Justia Juvenile Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
The case centered Section 6105 of the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act of 1995. Although a Section 6105 violation, by default, is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree, subsection (a.1)(1) elevated the offense grade to a felony of the second degree where the defendant was “convicted” of any felony offense enumerated in subsection (b). In 2011, Appellee was convicted, among other things, of a Section 6105 offense, apparently based upon his possession of a firearm and the fact of a previous juvenile adjudication in 2005 for conduct which would give rise to an aggravated assault conviction if committed by an adult. Prior to sentencing, the prosecution apparently took the position that the finding of delinquency should be considered a “conviction” for purposes of the subsection (a.1)(1) enhancement. On appeal, however, the Superior Court vacated the sentence and remanded for resentencing. The intermediate court explained that the term “conviction” carried a discrete legal connotation that is not generally understood to encompass juvenile adjudications. The Supreme Court granted review to determine whether juvenile adjudications of delinquency qualify as “convictions” for purposes of grading within a particularized sentencing regime. The Court held that the concept of convictions, as embodied in Section 6105, did not encompass juvenile adjudications. View "Pennsylvania. v. Hale" on Justia Law