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Cranberry Township Legal Blog

Proximity may not justify seizure of alleged drug money

Having an inadequate criminal defense has long-term consequences. Forfeiture of money allegedly involved in drug crimes is one possible consequence. However, the state Supreme Court recently ruled that prosecutors cannot simply prove that cash and illegal drugs were in the same place to justify the seizure of money.

In that case, Pennsylvania State Police stopped a New Jersey resident in August 2009 because of tailgating while driving with three passengers. After smelling marijuana, the Trooper received consent to search the car and found ecstasy pills and a small amount of marijuana. Additionally, he confiscated $34,440 hidden behind a side door.

The options available to those considering a divorce

Spouses going through divorce in Pennsylvania can go to court or use other options to avoid litigation. Selecting a particular procedure depends on the trust that spouses have in each other, as well as the intricacies of their case.

Litigation involves couples hiring their own attorney and going to court. Here, a judge makes the final decisions on property division, child and spousal support, and custody arrangements. This option is often used by couples who have little trust in one another and are unable to negotiate their own resolution of divorce issues. They must accept the judge's decision even if they disagree with it.

Pennsylvania's laws for driving under the influence of marijuana

Pennsylvania imposes severe penalties when an individual is caught driving with marijuana in their bloodstream, even if the driver is not impaired. Suspects should be aware of the significance of mounting an effective criminal defense after an arrest because of the severity of the penalties they could face if convicted.

A motorist is guilty of a crime when he or she drives with any amount of marijuana in his or her blood, with any marijuana metabolites in his or her blood, or under the influence of any drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol that impairs his or her ability to drive safely.

Factors that contribute to a strong custody case

Child custody cases are very serious matters. The way in which parents present themselves is crucial.

If you are facing a custody battle, it is important that you understand what it entails. A few key factors can contribute to creating a strong custody case.

Lawsuit claims DUI quotas violated rights

A dashboard video of Pennsylvania State Troopers allegedly discussing driving under the influence arrest quotas was essential to the criminal defense and the dismissal of a charge for driving under the influence of controlled substances in Carbon County. The defendant also filed a federal lawsuit for law enforcement actions relating to this arrest.

According to the May 17, 2015 arrest video, a Pennsylvania State Trooper responded to a local police officer who received information that a woman wanted on an arrest warrant was a passenger in the defendant's truck. The trooper apprehended the woman after she ran away from the vehicle while other officers handcuffed the defendant driver.

Fraternity members sentenced to probation for hazing death

Defending college student crimes does not involve only challenging factual allegations. At times, a plea negotiation is the most reasonable option and may lower the severity of a criminal conviction and sentence.

Late last month, 14 former fraternity members pled guilty to reduced criminal charges for the 2013 hazing initiation death of an 18-year-old New York college freshman from Manhattan's Baruch College in Dec. 2013 in the Poconos Mountains. The victim died from head injuries suffered in a fraternity hazing at a rented home in the Poconos.

What are Pennsylvania's underage drinking penalties?

Pennsylvania imposes penalties for underage drinking upon minors and adults who furnish liquor to a minor. Going to college, being over 18-years-old, and drinking with an adult can lead to serious consequences. Therefore, those who are accused of underage drinking may need a competent criminal defense.

Pennsylvania has a minimum 21-year-old legal drinking age. Minors between 18 and 21 years of age are considered underage for alcohol consumption purposes. However, these individuals may be charged as adults, which could force them to face adult criminal penalties for underage drinking.

Charges dismissed in fraternity member's death case

In Pennsylvania, college student crimes, such as fraternity hazing and underage drinking at Penn State and other universities, have received recently publicity. The recent dismissal of charges against an Indiana University of Pennsylvania student charged for the death of a fraternity brother underscores the importance of students asserting criminal defense rights.

The defendant and the deceased student, both 20-years-old, were members of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity at IUP when that student died on February 3rd. The defendant was charged days later with homicide and aggravated assault after prosecutors claimed that he was seen choking the victim during a fight in Indiana Borough.

Pennsylvania has a tiered approach to DUI enforcement

Most Pennsylvania drivers know that in 2003, legislation lowered the legal limit for blood alcohol content from 0.10 percent to 0.08 percent, which is in line with other states. The reduction in BAC level came with other changes in the penalties a drunk driver faces.

Convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol are now managed under a tiered approach, which is more lenient for someone convicted of a first offense since it leans more toward treatment than punishment. However, not all first offenders qualify.

Criminal Charges

Being charged with a criminal offense is one of the worst experiences a person can have. They already know it may be coming as they have been questioned by the police or other law enforcement entity. Finding out that you made your case easier for the police to charge you throws fuel on the fire.

Most of us were taught to tell the truth and to cooperate with law enforcement authorities. For the most part, that is very noble, but in some cases, you may have caused yourself further problems. Everyone can recite the Miranda Warnings from the police shows on television:

"You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and may be used against you. You have the right to an attorney..."

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

Phone: 724-935-0820
Fax: 724-779-6299
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