Court: DA Can’t Make Defendants Pay Salaries of Prosecutors
January 01, 2012 | Posted in Criminal Defense
By Tim George
Erie Criminal Defense Lawyer
When someone is convicted of a crime in Pennsylvania, a court imposes a sentence. The sentence can includes prison time, which is often followed by some form of supervision, like parole or probation. Also, the court can require that restitution be paid to any victims of the crime. In addition, the court routinely makes the defendant pay a fine and the costs of prosecution. These costs are limited by statute to “all necessary expenses incurred” in the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, recently made clear just exactly what “costs of prosecution” don’t include. The case arose from the conviction of funeral home directors who sold cadavers to a biomedical tissue company without permission from the families. The Philadelphia District Attorney wanted to make the defendants, Louis Garzone and his brother, Gerald, pay $180,000 for the salaries of assistant district attorneys and detectives who prosecuted and convicted them. The sentencing court agreed. The funeral home directors appealed, arguing that the court could not make them pay salaries of the prosecutors and detectives as part of the costs of prosecution. The highest court in Pennsylvania agreed with the convicted funeral directors and overturned that part of their sentences.
Erie criminal defense attorney Tim George defends allegations of DUI, reckless driving, careless driving, accidents involving injury or property damage, and other serious charges like homicide by motor vehicle, manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault, retail theft, burglary, robbery, and sexual assault. He appears in Magisterial District Courts (often called District Justice offices) throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania, including Erie, Millcreek, Fairview, Girard, Albion, Springfield, Platea, McKean, Edinboro, Lawrence Park, Wesleyville, Harborcreek, North East, Corry, Meadville, Sandy Lake, Conneaut Lake, Franklin, Oil City, and Warren. He has also defended people in the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Crawford County, Warren County, Venango County, Mercer County, Clarion County, and Jefferson County. He has argued cases on appeal before the Commonwealth Court, Superior Court, and Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
If you or someone close to you was recently arrested for a criminal offense or a DUI in Erie, Fairview, Girard, Corry, Union City, North East, Meadville, or elsewhere in northwest Pennsylvania, call toll free at (888) 748-9909 to discuss your case today.