Representative Cases

Criminal Law

Amara Chaudhry Kravitz has an extensive background in criminal law, particularly in the field of criminal defense. Among her professional positions in the field, Amara has held the following positions: Post-J.D. (attorney positions)
  • Former Trial Attorney – Montgomery County Public Defender’s Office (Norristown, PA)
  • Former Pre-trial/Appeals Attorney – Chester County Public Defender’s Office (West Chester, PA)
  • Former Trial Attorney (Juvenile Division) – Kanawha County Public Defender’s Office (Charleston, WV)
  • Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel Attorney – U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (federal appellate court)
  • Former CJA Panel Attorney – U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia (federal trial court)
Pre-J.D. Experience (NON-attorney positions)
  • Law School Clinic – Federal Prison Camp (FPC) Alderson (Alderson, WV & Washington & Lee Univ. School of Law)
  • Juvenile Probation Internship – VA Juvenile & Domestic Relations Courts (Charlottesville, VA & Univ. of Virginia)
  • Juvenile Diversion Program (Project Intercept) -- VA Courts (Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany Co. & Bath Co.)
  • Juvenile Probation Internship – Covington, VA, Courthouse (Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany Co. & Bath Co.)
Throughout her extensive legal career, Amara has handled both juveniles and adults, at every level of proceeding, in both state and federal courts.  In the overwhelming majority of all of her cases, both criminal and civil, Amara has served as the sole counsel of record for the accused. Among her more notable criminal, and criminal law-related, cases include the following: Trial Court
  • Commonwealth v. Glenn Mack, Jr. (Mont. Co.) -- Assault by police officer.  Client accused of choking police officer with his forearm while client was laying flat on his back in a parking lot and officer was tasing him 3 times in the chest.  Charge is aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with intent to cause serious bodily injury.
  • Commonwealth v. Suarez (Mont. Co.) - Three-County Theft Conspiracy.  Legal question regarding reliability (and admissibility in court) of Cell Phone Data records to prove that a defendant was in a particular place at a particular time, and, by logical extension, whether such data can be used to conclude that the defendant committed a particular crime at that place and time.
  • Commonwealth v. White (Mont. Co.) – Conspiracy Robbery Threatening Serious Bodily Injury. Oral argument (and written brief) arguing that Pennsylvania courts are moving away from a “strict liability” theory of co-conspirator liability, towards a Pinkerton standard applying culpability only to those acts which are "reasonably foreseeable," and that federal courts are increasingly holding that the U.S. Constitution requires Pinkerton limits on co-conspirator liability (therefore states must comply with Pinkerton standards as well).
  • Commonwealth v. Rayford (Mont. Co.) – Armed bank robbery at gunpoint. Jury trial.
  • Commonwealth v. Johnson (Mont. Co.) -- Terroristic Threats. Two separate jury trials on two separate cases.
  • Commonwealth v. Brown (Mont. Co.) – Felony drug sale (possession with intent to deliver) involving video recording of sale to confidential informant.  Contested suppression hearing followed by negotiated guilty plea.
  • Commonwealth v. Bey (Mont. Co.) – Felony firearm case. Contested suppression hearing followed by stipulated bench trial.
  • In re: Grand Jury Proceedings (U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D. Pa.) – Conspiracy to Provide Material Support to Terrorism. Multiple motions to quash grand jury subpoenas (and related oral argument in court) where Government conceded subpoenas were issued because subpoenaed parties refused to submit to additional “voluntary” interviews with FBI.
  • State v. John Doe (Kanawha Co.) – Firearm case (brandishing a deadly weapon).  Jury trial in juvenile court.
  • State v. John Doe (Kanawha Co.) -- Destruction of Property. Jury trial in juvenile court.
  • S. v. Allison (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. W.Va.) – Federal drug case. Open guilty plea with sentencing argument.
  • S. v. Long (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. W.Va.) – Mail Fraud/ public corruption case. Junior law firm associate, litigation assistance, not attorney of record.
Appeals Court
  • Commonwealth v. Gallagher (Superior Court of PA) - Pending appeal asserting limitations of Defendant's Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him in a criminal trial, prosecutorial misconduct, and misapplication of the PA Rules of Evidence so as to preclude Defendant to introduce favorable evidence but permit the Commonwealth to assail Defendant's character for peacefulness (though Defendant was never charged with any crime ofviolence).
  • In re: Grand Jury Proceedings (Third Circuit) – Sought interlocutory appeal on the ground that rule precluding interlocutory appeals assumes that grand jury proceedings relate to a criminal investigation and do not apply when the question before the trial court is whether the Government abused the federal grand jury process by issuing grand jury subpoenas with no intention of seeking an indictment.
  • U. v. Leo F. Schweitzer, III (Third Circuit & U.S. Supreme Court) – Resulted in a precedential opinion. Question was whether, in the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court’s rulings in Booker and FanFan, a federal court can impose a sentence above the guideline range on the basis of a factor (criminal history) used in calculating the guideline range.
  • George v. TSA (Third Circuit) – Amicus brief submitted on behalf of college student in airport detention case. Brief argued that presence of Arabic language reading materials cannot be used as a factor in determining whether to detain passenger (analysis analogous to Terry v. Ohio stop-and-frisk cases)
  • Commonwealth v. James (PA Super. Ct.) – Oral argument only (brief submitted by another attorney). Conviction overturned on sufficiency of the evidence grounds in Assault by Prisoner case.
  • Commonwealth v. Reyes (PA Super. Ct.) – Written brief only (oral argument conducted by another attorney). Weight of the evidence argument in court-appointed sex offense case.
Death Penalty
  • Commonwealth v. Terry Williams (clemency petition) -- Letter in support of death row inmate awaiting execution for two homicides he committed, shortly before and after his 18th birthday, in which he was convicted of killing .  Click here to read Amara's letter of support in its entirety.