Lancaster Legal Issues Blog

How are drug charges changing in Pennsylvania?

There are many changes across the country when it comes to drugs. Many states have started to decriminalize marijuana, with some making it completely legal. In other states, there have been some moves to help lessen the charges and penalties for drug crimes. In Pennsylvania, according to York Daily Record, a drug conviction used to lead to a driver's license suspension, but that is changing.

In the past, a drug conviction would result in the court suspending your driver's license regardless of whether you were driving or even around a vehicle when you were arrested. Many people ended up with license suspensions due to relatively minor charges. Those who wanted the law changed expressed that they felt it was detrimental and that according to statistics, it was affecting minorities the most.

Different types of terrorism

Pennsylvanian residents may not be aware of this, but there are distinct classes for different types of behavior or actions that could be considered terrorism. This can be important to know, since anyone can end up facing charges for terrorism, even if they aren't terrorists.

The Crime Museum takes a look at different types of terrorism, some of which may not be expected. They include:

  • Political terrorism
  • Non-political terrorism
  • Civil disorder
  • Limited political terrorism
  • State terrorism
  • Quasi terrorism

Were you charged with assault for defending yourself?

These days, many people feel that it is more and more difficult to know how to defend oneself without breaking the law. In many instances, just about any physical altercation between two people can lead to assault charges, which can result in serious criminal punishment.

If you are charged with assault for taking action to defend yourself, you need a strong legal defense. Although self-defense is a powerful justification and carries legal weight, judges do not simply toss out all charges when a defendant claims they were defending themselves. Even if you truly were defending yourself in a conflict, you need legal defense to protect your rights.

Know the facts about arson

When Pennsylvania residents hear the term "playing with fire," they may not think about arson. However, this offense is a serious one and people who commit this crime may find themselves facing felony charges.

FindLaw says that people commit arson when they intentionally set fire to a building or a person's property. This property can include people's boats and cars or their forested land. There are many different categories of arson and a court typically considers whether people sustained injuries or died because of the fire. Someone who commits arson may face more serious consequences if people got hurt during the incident. Because arson has the ability to hurt people, this offense is usually a felony.

How do DUI penalties differ for commercial drivers?

If you have a Pennsylvanian commercial vehicle driver's license and a job that involves driving, you have a lot at stake if you get convicted of a DUI-related crime. In fact, you have much more at stake than anyone else on the road who isn't also a commercial driver.

The regulations for commercial vehicle drivers, according to FindLaw, can be strict due to the number of people commercial drivers impact. You could impact your own passengers, as well as other drivers on the road around you. Your own employer could suffer, because your actions will reflect on your parent company. 

Is your former spouse hostile as a co-parent? Follow these tips

It's difficult to successfully co-parent when your ex-spouse is hostile. Even if they only act out every now and again, it's enough to bring massive amounts of stress to your life.

Even though you're not happy with your current situation, there are tips you can follow to more easily deal with a hostile ex-spouse while you co-parent with them:

  • Stick to the type of communication that works: Some forms of communication will work better for you than others. For example, if you and your spouse always argue when talking in person, stick to text messages and email moving forward. This reduces the chances of a hostile encounter.
  • Don't share details about your personal life: Sharing information about your life that does not pertain directly to the child you share should be avoided, as it can quickly anger your ex-spouse. For example, don't tell your ex that you're going on a date or moving in with your new partner. Keep your personal life to yourself.
  • Try to see things from their side: Don't automatically assume that your ex is hostile for no good reason. Instead, put yourself in their shoes to better understand what's happening with them. It may not do anything to calm down your ex, but it might give you a better idea of the approach you can take to reduce trouble.
  • Don't put your kids in the middle: This happens time and time again, so don't be surprised if your ex attempts to use your child to get back at you. For example, they may tell your child things about your past that you wouldn't have shared yet, or at all. Or they may allow your child to break rules that you've set, all to start an argument. You can't control what your ex does, but you should do everything you can to keep your kids out of your post-divorce problems.

Know how to recognize parental alienation

When Pennsylvania residents divorce, the process can sometimes be more complicated if people are trying to find a good solution for their children. In some situations, one parent may realize that his or her ex-spouse is trying to keep the children away from him or her permanently.

Psychology Today says that parental alienation means one parent is trying to create an estrangement between their children and the other parent. Either a father or a mother can try to turn the children against the other parent. Most of the time, an alienating parent does not have good emotional health and may also be selfish. If a parent is trying to alienate his or her children, this person might blame his or her spouse every time something goes wrong and falsely accuse the children's other parent. This parent might also say negative things about his or her ex-spouse and prevent the other parent from spending time with the kids.

What kind of drugs might you see at college?

When you start college in Pennsylvania, you may think the only questionable substance you will encounter is alcohol. However, there are many substances you might encounter on a college campus and some of them can have serious consequences for your health, as well as lead to possible drug charges.

You may think that drug use is not prevalent among college students. According to, a 2015 survey found that at least 23 percent of college students have taken an addictive or illegal substance while at school. When you consider the kinds of drugs you might come into contact with, you may immediately think about marijuana. However, this substance is only one of several students may see.

New year, clean slate in Pennsylvania

Many people see the start of a new year as an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start again. Thanks to a new law that took effect in Pennsylvania last month, many people with histories of arrests or convictions will be able to seal criminal records so that landlords and employers, among others, will no longer be able to access them. The law goes by the name Clean Slate because that is essentially what it does for the people it affects. 

Sealing a criminal record is not the same as an expungement, which results in the destruction of criminal records. In other words, the record will be inaccessible to public view, but not destroyed entirely. However, once sealing of the record takes place, only certain people will have access to it: certain employers, such as those who utilize FBI background checks and those required by federal law to consider the record, as well as law enforcement. 

What are the differences between burglary and robbery?

In Pennsylvania, there are numerous types of charges that are related to theft crimes. Not all of them carry the same weight, either. Marinaro Law Firm is here to illustrate important differences in two types of theft crime: burglary and robbery.

Generally speaking, robbery is the charge that will come with the most severe consequences. Why, exactly? Because burglary by definition simply means that you have entered a building or property unlawfully. Robbery, on the other hand, means that force - or even the threat of force - was used while the theft was taking place.

Email Us For A Response

Is Your Case Ready For Trial?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Lancaster Office
53 North Duke Street Suite 1
Lancaster, PA 17602

Toll Free: 866-614-6520
Phone: 717-406-1794
Lancaster Law Office Map

York Office
11 E. Market Street, Suite 102
Rich Executive Building
York, Pennsylvania 17401

Phone: 717-848-4200
York Law Office Map