CRIMINAL LAW-CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES-MENS REA

July 7th, 2022 by Rieders Travis in Criminal

Xiulu Ruan v. United States, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 3089 (S. Ct. June 27, 2022) (Breyer, J.)  Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of the Court. A provision of the Controlled Substances Act, codified at 21 U. S. C. §841, makes it a federal crime, “[e]xcept as authorized[,] . . . for any person knowingly or intentionally . . . to manufacture, distribute, or dispense . . . a controlled substance,” such as opioids. 84 Stat. 1260, 21 U. S. C. §841(a) (emphasis added). Registered doctors may prescribe these substances to their patients. But, as provided by regulation, a prescription is only authorized when a doctor issues it “for a legitimate medical purpose . . . acting in the usual course of his professional practice.” 21 CFR §1306.04(a) (2021).  In each of these two consolidated cases, a doctor was convicted under §841 for dispensing controlled substances not “as authorized.” The question before us concerns the state of mind that the Government must prove to convict these doctors of violating the statute.  We hold that the statute’s “knowingly or intentionally” mens rea applies to authorization. After a defendant produces evidence that he or she was authorized to dispense controlled substances, the Government must prove beyond…

Criminal

July 23rd, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Criminal

CRIMINAL LAW-SEARCH AND SEIZURE-SEARCH WARRANT-REAL TIME SITE LOCATION INFORMATION Commonwealth v. Pacheco, 2021 Pa. LEXIS 3999 (November 17, 2021) Baer, C.J.  We granted allowance of appeal to determine whether trial court orders that authorized the disclosure of Appellant David Pacheco’s real-time cell site location information (“CSLI”) were the functional equivalent of search warrants and satisfied the requisites of the Fourth Amendment pursuant to the United States Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Carpenter, 138 S.Ct. 2206, 201 L. Ed. 2d 507 (2018).  The court held that the challenged orders were the functional equivalent of search warrants and complied with the Fourth Amendment.  Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Superior Court, which affirmed Appellant’s judgment of sentence. CRIMINAL LAW-INTERNET CONNECTION RECORDS-CONSENT Commonwealth v. Dunkins, 2021 Pa. LEXIS 3994 (November 17, 2021) Dougherty, J. We granted review to determine whether the trial court erred by denying suppression of wireless internet network (WiFi) connection records obtained by police without a warrant from the Information Technology Department of Moravian College. For the following reasons, we conclude this search was constitutionally permissible, and accordingly, we affirm the order of the Superior Court. By…

MALICIOUS PROSECUTION-FALSE ARREST

April 30th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Criminal

Alleyne v. Pirrone, 2018 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 90 (March 9, 2018) Brobson, J. Detective George Pirrone (Detective Pirrone), Detective James Pitts (Detective Pitts), and Lieutenant Philip Riehl (Lieutenant Riehl) (collectively, Appellants) of the Philadelphia Police Department appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County (trial court). Following a trial, a jury found all three defendants liable to Kareem Alleyne (Alleyne) for malicious prosecution and found Detective Pirrone and Lieutenant Riehl liable to Alleyne for false arrest. Appellants appeal from the trial court’s denial of their motion for judgment notwithstanding the jury’s verdict. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse. On April 20, 2016, the jury returned a verdict favorable to Alleyne and awarded him damages in the amount of $1,030,250. The jury found all three Appellants—Detective Pitts, Detective Pirrone, and Lieutenant 25 Riehl—liable for malicious prosecution. The jury determined that only Detective Pirrone and Lieutenant Riehl were liable for false arrest. Alleyne very effectively defended against the criminal charges he faced by highlighting serious holes and inconsistencies in the Police Department’s investigation. While the improprieties by Appellants significantly hindered the criminal case against Alleyne,…