Activities related to child pornography such as photographing, filming and possessing child pornography are prohibited by Pennsylvania state law and federal law. The mere accusation of a child pornography crime can cause the accused to live with a social stigma in addition to facing legal consequences. A conviction for a child pornography offense in Pennsylvania carries serious penalties and if it involves the internet, the convicted may face stiff federal penalties as well.
A previous blog post discussed the scope of a valid search warrant. The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. Generally, law enforcement must obtain permission from the court to search a person or their property. However, there are some exceptions to this requirement, including consent, emergency, searches incident to arrest and plain view.
Pennsylvanians and others across the country who are under reasonable suspicion of committing a crime may be subject to search and seizure. Criminal defendants are innocent until proven guilty and are shielded from unreasonable searches and seizures by the Fourth Amendment. Any evidence that is obtained from an unlawful search and seizure is considered "fruit of the poisonous tree" and cannot be introduced in court.
A previous blog post discussed the possible penalties for extortion in Pennsylvania. A conviction for extortion may result in a fine of up to $15,000 and up to seven years' imprisonment, depending on the value of the property that was extorted. There are some legal defenses to the crime of extortion in Pennsylvania which may be asserted depending on the circumstances of the case.