Possessing Instruments of Crimes

When an object or weapon is involved in the commission of a criminal offense, a common charge that will be levied against an individual is that of “Possessing Instruments of Crimes.” This charge is found in title 18 section 907 of the Pennsylvania Criminal Code.

What must be evaluated in these cases is whether or not the person intended to employ any instrument of crime in a criminal manner. Importantly, there need not be what is generally termed as a “weapon” in order to be found guilty of this offense. Unlike what most may generally think – a knife or a gun, an instrument of crime is defined as anything that fits with in the following definitions. First, anything specifically made or specifically adapted for criminal use. Second, anything used for criminal purposes and possessed by the actor under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful uses that it may have.  Finally, anything commonly used for criminal purposes and possessed by the actor under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful uses it may have.

An example of a situation where a normal everyday object may be viewed as an instrument of crime would be when a crowbar is used to break into somebody’s home or vehicle. That is not the lawful and intended purpose of a crowbar therefore it would fit under the definition of this crime.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime or are the subject of a case where Possession of an Instrument of Crime is charged contact Mike DiCindio, Esq. and DiCindio Law, LLC directly today.

 

  • 907.  Possessing instruments of crime.

(a)  Criminal instruments generally.–A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if he possesses any instrument of crime with intent to employ it criminally.

(b)  Possession of weapon.–A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if he possesses a firearm or other weapon concealed upon his person with intent to employ it criminally.

(c)  Unlawful body armor.–A person commits a felony of the third degree if in the course of the commission of a felony or in the attempt to commit a felony he uses or wears body armor or has in his control, custody or possession any body armor.

(d)  Definitions.–As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

“Body armor.”  Any protective covering for the body, or parts thereof, made of any polyaramid fiber or any resin-treated glass fiber cloth or any material or combination of materials made or designed to prevent, resist, deflect or deter the penetration thereof by ammunition, knife, cutting or piercing instrument or any other weapon.

Criminal Defense Chester County

West Chester Criminal Defense Lawyer

“Instrument of crime.”  Any of the following:

(1)  Anything specially made or specially adapted for criminal use.

(2)  Anything used for criminal purposes and possessed by the actor under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful uses it may have.

“Weapon.”  Anything readily capable of lethal use and possessed under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful uses which it may have. The term includes a firearm which is not loaded or lacks a clip or other component to render it immediately operable, and components which can readily be assembled into a weapon.


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 and personal injury attorney who represents individuals accused of crimes or injured by the negligence of others 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

Pre-charge Investigations . . . Do I need an attorney now?

West Chester Criminal Lawyer

West Chester Criminal Attorney

Every day in our society crimes are investigated by law enforcement officers and prosecutors. During the course of pre-charge investigations it is common for a police officer to attempt to speak to the “target” of the investigation. Other times, investigating grand juries may be utilized and subpoenas issued to require someone’s appearance before a grand jury. The Constitution states that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself in a criminal case. This is called the 5th Amendment privilege – and it needs to be protected.

When do I need to hire a criminal attorney?

Many individuals forget that an attorney isn’t only needed once someone is charged with a crime – often times it is critical to have counsel before charges are brought. The following list shows some of the benefits of having counsel when you believe or know that you are being investigated by law enforcement.

  •  It prevents the officers from speaking to the “target” directly – therefore, not providing law enforcement with any potentially incriminating statements.
  • It will allow for guided and thorough conversation about how one should act while being investigated. The tactics and tools that law enforcement use are wide ranging. An experienced criminal lawyer will be able to properly and completely inform the one being investigated on things to be aware of and how to protect your rights.
  • It will allow for you to properly being preparing your defense in the event that you are ultimately charged.  The earlier the better, as it is common for evidence to become harder to preserve with a longer delay.
  • It will prohibit others from attempting to speak to the target while acting on behalf of the government.
  • If an arrest is planned – it will allow your attorney time to speak to the government and agree on a turn-in date rather than being arrested when you are not expecting it.
  • In the event that cooperation with the government is the best strategy in your defense, your attorney can help to set up any communications with the government and ensure your rights are protected throughout the cooperation process.

This list is not exhaustive.  Pre-charge investigations can be drawn-out in time and incredibly involved.  If you believe you or a loved one may be the subject of one of these investigations it is a good decision to hire a criminal defense attorney to protect your interests and represent you through the process.

Contact West Chester Criminal Defense attorney Mike DiCindio to discuss your case today.

 


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 DiCindio 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.