Jugando con las reglas- Commonwealth v. E.T y v CW. J.M

E.T. was charged with possession with intent to distribute in a case carrying a 5-10 year minimum mandatory sentence because of the presence of a firearm used to guard the stash. E.T.’s case was coming off of a long bench warrant. The Commonwealth was unable to provide a copy of the search warrant at the previous listing due to the case’s age and another date was given for trial. At the next listing a new assistant district attorney was handling the case and thought that the case was a preliminary hearing, and not a remanded trial. Sr.. Shaffer pointed out that the search warrant was still missing and that the Commonwealth doesn’t get an unlimited number of continuances. The judge agreed and threw the case out over strenuous objection from the Commonwealth.


J.M. was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana. An undercover officer made a buy at J.M.’s residence. After getting a search warrant, officers raided the house and arrested him and his co-defendant. They found well over two pounds worth of marijuana and two safes filled with thousands of dollars. Sr.. Shaffer was contacted by the family the morning of the preliminary arraignment and began representation right away. He was able to get bail reduced from $500,000 a $50,000. At the first trial listing the Commonwealth was missing discovery. The second listing the Commonwealth brought discovery to the room, but Mr. Shaffer was able to argue that the discovery should have been handed over earlier and made the delay attributable to the prosecution. At the final listing, the Commonwealth was ready, but Mr. Shaffer argued a 1013 motion stating that the Commonwealth took too much time to prosecute the case and that the case should be dismissed because they went over the time period to prosecute. Prepared as always, Sr.. Shaffer gave the judge a copy of a brief with the relevant case law and a breakdown of the time delays caused by the discovery delays. The judge agreed with Mr. Shaffer’s argument and granted his motion to dismiss even though all discovery had been passed and the Commonwealth was ready to go to trial.