Email or Call (215) 564-0644

    Philadelphia Criminal Law – Murder & Related Charges

    A Hypothetical Philly Criminal Case, Murder & Related Charges (Assault, Robbery, Etc.)

    Prosecutors wield a great deal of power, particularly the power to charge residents of Philadelphia with serious crimes. Oftentimes, prosecutors will charge an individual with every possible crime. This often results in an excessive number of charged offenses. In complex cases, there may be 7 crimes charged, for one single episode.

    In this legal article, our top-rated criminal defense attorney discusses common charges in a murder case in Philadelphia, which often include:

    • murder,
    • aggravated assault,
    • robbery, and
    • VUFA (Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act).

    Philadelphia Murder Case Hypothetical

    A group of older teenage boys are hanging out at a public basketball court in Philadelphia. They are approached by two young men who ask whether they want to play a game. The boys decline. One of the young men pulls out a gun, points it at the boys and demands that the boys turn over their wallets and phones. One of the boys is standing next to the young man with the gun. He pushes the man with the gun who, in response, hits the boy with the handle of the gun across the head, causing a severe gash. Another boy attempts to pull the gun out of the young man’s hands. The gun goes off and one of the teens is killed.

    In this instance, both young men are likely to be charged. The shooter would be charged as the principal and the other young man would be charged as his accomplice. Both would likely face the same charges, which are discussed below.

    Murder (Felony Murder = 2nd Degree Murder)

    In Pennsylvania, felony murder is the unlawful killing of another person which occurs during the commission of a felony. Here, the shooter was committing robbery (a felony) when he shot and killed one of the teens.

    The other young man could be charged as an accomplice if there is any evidence that he aided or helped, or agreed to aid or help, the shooter. Statements made to others before, during and after the incident would be used to establish criminal liability as an accomplice.

    Aggravated Assault (Felony)

    In this instance, the young man could be charged with aggravated assault, for hitting the boy in the head with the handle of the gun. The Pennsylvania Crime Code defines aggravated assault as the attempt to cause or intentionally/knowingly causing bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon.

    Other charges could include robbery, which is a felony. If the shooter had a prior felony conviction or a drug conviction, he would also likely be charged with VUFA (Violation of the Uniform Firearms Act).

    TOP RATED Criminal Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia – Free Consultations Offered

    David S. Nenner has over 20 years of experience handling criminal cases throughout the Philadelphia region, including murder and other serious felonies. For a free consultation, please call the office at (215) 564-0644.

    Disclaimer: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. Our lawyers provide legal advice only after accepting a case. It is imperative that any action taken is done on advice of counsel. Read full disclaimer below.


    David S. Nenner

    "Top Rated Criminal Defense Lawyer"

    Not guilty on 1st Degree MURDER CHARGE (dec. 2022, Pottsville, Pa)

    Mr. Nenner's client faced first degree murder, third degree murder and various other charges. The Commonwealth alleged that Mr. Whitted stabbed and killed a driver after an incident at a red light in West Brunswick Township. Throughout the trial, Mr. Nenner argued...

    MURDER, Att. Murder CHARGES – Negotiated Significantly Lower prison sentence (Feb. 2022, PHILA)

    Mr. Anderson faced murder and attempted murder charges after an incident in Northeast Philadelphia involving the shooting death of Anderson’s sister’s boyfriend and the boyfriend’s roommate who was shot 5 times and survived. The decedent had previously beaten the...


    The Commonwealth alleged that Mr. Shelton shot and seriously injured a male in a bar in North Philadelphia called Circles. There was video of the shooting which happened outside the bar. However, Mr. Nenner presented witnesses who testified that the person in the bar...


    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...


    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 Charges in Philadelphia PA State Court – Possession of a Controlled Substance

    In most criminal drug cases in Philadelphia, there are two common charges or offenses: Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver. In addition to these drug charges, there are other drug related charges, such...

    Drug Charges in Philadelphia PA State Court – What is “Possession”

    Page last reviewed and updated: October 20, 2019 One of the most common types of criminal state (PA) cases in Philadelphia is possession of drugs. Possession of a Controlled Substance (PCS) and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (PWID) often...

    Pennsylvania Second Degree Murder (AKA: Felony Murder) Law

    Philadelphia criminal lawyer David S. Nenner discusses the current status of second degree murder law in Pennsylvania. This is also known as the felony murder rule. Get info about PA court decisions and the agency theory. Not every case of death during the commission of a felony will result in a second degree murder conviction in PA.

    Philadelphia Murder Cases – Police Investigation Tactics

    Questioning Police Officer Tactics in Philadelphia Murder Cases Within the last 10 years, there have been several murder Philadelphia criminal cases in which the accused individuals were acquitted of the crimes. In these cases, the individuals spent months, if not...

    Murder Charges in Pennsylvania – Murder Law in Pennsylvania

    An explanation of Pennsylvania murder laws including Section 2502. What is murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree and murder in the third degree. Get a summary of the definitions under Pennsylvania criminal law.