FREE CONSULTATIONS

Email or Call (215) 564-0644

    Philadelphia Murder & Gun Possession Cases Increasing in 2021 – A Look at Common Charges & Defenses

    Common Charges in Philly Murder & Gun Cases

    The number of criminal cases involving murder and gun possession have skyrocketed in Philadelphia since 2020. Criminal charges often include the following felonies:

    • Murder (1st, 2nd, 3rd Degree)
    • Aggravated Assault
    • Robbery
    • Possession of a Firearm
    • Carrying a Firearm Without a License
    • Carrying a Firearm in Philadelphia (misdemeanor)

    If you’re facing criminal charges for murder or gun possession, please contact our Philadelphia criminal law firm for a FREE consultation. Firm founder David S. Nenner fights tooth and nail for his clients and is recognized as a TOP RATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY IN PHILADELPHIA by Super Lawyers.

    Call (215) 564-0644. Cases are accepted throughout the southeastern Pennsylvania region including Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, etc.

    Defending Murder & Gun Possession Cases

    In Philadelphia criminal cases, like murder and gun cases, there are two strategies for defense.

    First, are there any legal defenses, like constitutional law violations, that would lead to suppression of evidence or suppression of incriminating statements? This requires a thorough review of how the police conducted the investigation, seizure of evidence, arrest and post-arrest procedures.

    Second, if there are no legal defenses, can the case be won at trial, or can facts be raised that would result in dismissal or reduction of the charges during plea negotiations? At the outset of the case, it’s crucial to identify any fact or piece of evidence that’s favorable to the defense. This includes witnesses for the defense, evidence that can point to a different perpetrator, etc.

    It’s very often the case in Philadelphia murder cases that the prosecution relies on a single eyewitness to tie the defendant to the crime. If the credibility of that witness can be attacked, the judge or jury often returns a verdict of NOT GUILTY.

    The laws cited below are current as of August 25, 2021. Note that additional sections of each law are omitted.

    Pennsylvania Criminal Law – Murder & Homicide

    18 PA C.S. § 2502.  Murder.

    (a)  Murder of the first degree.–A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the first degree when it is committed by an intentional killing.

    (b)  Murder of the second degree.–A criminal homicide constitutes murder of the second degree when it is committed while defendant was engaged as a principal or an accomplice in the perpetration of a felony.

    (c)  Murder of the third degree.–All other kinds of murder shall be murder of the third degree. Murder of the third degree is a felony of the first degree.

    [*remaining sections omitted]

    Pennsylvania Criminal Law – Aggravated Assault

    18 PA C.S. § 2702.  Aggravated assault.

    (a)  Offense defined.–A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he:

    (1)  attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another, or causes such injury intentionally, knowingly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life;

    (2)  attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to any of the officers, agents, employees or other persons enumerated in subsection (c) or to an employee of an agency, company or other entity engaged in public transportation, while in the performance of duty;

    (3)  attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to any of the officers, agents, employees or other persons enumerated in subsection (c), in the performance of duty;

    (4)  attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon;

    (5)  attempts to cause or intentionally or knowingly causes bodily injury to a teaching staff member, school board member or other employee, including a student employee, of any elementary or secondary publicly-funded educational institution, any elementary or secondary private school licensed by the Department of Education or any elementary or secondary parochial school while acting in the scope of his or her employment or because of his or her employment relationship to the school;

    (6)  attempts by physical menace to put any of the officers, agents, employees or other persons enumerated in subsection (c), while in the performance of duty, in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;

    (7)  uses tear or noxious gas as defined in section 2708(b) (relating to use of tear or noxious gas in labor disputes) or uses an electric or electronic incapacitation device against any officer, employee or other person enumerated in subsection (c) while acting in the scope of his employment;

    (8)  attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to a child less than six years of age, by a person 18 years of age or older; or

    (9)  attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to a child less than 13 years of age, by a person 18 years of age or older.

    (b)  Grading.–Aggravated assault under subsection (a)(1), (2) and (9) is a felony of the first degree. Aggravated assault under subsection (a)(3), (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8) is a felony of the second degree.

    [*remaining sections omitted]

    Pennsylvania Criminal Law – Robbery

    18 PA C.S. § 3701.  Robbery.

    (a)  Offense defined.–

    (1)  A person is guilty of robbery if, in the course of committing a theft, he:

    (i)  inflicts serious bodily injury upon another;

    (ii)  threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate serious bodily injury;

    (iii)  commits or threatens immediately to commit any felony of the first or second degree;

    (iv)  inflicts bodily injury upon another or threatens another with or intentionally puts him in fear of immediate bodily injury;

    (v)  physically takes or removes property from the person of another by force however slight; or

    (vi)  takes or removes the money of a financial institution without the permission of the financial institution by making a demand of an employee of the financial institution orally or in writing with the intent to deprive the financial institution thereof.

    (b)  Grading.–

    (1)  Except as provided under paragraph (2), robbery under subsection (a)(1)(iv) and (vi) is a felony of the second degree; robbery under subsection (a)(1)(v) is a felony of the third degree; otherwise, it is a felony of the first degree.

    (2)  If the object of a robbery under paragraph (1) is a controlled substance or designer drug as those terms are defined in section 2 of the act of April 14, 1972 (P.L.233, No.64), known as The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act, robbery is a felony of the first degree.

    [*remaining sections omitted]

    Pennsylvania Criminal Law – Firearm Possession

    18 PA C.S. § 6105.  Persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms.

    (a)  Offense defined.–

    (1)  A person who has been convicted of an offense enumerated in subsection (b), within or without this Commonwealth, regardless of the length of sentence or whose conduct meets the criteria in subsection (c) shall not possess, use, control, sell, transfer or manufacture or obtain a license to possess, use, control, sell, transfer or manufacture a firearm in this Commonwealth.

    [*remaining sections omitted]

    Pennsylvania Criminal Law – Carrying a Firearm without a License

    18 PA C.S. § 6106.  Firearms not to be carried without a license.

    (a)  Offense defined.–

    (1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license under this chapter commits a felony of the third degree.

    (2)  A person who is otherwise eligible to possess a valid license under this chapter but carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license and has not committed any other criminal violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.

    [*remaining sections omitted]

    Pennsylvania Criminal Law –  Carrying a Firearm in Philadelphia

    18 PA C.S. § 6108.  Carrying firearms on public streets or public property in Philadelphia.

    No person shall carry a firearm, rifle or shotgun at any time upon the public streets or upon any public property in a city of the first class unless:

    (1)  such person is licensed to carry a firearm; or

    (2)  such person is exempt from licensing under section 6106(b) of this title (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license).

    David S. Nenner

    "Top Rated Criminal Defense Lawyer"
    (2015-2021)

    MURDER, Robbery CHARGES – NOT GUILTY JURY VERDICT (MAY 2021, PHILA)

    Mr. Nenner's client was charged with multiple crimes (murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault, robbery, etc.) after a shooting death occurred at a gambling house in North Philadelphia. At trial, Mr. Nenner successfully presented a self-defense argument and convinced...

    MURDER CHARGE – NOT GUILTY JURY VERDICT (MAY 2021, PHILA)

    Mr. Nenner’s client was charged with murder and gun charges in Philadelphia. The client was accused of shooting and killing another male on Arch Street near the 5600 block of Ithan Street in Philadelphia. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty after deliberating...

    Drug Possession Case – Motion to Suppress Granted

    Mr. Nenner presented evidence that to show that the traffic stop was a pretextual stop. The officer had no reason to pull the car over. The judge agreed and suppressed the evidence. As a result, the prosecution withdrew the charges.

    Attempted Murder Case – Not Guilty Jury Verdict

    Mr. Nenner presented a self-defense argument, and the jury returned a “not guilty” verdict after a 7 day trial in Philadelphia.

    3rd Degree Murder Case – Charges Dismissed for Co-Defendants

    Mr. Nenner represented co-defendants in a shooting death in North Philadelphia. Both cases were ultimately dismissed.

    Pennsylvania Murder Charges, Deceased Person’s Statements Used to Prove Guilt

    Defense Trial Strategies – Excluding Statements That Accuse the Defendant Prosecutors often look to a deceased individual’s statements made prior to a murder to show that the defendant is guilty. These statements may point to a history of violence between the deceased...

    Pennsylvania (State) Drug Charges, Dog Sniffs & Constitutional Law

    Federal and Pennsylvania state courts treat narcotics dog searches differently. So different that the same scenario could result in different outcomes in federal versus state court. For example, a Philadelphia resident is pulled over for speeding. During the traffic...

    Dog Sniff Searches of Cars in Pennsylvania Traffic Stops (Federal Law)

    Dog or canine searches of cars during traffic stops in PA often lead to drug possession/dealing charges and gun charges. For example, a police officer pulls over a driver for speeding. During the traffic stop, a canine search is performed revealing several bags of...

    Federal Drug Dealing Crime Sentencing Law – Mandatory Minimum Sentences Reduced in Phila. Cases

    On December 21, 2018, federal sentencing laws for drug cases were amended significantly. The First Step Act removed the mandatory life sentence for 3 time drug offenders in high quantity drug dealing cases and also reduced the mandatory minimum sentences for 2nd...

    Chester, PA Shootings & Homicides, May 2020

    Homicides and murders are up in both Chester and Philadelphia PA so far in 2020. Murder investigations when homicide rates are high may lead to false confessions.