Questions Answered by Zak Taylor Goldstein

Q: If a child accidentally shoots another child with a gun obtained by the child’s mom’s boyfriend, is the mom liable?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on May 26, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
Probably not criminally, although a creative prosecutor could probably come up with something. There could be civil liability.

Q: Do you have to be made aware of a search warrant? Are you privy to the inventory (or copy of it) found in the search?

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and White Collar Crime for Pennsylvania on
Answered on May 26, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
If you are charged with a crime, the prosecution will have to turn the warrant over in discovery. If you can prove that the warrant is defective or that it contains intentional lies, then the results of the search could be suppressed. You do not have to be provided with a copy of a warrant in advance or at the time of the search.

Q: What Pennsylvania case law allows for a police officer to search a vehicle when the subjects admits to having drugs

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on May 26, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
A police officer can search a car when they have probable cause to do so under Commonwealth v. Gary. If they have probable cause to search the car, they can search the entire car and any containers therein. Probable cause means that a reasonable person would expect to find contraband as a result of the search. If you tell an officer that you have drugs in the car, they can search the entire car and any containers in the car.

Q: How long does defendant have to file an appeal if new evidence is avaiable to present that wasn't available at hearing.

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Pennsylvania on
Answered on May 26, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
If you have already been convicted, you have one year from the date of sentencing or when the appeals were finished if you appealed to file a PCRA based on after-discovered evidence. If you are outside of that one year deadline, you have sixty days to file a PCRA from when you learn about the new evidence.

Q: so my son was charged with 2 counts of CA when he was 15 years old. The charges were for indecent touching of a minor.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on May 1, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
Depending on the charges, you may be able to file for an expungement. Speak with a local lawyer.

Q: Can he sue? What can he do?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on May 1, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
No, not if he was convicted of the crime.

Q: In the State of Pennsylvania can you seal a misdemeanor theft of unlawful taking (1st degree) if it was your first time?

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on May 1, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
No, you cannot seal a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Q: Is it illegal for a 20 year old to date a 17 year old?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Apr 15, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
No, that is not illegal.

Q: On an appeal, do I need to have a criminal attorney from the county in which the original trial took place?

1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law and Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
No, criminal appeals are all done through e-filing, and they consist mostly of writing briefs to make arguments based on the record. Sometimes there are oral arguments that could require travel, but many appeals do not involve oral argument. You can hire any attorney who is licensed in the jurisdiction.

Q: Hello I got charged with false report in Pennsylvania would I go to jail for that

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
It depends on your record and what the report related to. If you have no prior record, you may be eligible for a diversionary program like ARD. If you have a bad prior record and falsely accused someone of a serious crime, the consequences could be more severe.

Q: Title 18 2t06 drug delivery resulting in death....minimum sentence...does it apply if acused pleads guilty...

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
There is no mandatory minimum sentence, but drug delivery resulting in death is a form of homicide punishable by up to 40 years in jail. It is basically the same as third degree murder. The sentencing guidelines call for years in jail even for a plea. However, she may have negotiated something. In most cases, prosecutors want real jail time for drug delivery resulting in death, but the final decision is up to the judge unless the case was negotiated.

Q: Can I purchase a firearm in PA with a marijuana charge when I was a minor ?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
It depends on the exact charge and disposition. Most juvenile adjudications do in fact prevent you from owning a firearm in Pennsylvania.

Q: How long can they hold you in jail?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
He could be held for the maximum possible penalty for the charges for which he is on probation. For example, if he is on probation for an M2, he could be held for two years. With that said, in most counties, the judge will schedule a hearing on a technical violation within a month or two. In some counties, it is less than that. If he retains an attorney, an attorney may be able to get something scheduled sooner for him depending on the county.

Q: My friend is being charged with having a handgun .. He has a felony on his record. Aggrivated assult with a gun .

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
That is a serious charge, particularly if he has felony convictions including murder. A felon in possession could face up to twenty years in jail on the 6105 charge and even more time on the other gun charges with which he is also probably charged.

Q: As a SVP is there a way to get help paying for polygraphs while in treatment through public defender as I am indigent?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
You should talk to the public defender about whether you really have to register as an SVP at this point. The SVP portion of the SORNA statute was found unconstitutional by the Superior Court. There may be a petition you can file to challenge the requirement, and the public defender may be pursuing those for free. You could also hire a lawyer to file one. You should continue to register until the issue is resolved, however.

Q: Can my husband be sentenced without his lawyer present??

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
No, you cannot be sentenced without your lawyer present unless you don't have a lawyer and have decided to proceed pro se. This would be grounds for a new sentencing hearing on appeal or through a PCRA.

Q: Does a conviction for 'falsifying a gov. document' alone fall under the term fraud?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
You probably need to speak with an attorney who specializes in these types of contracts and registration documents. The term fraud could have a specific meaning on the form, or they could be asking about fraud in a general sense. In a general sense, it could involve lying on government documents, but the fraud that you would think would apply to a contractor would be more like taking someone's money and not performing the work. I think you probably need to retain an attorney who works in...

Q: What if an officer signs a criminal complaint under penalty of PA title 18 S 4904 that he KNOWS is untrue?

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
If an officer lies in police paperwork, that could be used to impeach the officer at a motion to suppress or trial. Depending on how big the lie/mistake/omission is, the error could have an impact on whether the judge or jury believes the officer. In most cases, officers do not face any kind of charges or damage to their careers unless they are caught on video engaging in police brutality or falsifying evidence. But it could be helpful to your case. Speak with your attorney about it.

Q: My husband and I were drinking, and the next thing I remember was waking up to a pool Of blood with my head cut open.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
There is not much an attorney can do for you, but your husband needs a good one. The police and District Attorney have decided to move forward with the case. You can tell them the truth - you do not know what happened, you could have fallen, you do not want them to pursue charges, and you are not going to testify against your husband. They can, of course, put you on the stand and insist that you testify, but they often do not want to be too aggressive with potential victims. I would really...

Q: My girlfriends Ex is telling their daughter he does not want her or her sisters to be around me.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Pennsylvania on
Answered on Mar 25, 2018
Zak Taylor Goldstein's answer
This does not really seem to involve criminal law, but these situations can be messy. Your girlfriend may need a family lawyer to get custody agreement or order in place. It's not really up to the ex who the children spend time with when your girlfriend has custody of them.

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