Lancaster Legal Issues Blog

What is a drug conspiracy charge?

When Pennsylvania residents like you face drug-related conspiracy charges, you could be dealing with more potential consequences than you think. Your life may be ruined for the smallest interaction with someone who has bad intentions, and you might not even be aware of it.

By FindLaw's definition, conspiracy is a crime that involves two or more people who agree to commit a criminal act together. They also take steps toward completing the crime, though those actions don't have to be directly related to the crime itself. Instead, they only need to show that you and someone else knew of an illegal plan and actively intended to break the law. In the case of drug uses specifically, this can apply to:

  • Dealing drugs
  • Assisting a dealer
  • Using drugs
  • Being in possession of drugs

Find ways to make life easier for children of divorce

Many different things happen when you divorce and have children. For one, you have to determine how to handle child custody matters. Some parents try to keep a lot of life's aspects the same as they were before by choosing to co-parent, but this isn't always easy.

Co-parenting will take work on the part of you and the other parent. Both adults will have to take steps to try to help the children to adjust. There will be times when it might seem like the focus is shifting from your children to you or your ex, but you can't let this happen. Here are some ways to keep your children at the center of the arrangement:

How will you financially support your child post-divorce?

Divorcing Pennsylvanian parents have more than just your own financial situations and well-being to consider. You also need to decide how you will continue supporting your child. Marinaro Law Firm can help you understand how best to meet their financial needs even after your source of income changes with your divorce.

Generally speaking, the spouse that does not get full custody of the child will have to pay a form of child support. In essence, these payments are meant to supplement the income lost by the other spouse. The money can be used for a number of necessities like:

  • School payments
  • Medical payments
  • Food or water
  • Housing
  • Clothing

Understanding possession with the intent to distribute

Pennsylvania residents may not know that drug charges don't just apply to people who are actively partaking in the use of drugs. There are laws that prevent possession or distribution which can have consequences that are just as damaging.

For example, FindLaw shows that being in the possession of drugs with the intent to distribute can be met with severe penalties under federal law. However, possession with the intent to distribute only applies in cases where both possession and intent to distribute are immediately present. Possession is determined by whether or not drugs are physically present with the person in question. They can be in the vehicle or home that's being searched, or they can be on their person.

Your license was suspended, but you have to work. Now what?

Losing your license is a common consequence of getting a DUI in Pennsylvania, and as you know, it can be a great inconvenience. You may have to wait several months to get your license back, but it is not possible to put your life on hold. At the Marinaro Law Firm, we frequently assist those with suspended licenses in ways to get transportation safely and legally.

After your license is suspended, you might feel lost, confused and angry. You still have a job, or you might be trying to finish your education. You and your children have doctors’ appointments and you need to provide for your family. How are you supposed to get everything accomplished without a license? You can only rely on the generosity of friends and family for so long. You might not even have someone to ask for a ride. Public transportation may not be available in your area, or you might get off work after buses have stopped running. You might not be able to afford calling a taxi or an Uber every time you need to go somewhere.

What types of guns are illegal in Pennsylvania?

If you are a Pennsylvania gun enthusiast, you need to be aware that you are prohibited from owning certain types of guns in our state. Per FindLaw, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranks Pennsylvania as the 10th strictest gun law state in the nation.

Under Pennsylvania law, the following types of guns are illegal:

  • Sawed-off shotguns
  • Machine guns
  • Guns with an altered manufacturer’s number
  • Guns with silencers
  • Guns that are made or adapted for concealment

What happens if I miss my court date?

If you are a Pennsylvania resident who failed to appear in court for a traffic ticket or any other civil or criminal court proceeding, there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest. Rule 1910.13-1 of the Pennsylvania Code provides that whenever you refuse or neglect to show up in court, you are in contempt of court and the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest.

Once the bench warrant is issued, it is entered into Pennsylvania’s computer system and law enforcement officers, as well as other people, such as municipal and state court systems, judges and attorneys, have access to the information. What this means is that “everyone” knows you are a fugitive and law enforcement officers are instructed to arrest you whenever and however they encounter you. How soon they arrest you, and whether or not they come to your home to do so, usually depends on the seriousness of the court proceeding at which you failed to appear.

Pennsylvania schoolgirls facing serious charges for food prank

The school years can be difficult for children and teenagers. They may not only have to endure bullying and peer pressure but can also be faced with difficult decisions. It is not always easy to know what is right and wrong, especially when friends are influencing them on what to do. However, it is important for children and parents in Pennsylvania to understand that some things that may be thought of as harmless jokes can be considered bullying and may even result in criminal charges.

Such was the case in December, when three girls in Butler, Pennsylvania, decided to play a joke on a classmate who had a serious allergy to pineapple. Reportedly, one 14-year-old girl rubbed some fresh pineapple on her hand and gave a high-five to the girl with the allergy. After suffering an allergic reaction, the girl was taken to the hospital. Fortunately, she recovered, but the girls involved in the prank are now facing charges, including aggravated assault, reckless endangering, harassment, criminal conduct and criminal conspiracy.

Officers need probable cause to pull you over while driving

You had a few drinks. You decided to drive home, knowing that you didn't feel intoxicated enough to have to worry. Despite driving safely, you see an officer turn on his lights behind you.

If you're stopped by the police, you need to protect your rights. You may think that you need to follow the officer's every instruction, but there are some times in which you could hurt your own defense by doing so.

When can I lose my right to own a gun?

If you are like many Pennsylvania residents, your Second Amendment right to bear arms is very dear to you. If you are like most gun owners, you are a good person who possesses, stores and uses his or her guns in a highly responsible manner. Even a good person, however, can make a mistake and lose his or her right to own a gun.

Section 6105 of the Pennsylvania Code lists a number of ways in which you could lose your right to possess a gun as well as to use, sell, transfer or manufacture one, including the following:

  • You were convicted of a crime under Pennsylvania’s Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act
  • You were convicted of three or more DUI offenses within five years
  • You are in the United States illegally
  • You have an outstanding protection from abuse order against you
  • You were adjudged incompetent or committed involuntarily to a mental institution
  • You were adjudged delinquent as a juvenile
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