Violent crimes make the news. Stories of criminal activity in Philadelphia have seemingly become a nightly occurrence on evening newscasts. Gun and drug crimes have been on the rise throughout the summer. According to Mayor Michael Nutter, murders are up 15 percent compared to 2010 and 2011 murder rates at this time.
In 2004, the United States Supreme Court ruled on a case that stated that crime lab reports could not be used as evidence unless the person conducting the tests was testifying at trial. This would give the accused a chance to question the technician about the techniques used when the samples were being tested.
In the 1980s, tough penalties were put in place for those who were convicted of drug crimes. Crack and powder cocaine started to become more common in major cities like Philadelphia, and Congress reacted by creating lengthy prison sentences for those who were convicted.
The war on drugs has resulted in countless numbers of people having to spend significant periods of time in prisons across the country. This comes at a very high cost, both financially and socially. States are forced to spend money they do not have on incarceration, and offenders are denied opportunities to change their lives. Reoffending is a major problem, which can trap many people into the system.
A new type of drug is receiving the attention of law enforcement agencies throughout Pennsylvania. Commonly referred to as "bath salts", these drugs are actually synthetic creations designed to mimic the effects of other drugs, such as marijuana. These synthetic drugs are sold in stores and online, and have become very popular nationwide.
When most hear the words "drug crime", their first reaction is to think of street drugs like cocaine, marijuana or heroin. While these drugs certainly result in many arrests by law enforcement, prescription drug crimes are a major problem in Pennsylvania.
When you are accused of a crime, you may not know what to do next, especially if this is the first time you have ever been in trouble. You might think that if you have been arrested, you will have very few opportunities to prove that you are innocent. You trust that law enforcement has followed proper procedures throughout their investigation.