Having a criminal record when being accused of another crime may make fighting the charges more difficult. It may be the primary reason for seeking legal advice. A 40-year-old Pennsylvania man, who was convicted as a teen of voluntary manslaughter in the death of a police officer, is now facing drug and gun charges, and he will need to mount an aggressive criminal defense to fight the charges.

The accused served time in 1995 for the shooting death of a police sergeant in Pittsburgh. The accused was recently driving and was pulled over by plainclothes police officers claiming the man didn’t stop at a stop sign. Upon searching the vehicle of the accused, police allegedly found a purple liquid in bottles, bags of crack cocaine, suspected bags of powdered cocaine, a digital scale, a handgun and bullets.

The accused was sentenced to five to 10 years in jail on the voluntary manslaughter conviction. He was convicted in 1996 when he was 18 years old. During the booking process on these current charges, police officers found out that there was an active warrant against the man.

Being charged with a felony crime may be confusing and overwhelming. Getting the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney may clarify issues that are unclear. For instance, police in Pennsylvania have a limited right to search a vehicle. However, if in doing so, police officers misapply the standards set by state and federal laws, an attorney may be able to call into question the legality of the vehicle search and may have cause to have the evidence seized at that time thrown out.