that is adapted for overnight accommodations in which at the time of the offense no person is present;

(3)  enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof that is not adapted for overnight accommodations in which at the time of the offense any person is present; or

(4)  enters a building or occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof that is not adapted for overnight accommodations in which at the time of the offense no person is present.

(b)  Defense.–It is a defense to prosecution for burglary if any of the following exists at the time of the commission of the offense:

(1)  The building or structure was abandoned.

(2)  The premises are open to the public.

(3)  The actor is licensed or privileged to enter.


 

The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant.  The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments.  These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances.  It is intended solely for informational purposes.

Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale