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    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.

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