In a case decided in
July 2014, the Pa Superior Court held that: "Modern cell phones are not
just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may
reveal, they hold for many Americans “the privacies of life.” The fact that
technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does
not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the
Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what police must do before
searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple—get a
warrant." Com. v. Stem
, 2014 Pa.Super 145
(Pa.Super. July 11, 2014).
In Commonwealth v. Brigidi,
607 Pa. 329, 6 A.3d 995 (2010), our Supreme Court ruled that the results of a preliminary, portable breath tester, such as the one used herein, are inadmissible in a prosecution under the Crimes Code. Defendant therein was convicted of underage drinking, and the sole evidence of alcohol consumption submitted by the Commonwealth was the results of a pre-arrest breath test.
The Court also made it clear that this defense can be waived if it is not properly raised. Com. v. Downey, 2012 PA Super 39, 39 A.3d 401, 406 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2012) appeal denied, 616 Pa. 657, 50 A.3d 124 (2012).
No. Attorney Ogden represented man who seized improperly and taken to the York Hospital for a mental evaluation. He was later released and found not to be in need of mental health treatment and that he did not suffer from a mental illness and he did not present a clear and present danger to himself or others. At the time of his contact with police, guns were seized. Attorney Ogden filed a Petition for Return of Seized Property. The Commonwealth argued that he was “committed” to a mental institution and therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm. Attorney Ogden argued that the plain language of the law did not prohibit a person from owning a firearm unless an examining physician has issued a certification that inpatient care was necessary or that the person was committable. The Court returned his guns to him and expunged his record of ever being taken to the mental health facility.
In re Sarver, 65 Pa. D. & C.4th 211 (Com. Pl. 2003).