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Lehighton Legal Issues Blog

What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy and is it right for me?

Are you one of the many Pennsylvania residents struggling to meet debt obligations? Do you have money coming in but not enough to get you out of the financial hole you have found yourself in? If you are, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the answer you are looking for.

What is Chapter 13 bankruptcy? How do you know if it is the right fit for you? Are there any downsides to filing for bankruptcy?

Police do not have to advise suspects of DUI rights

Americans are long familiar with suspects being informed of their Miranda rights. However, a Pennsylvania appeals court recently ruled that police do not have to notify drunk driving suspects that they can be criminally prosecuted if they refuse to submit to blood tests.

Woman files suit over loss of husband and child in crash

A construction zone, an 80-ton tractor trailer, and an allegedly drunk driver is a hazardous combination. A woman who lost her husband and 16-month-old daughter in a car accident filed a lawsuit against the trucking company, truck driver and contractor on the construction site.

Some mandatory license suspensions end

Pennsylvania will soon end mandatory driver's license suspensions for drug offenses and other crimes unrelated to driving. Although drug charges still have serious consequences, an outdated and heavily-criticized practice will be eliminated.

Pennsylvania strengthens DUI laws

A DUI charge in Pennsylvania carries heavy penalties. Very soon, however, punishments may increase because of new drunk driving laws passed by the Pennsylvania legislature this month. The bill, which has been transferred to the governor for signing, addresses repeat offenders. The bill reclassifies DUI charges from a misdemeanor to a felony for certain offenses. Only Pennsylvania and three other states classify all drunk driving convictions as a misdemeanor.

Getting a divorce? Make sure all assets are on the table

Are you one of the many Pennsylvania residents trying to get out of your marriage before year's end? If you are, you may feel that you need to rush your divorce proceedings. Rushing things can result in mistakes that can hurt you in the long run. For example, if you fail to make sure all your assets are on the table, you may walk away with a divorce settlement that offers you less than to what you are really entitled.

The sad reality of divorce is that it is not uncommon for one spouse to try to hide assets from the other. A spouse may do this because he or she has concerns about being left with nothing of value when all is said and done. The problem is, the act of hiding assets from divorce is illegal, and it only hurts both parties in the end.

When can grandparents seek custody?

Pennsylvania enacted a law earlier this year addressing grandparents' legal right to seek physical and legal custody of minor children. This right is called standing and Pennsylvania expanded standing for grandparents, great-grandparents and other interested people seeking child custody.

Same-sex partner restricted from custody

Courts have been facing new issues after legal rights were granted to same-sex couples. In a unique case, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that a woman was not the legal parent of her same-sex partner's biological son. The court denied her request for partial child custody.

The couple was living in Florida when one of the partners underwent intrauterine insemination with an anonymous sperm donor and gave birth in 2006. Six years later, the couple separated. The biological mother and her son moved to Pennsylvania. The other partner did not adopt the son when the couple lived together. However, she claimed that both parents agreed to co-parent the boy and that she acted as one of the child's mothers.

Police consider new marijuana breath-test device for drivers

Law enforcement has been unable to conclusively determine whether a motorist is driving under the influence of marijuana. Police in Luzerne County are considering the use of a new device, which is intended to determine whether the driver smoked marijuana within a couple of hours of a traffic stop. It could impact the prosecution of drug charges and pose issues to users of medical marijuana.

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