Criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, the accused are often convicted in the court of public opinion long before being convicted in the court of law. This is especially true for those accused of violent crimes, such as murder, domestic assault and sex crimes. Attorney Bernard J. Brown is dedicated to protecting defendants' rights during the entire legal process and ensuring that they are informed of all their legal options.
The Philadelphia district attorney recently announced that certain criminal defendants will no longer have to pay cash bail. The district attorney's office hopes that this new policy will address socioeconomic and racial inequalities caused by the present pre-trial system. The district attorney notes that the cash bail system disproportionately affects low-income people and people of color.
A previous blog post discussed legal defenses to a child pornography offense in Pennsylvania. Defendants may avoid conviction if they accidentally viewed the prohibited material, if they possessed the material for a bona fide educational, scientific, governmental or judicial purpose or if the alleged victim was over the age of 18. The laws of criminal procedure, such as the exclusionary rule, apply to criminal defendants facing child pornography as well as other criminal charges.
A previous blog post discussed the Megan's Law registration requirement in Pennsylvania. Certain sex offenders who have been classified as sexually violent predators must register with the Pennsylvania Police Department for either ten years or for life, depending on the underlying offense. Although those convicted of a child pornography offense are not typically considered sexually violent predators, those who have multiple convictions for offenses related to sexual abuse of a child based on child pornography charges may be required to register and provide personal information to the public such as their names, home and employment addresses, photos and license plate numbers.
A previous blog post discussed the consequences of a child pornography conviction in Pennsylvania. Photographing, filming and possessing child pornography are prohibited by both federal and Pennsylvania state law. A conviction related to child pornography carries not only a social stigma but also serious legal consequences, including a prison sentence of up to ten years.