Commonwealth vs. Keith Alexander, 2020 WL 7567601 (2020)

New Pa Supreme Court case changes the standard for searches of automobiles. Police can no longer search cars without a warrant unless there is both probable cause to believe a crime has occurred and emergency circumstances that require immediate action.

This new law will change how Police officers will conduct traffic stops and searches of automobiles in Pennsylvania. The law will also apply retroactively to cases. If you have been stopped by police and charged with a crime from items found in your car, please call for free consultation today.

Jonathan Consadene – 610-986-1116

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Extends Court Closures

Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced that all Pennsylvania courts – including trial and intermediate appellate courts – are closed to the public for non-essential functions through at least April 30, 2020.

The statewide court closure also includes magisterial district courts, Philadelphia Municipal Court, and Pittsburgh Municipal Court, Arraignment Division.

In addition, the Court has suspended all time calculations and deadlines relevant to court cases or other judicial business through April 30, 2020. The Court has also authorized and encouraged the use of advanced communication technology to conduct emergency court proceedings.

In the Courts of Common Pleas, the Order outlines essential functions as: 1. Emergency bail review and habeas corpus hearings; 2. Gagnon 1 hearings; 3. Bench warrant hearings pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 150; Juvenile delinquency detention; Juvenile emergency shelter and detention hearings; Temporary protection from abuse hearings; Emergency petitions for child custody; Emergency petitions for guardianship; Civil mental health reviews (50 P.S. §302) Any pleadings or motions relating to public health concerns and involving immediate and irreparable harm; and Any other function deemed by a president judge to be essential consistent with constitutional requirements.

A link of the Supreme Court Decision can be found below:

Pennsylvania Courts Temporary Closed

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued an Order on March 18, 2020 closing all Pennsylvania Courts to the Public as of March 19, 2020 and lasting through at least April 3, 2020, subject to certain exceptions. A copy of the Order can be found at the following link. If you have questions on how this affects your traffic or criminal case, please give me a call at 610-986-1116.

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