Lancaster Legal Issues Blog

Defense seeks overturning of conviction

It is understandable that many people in Pennsylvania may feel as though all hope is lost after they have been convicted of a crime by a judge or a jury. However, it is vital that defendants remember that the criminal justice system guarantees them the right to fair treatment and a fair and full defense. In some cases, this involves the appeal of an original verdict or even the request to overturn a decision that has already been handed down.

An example of how this might come to be can be seen in the case of a man currently sentenced to death for his role in the death of one man and the injury of another. The event took place in the autumn of 2014. At issue today is not whether or not the defendant is innocent of the charges against him but whether or not the prosecution team involving interragators after his arrest treated him fairly.

Understanding points on your driver's license

When you receive a driver's license in Pennsylvania, you need to know that the state has the ability to suspend your license if you amass a certain number of points. Points are added to your driving record when you are cited for various traffic infractions. The number of points added to your license may vary based upon the nature of the infraction. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, most citations result in two or three points being added to your license but some offenses will add four or even five points at one time.

Drivers who are 16 or 17 years old may face a license suspension after receiving only six points on their licenses. Drivers who are 18 or older may face suspension after they receive 11 points on their licenses. Points may fall off of your record over time if you do not add any other offenses. Some points may also be removed for adult drivers after passing written or driving tests or after serving some suspension periods.

What sets burglary apart from other types of theft?

As a resident of Pennsylvania who is facing burglary charges, you could potentially have a lot to lose if convicted. Marinaro Law Firm is here to help you deal with these accusations and show you the difference between burglary and other types of theft.

Burglary is a serious offense. Additionally, you don't even need to steal anything in order to be charged with burglary. As long as you have been accused of unlawfully entering property that isn't your own, the charge may apply. You may not even have to get in through forceful means, such as breaking through locked windows or doors. If you walk through an unlocked door, it's still considered trespassing. And if you walk through with the intent to steal something, it's burglary.

How do you decide who gets what post-divorce?

Every state has its own laws for handling divorce, Pennsylvania included. But exactly what should you expect from the state when it comes to property division? Pennsylvania is a state whose laws follow equitable distribution, which can impact how you may handle your assets and tackle their division.

FindLaw defines equitable distribution as a fair division of equitable marital property. This is done by the courts when a couple is going through divorce proceedings. The courts will always use the same statutory guidelines in order to decide what should be considered fair in any one situation, allowing them to make decisions regarding many cases with vastly different assets.

What are common firearm regulations?

In order to keep the general public safe, Pennsylvania has some strict firearm laws. Unfortunately, this means that you might end up breaking one of these complex and extensive laws without even realizing it. Here at Marinaro Law Firm, we work to protect your firearm rights in the face of potential revocation.

Having the ability to carry a gun in Pennsylvania comes with a lot of responsibilities and rules. However, you may not necessarily be aware of them. For example, did you know that it's illegal to carry or possess a firearm on school property even if you have a permit?

How will your community deal with the heroin addiction epidemic?

The heroin epidemic now threatens almost every state in America. There are few places safe from the impact the addiction to opiates has had on the American people.

The tragedy of the opiate crisis and heroin epidemic is that many good people have become addicted to drugs as a result of legitimate pain or injuries. They were prescribed medications with the knowledge that those same medications could lead to addiction. Then, instead of helping patients adjust and taper down off medications, doctors cut them off from the medications they needed. This action led to many turning to illicit drugs for the pain relief and to stave off withdrawal symptoms.

Making summer positive with your ex

If you and your spouse in Pennsylvania are in the midst of a divorce, you may well be looking at the calendar and wondering how in the world you can make the fast-approaching summer a positive one for your children. Co-parenting is never easy and is its own ongoing art but it can feel especially difficult when your breakup is fresh as you are navigating unchartered waters. Fortunately there are some tips you can keep in mind to help you and your kids not only get through this time but make it happy and memorable.

Parenting Magazine highlights the importance of adopting the attitude that your kids are the the priority at all times. This is actually a cornerstone of positive co-parenting regardless of what time of year it is. When you and your children's other parent need to work out schedules or activities, focusing on the benefit to your children can help to take some emotion out of the discussion. It may also be helpful for you two to not attempt to compete with each other in an effort to be the parent who provides the most fun for the kids.

Possible felony DUI charge for Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents are likely aware that although they might be pulled over for drunk driving, they usually will not be charged with a felony. However, felony charges for a DUI may soon be part of the law.

Pennsylvania may soon take a different stance on repeat offenses of drinking and driving. According to the York Daily Record, a new law would call for higher penalties for people who have numerous DUI convictions. Under this law, people might be sentenced to seven years in prison if they have at least two DUIs on their record and cause an accident while intoxicated that results in a person's death. A third DUI conviction in a 10 year period would be considered a felony if this person had a blood alcohol content higher than .16 percent. Additionally, people whose license was suspended because of a DUI conviction might face more serious consequences if they continue to drive.

Do you need to report a misdemeanor on a college application?

When you apply for college in Pennsylvania, you may not give much thought to a question about your criminal record. If you have a misdemeanor on your record, though, you may wonder if you might be denied admission if you answer honestly.

You may think that universities ask about your criminal record because they want to make sure their campus is safe. According to The Atlantic, college campuses are not necessarily safer because the administration knows about your misdemeanor. The director of an advocacy group says that students who have a misdemeanor or other offense on their record are rarely a threat to other people on campus. Instead, it is typically students without a criminal record who are associated with crime. Additionally, these crimes are usually connected to athletics or drinking.

I've been charged with aggravated assault. What can I do?

cartoons fighting.jpegIf you were arrested and find out that you're facing aggravated assault charges, you may not believe it. The charges sound far more serious than anything that actually happened.

Aggravated assault is a felony, and you could wind up in jail for two decades. If you were facing simple assault charges instead, it would be a misdemeanor. This leads to only a one year sentence. There is a big difference in the penalties between the two offenses.

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