What motivates a man to travel from his state to another state for the purpose of prowling on someone’s property? Pennsylvania authorities have arrested a 34-year-old male who resides in a nearby state for trespassing, loitering and prowling at night, along with use/possession of drug paraphernalia, regarding an incident that occurred on Dec. 22. Criminal defense counsel will begin representation as he or she does in all cases, i.e., by conducting a thorough investigation of the facts and events from all perspectives, including the defendant’s. 

The man attended a preliminary arraignment on Dec. 22 and was released on the posting of $5,000 unsecured bail. The police arrested the suspect after reports that he was allegedly seen peering into a house on Millbank Road in Bryn Mawr, and frightening the family inside. A motive for the bizarre activity has not been given.

The charges could be serious enough to get the suspect a prison sentence, should a conviction result. Prowling at night is a misdemeanor that is punishable by a term of up to one year in prison. Trespass in Pennsylvania is a crime of many different permeations and a sentence of incarceration could result from more serious types of trespass. A simple trespass is a summary offense that carries a maximum 90-day sentence. Assuming that no drugs were found, the paraphernalia charge is also a misdemeanor.

Criminal defense counsel will try to get at the motive for these allegations against the accused. If he claims mistaken identity or that he was not prowling, then counsel must look at it from a different perspective and look to develop a factual defense to the allegations. However, in many such cases, the perpetrator is suffering from some delusion or mental instability that can counteract a finding of criminal intent. In those circumstances, counsel will try to obtain a plea bargain that will resolve the matter with appropriate treatments and rehab sessions. With a first offense, the Pennsylvania Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program may be available.

Source: Haddonfield, NJ Patch, “Camden County Man Prowled Outside Pennsylvania Home: Authorities“, Anthony Bellano, Dec. 28, 2017