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This page contains significant/relevant cases that were incorporated into annual LEGAL UPDATES training.

12/25/16: Act 111 of 2016 (10/26/16), HB 1581, PN 3089 New offense – Strangulation, 18 Pa.C.S. § 2718; Physical injury not an element of the offense; Consent is an affirmative defense; Grading can be M2, F2 or F1; F2: Victim is family or household member, care dependent person; F2: Crime committed “in conjunction with sexual violence [or] human trafficking”; F1: Defendant was subject to restraining order, used an instrument of crime or has prior F2 conviction
11/03/16: Act 136 of 2016 (11/3/16), HB 1703, PN 2849; Operation of ATV to be pursuant to age recommendation warning label; Reenactment of language for operators age 8 and 9; Youthful operator has five days to present safety certificate to issuing authority; Technical changes to Vehicle Code Section 7743 regarding mufflers and “sound” control

10/28/16: Act 111 (HB 1581 of 2016) An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in assault, providing for the offense of strangulation.

09/19/16: Act 101(HB 950 of 2015) An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions relating to operation of vehicles, further providing for traffic-control signals and for expiration of automated red light enforcement systems provisions. If a sensor(s) at a traffic control signal fails to detect the presence of a vehicle, the operator of that vehicle shall stop in the same manner as at a stop sign.

06/23/16: Birchfield v. North Dakota (United States Supreme Court), The Fourth Amendment permits warrantless breath tests incident to arrest for DUI, but not warrantless blood tests.
05/17/16: Act 16 of 2016 Medical Marijuana Act - see document prepared by David J. Drumheller, Esq. of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute
03/04/16: Commonwealth v. Davis (Superior Court) Live-in girlfriend has the authority to give consent to search apartment.
02/09/16: Commonwealth v. Benito (Superior Court) Defendant did not have the privilege of entering his spouse’s residence after she told him not to enter, changed the locks, and she had exclusive control of the property.
02/08/16: Commonwealth v. Irvin (Superior Court) Searching of trash cans without a warrant is lawful as long as the trash cans were placed out for pickup in an area accessible to the public.
02/02/16: Commonwealth v. Eichler (Superior Court) Police officer going onto the curtilage of defendant’s property did not violate the 4th Amendment, because the police officer had authority to enter onto the property for a police investigation and limited his movement to only areas that visitors would be expected to go on the grounds.

02/02/16: Commonwealth v. Roberts (Superior Court) Police officers engaged Defendant in a mere encounter, he fled on foot. Defendant discarded contraband. The police were legally allowed to obtain this evidence.
Act 55 of 2015
An Act amending Title 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions relating to operation of vehicles, further providing for obedience to authorized persons directing traffic; and providing for drivers of certified escort vehicles; in other required equipment, further providing for identification of certain vehicles; and, in size, weight and load, further providing for scope and application of chapter and for conditions of permits and security for damages.
10/22/15: United States v. Slocumb (4th Circuit) Police officers did not have reasonable suspicion to detain and evidence was suppressed.