Gun Charges Dismissed for Speedy Trial Violations

A Philadelphia Common Pleas court judge dismissed gun charges on Monday following a Motion to Dismiss filed by defense Attorney Pierre LaTour.  The judge agreed with Mr. LaTour that the delays in the client's case were the fault of the Philadelphia District Attorney's office failure to bring the client to court.  The delay was such that it required the court to dismiss all charges against the client prior to a jury trial.

The client was arrested in 2013 and charged with possession of a firearm without a permit to carry and a felon in possession of a firearm.  Both of these are felony charges that carry lengthy prison sentences.  Philadelphia police stopped the client after they claimed he ignored a stop sign.  During a search of the vehicle, police found a firearm under the driver's seat.  The client denied the charges.  The gun was registered to his girlfriend at the time and she had left in in his car when she had borrowed it earlier that same day.

The case went to trial in 2016, but a Philadelphia jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the gun charges and a mistrial was declared.  Under the Pennsylvania rules of criminal procedure the government has 120 days to re-try the case in front of a different jury.

Mr. LaTour was able to argue that the District Attorney's office had failed to prepare a writ, or court order, to have the state prison bring his client to Philadelphia for trial.  This obvious mistake caused a delay of more that 150 days.  Such a delay, he argued, is a violation of the client's right to a speedy trial,a right guarrenteed by both the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions.

If you or somebody you know has been charged with a gun crime, or any crime, you want an experienced and aggressive defense.  The lawyers at Scarpello & LaTour have more than 20 years of experience in criminal defense winning cases for their clients.  Contact us today for a free consultation.