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Cranberry Township Legal Blog

What is the definition of rape?

Rape is a serious accusation and rape charges carry significant potential penalties and consequences. Rape is defined as non-consensual sexual intercourse through physical force, threat of injury or duress. In today's legal system, the crucial element of a rape charge is the victim's lack of consent to intercourse. It is important to keep in mind that a victim may be unable to consent due to the influence of drugs or alcohol.

In addition, it is also important to keep in mind that rape can take place when the parties have a pre-existing relationship which is sometimes referred to as date rape. Rape can also occur between spouses. Rape charges require some form of sexual penetration. In addition, another category of rape is statutory rape which refers to sexual intercourse with a minor and can be charged whether or not the parties consented to sexual intercourse.

The basics of drug possession laws in Pennsylvania

Drug possession charges can have a significant, and negative, impact on the lives of accused individuals. In Pennsylvania, drug possession charges include possession of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs. For criminal charges to be sustained to a criminal conviction, the accused individual must have knowingly possessed a controlled substance. It is important for the accused individual to understand what must be proven because that may impact a criminal defense strategy.

Defenses to drug possession charges can include a lack of intent; a lack of knowledge; possession of an insufficient quantity of the drug; the drug was prescribed to the accused individual by a medical doctor; the accused individual had a license to carry the drug; the drugs did not belong to the accused individual; the accused individual was the victim of an unlawful search or seizure or other violation of their rights by authorities; or the accused individual was entrapped.

Important facts about preliminary hearings

The justice system can be complex and confusing, which may make it difficult to navigate. It is important to take the time to understand each part of the process.

If you or a loved one face criminal charges, there will be a preliminary hearing. There are a few key facts about this part of the trial you should know.

College students in Pennsylvania charged with underage drinking

Criminal charges can have a serious impact on the lives of college students and anyone facing them. In a Pennsylvania community east of the Cranberry area, 56 college students were recently arrested for underage drinking. The students were arrested at a party of approximately several hundred party goers at two off-campus houses. Last year, increased enforcement of underage drinking violations was announced.

Police records reveal that arrests of students for alcohol-related crimes are up from the same period in 2016. Recently, university authorities have charged 16 students with underage drinking and city police have issued 11 citations. Underage drinking is one of the most common college student crimes college students may be charged with.

Are you honestly prepared to face divorce?

If you have been struggling with the idea of divorce, you should ask yourself if you are truly ready for this life-altering experience. Even if you are eager to turn the page, you may still have moments when you wonder if you are doing the right thing.

Everyone who faces the prospect of divorce feels conflicted. You may want to end the marriage but at the same time feel guilty about doing so. On the other hand, while you think moving on is the right thing to do, you may have trouble believing that a better life awaits.

Potential Penalties for a DUI

Before you make your Labor Day Weekend plans, please be aware of the consequences of drinking and driving. The statistics are quite clear that during holiday weekends, such as this Labor Day weekend, driving incidents involving alcohol increase dramatically. Similarly, there is an increase in charges of Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

For a first-time offense of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol, depending on your blood alcohol level, penalties can range from a minimum of 6 months of probation to a maximum of 6 months in jail. Additionally, a first-time offense can result in a fine ranging from $300-$5,000 in addition to court costs. With each subsequent offense the fines and potential jail time associated with a DUI increases.

What is collaborative law divorce and what are its benefits?

When a Pennsylvania couple is considering divorce, it is likely that they have many important questions and concerns. One question they may have is if there are options available that might make their divorce less acrimonious, costly and time consuming. One option that might help is a collaborative law divorce. The collaborative law divorce process is an out-of-court divorce option for couples to consider.

Unlike traditional divorce litigation, collaborative law does not involve the family court in the same manner a litigated divorce might. By committing to the collaborative divorce process, parties may be able to resolve their divorce and divorce-related concerns without the need to step into a courtroom. The collaborative law divorce process is designed to help the parties engage in creative problem solving aimed at reaching a negotiated settlement that meets the needs and goals of both individuals.

Understanding how spousal support is determined in Pennsylvania

Spousal support is an understandably significant concern for many divorcing spouses. Financial security is an important concerns for both the family law system and the couple. It is helpful for divorcing couples to understand the guidelines used to develop spousal support orders.

Pennsylvania has a detailed spousal support process. Spousal support may be awarded during the period following legal separation, but before a divorce complaint is filed to a spouse that is not financially independent. Once a divorce complaint has been filed, a spousal support order may be entered to assist the financially dependent spouse during the divorce process. Finally, alimony or spousal support, may be awarded in the final divorce agreement for the support and maintenance of the dependent spouse.

How are child custody decisions made in Pennsylvania?

For couples who are divorcing, child custody may be on the top of their list of concerns. Most couples will want to know what to expect from the child custody process and what it will mean for them and for their children. Because child custody can be an emotionally challenging aspect of any divorce, it is helpful to know how the family law process works and how child custody is determined in Pennsylvania.

The family law court will determine child custody based on what is in the best interests of the child. The family law court will evaluate any factor that impacts what is in the best interests of the child, placing a special focus on the child's safety and factors relevant to the child's safety. The court will take into account any history of abuse; if either parent has a history of drug or alcohol abuse; or if either parent has a criminal history related to certain criminal charges.

The many benefits of a prenuptial agreement

Prenuptial agreements are associated oftentimes with celebrities and the wealthy in the minds of many but prenuptial agreements offer some basic benefits to any couple. Prenuptial agreements are useful tools for any couple bringing personal and business assets into a marriage. Prenuptial agreements can be helpful to outline the expectations of the couple and can help in the event of divorce so that divorcing couple knows what to expect from the property division process which can save time, money and acrimony should the couple decide to divorce at some point.

Prenuptial agreements can outline the property that each spouse enters the marriage with which is considered separate property and is not subject to division if the couple divorces. A prenuptial agreement can also specify which additional income or additional business or other assets will be shared. Any inheritance assets are typically considered separate property and are not subject to division. Many assets become comingled following a marriage so a prenuptial agreement can help designate property according to the couple's wishes.

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Haller & Imbarlina, P.C.
20120 Route 19, Suite 208
Gigliotti Plaza
Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Phone: 724-417-9524
Phone: 724-417-9524
Fax: 724-779-6299
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Haller & Imbarlina, P.C.