What is Entrapment?

Entrapment is a possible legal defense that can be used against a variety of criminal charges. In order to be convicted of a crime, a defendant must engage in the alleged unlawful conduct willingly and voluntarily. If a law enforcement officer convinces someone to commit a crime that they would not have otherwise committed, they did not commit the crime voluntarily under the law and can raise the defense of entrapment. Entrapment is a rare defense and generally stems from undercover sting operations. In such an operation, an officer may deceptively pose as someone interested in criminal activity, whether as a partner or a victim. While an undercover officer should only be gathering evidence of criminal activity, officers may often persuade others into engaging in criminal activity that they were not previously planning. When a sting operation rises to this level, it can constitute illegal entrapment. Federal agencies often use deep undercover operations to catch individuals involved

5K Motion in Federal Criminal Cases

You’ve likely seen movies in which a prosecutor offers a mobster a deal if they give up information about other criminals. While this is a common and expected theme in movies and TV shows, it also happens in reality – and more often than one might expect. If you are facing federal criminal charges, you should be aware of all your rights and options under the law, including options for sentence reductions such as a 5K motion. For this reason, you should seek the assistance of a skilled federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to understand every option available to you in your case. At Wimmer Criminal Defense in Philadelphia, we are thoroughly familiar with the federal justice system and how to seek the best possible outcome for each and every client. If you believe you are under investigation, have been arrested, or are facing federal charges, you should not wait any longer to get the right legal defense. Call today at 215-712-1212 or

Shoplifting in Philadelphia Can Result in a Long Term Criminal Record

If you have been accused of shoplifting legally known as “retail theft” in Philadelphia you are in all likelihood facing misdemeanor theft charges. If the value of the goods allegedly taken exceed $2,100, involve a vehicle or firearm, or this isn’t your first or second offense you will face more serious felony charges. It is important that you understand you have the right to remain silent. Follow the instructions of the arresting officer but do not talk about anything that happened or profess your innocence. When you are being questioned simply tell them “I want to speak to my lawyer,” and call me immediately for a free consultation at 215-712-1212. While shoplifting or retail theft is one of the most common crimes throughout Pennsylvania, many people simply don’t take shoplifting charges very seriously. I can tell you retail theft

How About a Little Hope for a Monday Morning? Criminal Charges Are Not a Game Ender!

If you are facing criminal charges because of a DUI or fight or some other event that happened this weekend you may be really worried about what is going to happen to you and how much it’s going to cost. My first advice is: take a breath. Philadelphia courts take a while to work through a criminal case, and there is a lot I can do to help you and affect what happens at each step along the way. Call me right now for a free consultation at 215-712-1212. We will discuss what has happened and how cases like yours are typically handled. My clients usually feel much better after speaking with me and have peace of mind knowing what to expect, how the process works and genuine hope about what I will do to help. If charges haven’t been filed yet, I can work with the

New Jersey Pretrial Intervention Program

The Pretrial Intervention Program, commonly referred to by the courts as PTI, is a program that is voluntarily entered into by a defendant after he or she completes an application and in-person interview. Whether a defendant is eligible for the pretrial intervention program is based on many factors including the defendant’s age, prior criminal record, the nature of the offenses with which the defendant has been charged, and the degree of violence, if any, in the charges. The pretrial intervention program is a diversionary and rehabilitative program. It is diversionary in that if you are accepted you will not have to go to trial and face a conviction. If you complete all terms of the program successfully, the charges will be dropped against you. The program is also rehabilitative in that your application will be reviewed and a treatment plan appropriate to your case may be developed by a counselor. A rejection from the pretrial intervention

Philadelphia Diversion Programs – Accelerated Misdemeanor Program

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has developed various pre-trial “diversion programs” to preserve judicial resources and provide an alternative course than the typical trial track (arraignment, preliminary hearing, trial, sentencing) for certain offenders charged with both misdemeanor offenses and felony offenses. There are two Accelerated Misdemeanor Programs available in Philadelphia, AMP 1 and AMP 2. AMP 1 is geared towards non-violent first time offenders whom have been charged with a misdemeanor. The defendant is not required to enter a plea of guilty or

What is Heat of Passion Manslaughter? What is the Difference between First Degree Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter?

“Heat of passion” voluntary manslaughter in Philadelphia requires the jury to find that at the time of the killing, the defendant acted under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation. Passion in terms of voluntary manslaughter means anger and terror that is so intense, strong, and high that it prevents the defendant from being able to reason or decide between right and wrong. It must be a sudden passion – for example, if the defendant sat for days trying to decide whether to kill his wife’s lover, that is not sudden. However, if the defendant walks in on his wife and her lover in bed and shoots them both, a jury may find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted with the sudden and intense passion required to support a voluntary manslaughter conviction. In Pennsylvania,

The Pennsylvania Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA): Claims to Raise in a PCRA Petition

Filing a Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) petition is one of the options that you have after you are convicted of a crime in Pennsylvania. A PCRA lawyer in Philadelphia like Lauren Wimmer will be able to determine whether you are eligible for PCRA relief. After working for a Philadelphia homicide judge in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas for a number of years, attorney Lauren Wimmer learned the ins and outs of Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act, how to get PCRA relief for her clients, the types of claims that need to be raised in a PCRA petition to be granted an evidentiary hearing, and how to win a new trial. The following guide is intended to provide a basic overview of the Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) and the PCRA process for defendants and their families. Defendants may be able to file a Post-Conviction Relief Act petition if certain criteria is met. To have any chance at PCRA relief, you must have been convicted of a crime in Pennsylvania, sentenced

Court 101: Terms and Phrases Every Defendant Should Know

Being charged with a crime in Philadelphia can make even the strongest of people feel as if their world is collapsing. Wimmer Criminal Defense, the preeminent criminal defense law firm in Philadelphia, has put together the below guide to help you become acquainted with some of the terms you may hear as you navigate the criminal justice system. Appeal – a request asking another court to decide whether a hearing, motion, or trial was conducted properly Bench Trial – also known as a waiver trial, this is a trial without a jury in which a judge decides the facts Brief – a written statement in an appellate case that explains to the court why they should decide the case in favor of the defendant or the Commonwealth Case Law – these are decisions issued by courts; it is the law in cases that have already been decided Chambers – the office of a judge Clerk of Court – persons whom oversee the court’s administration. The Clerk of C

Preliminary Hearings in Magisterial District Courts and Philadelphia Municipal Court

What is a preliminary hearing? What can I expect at a preliminary hearing? Who will testify at a preliminary hearing? A Philadelphia preliminary hearing in the Philadelphia Municipal Court or a preliminary hearing at one of the Magisterial District Courts in Pennsylvania is typically the first appearance in court that a defendant will have after arraignment. An arraignment occurs in court and is a court proceeding where the criminal defendant is formally read the criminal charges that he or she faces and enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. Bail also may be set at arraignment. If the defendant enters a plea of not guilty, a preliminary hearing will be held. Philadelphia preliminary hearings are held in the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center. A preliminary hearing involving a juvenile victim or complainant will be held at Philadelphia Family Court. A preliminary hearing may be described as a “mini trial” but without all of the formal protectio