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Lehighton Legal Issues Blog

Drug charges are serious

In Pennsylvania, drug crimes are serious criminal charges which can carry harsh potential penalties and consequences. Convictions for drug crimes remain on an accused individual's record for their lifetime and can have serious consequences for the accused individual's personal life and employment and may threaten their freedom and future. Penalties for drug charges in Pennsylvania can include mandatory incarceration, fees and the loss of a driver's license or professional license.

There is no such thing as a minor drug charge in terms of potential penalties and consequences to the accused individual. Both misdemeanor and felony drug charges can be serious. Drug charges can include drug possession charges; possession with the intent to deliver; drug trafficking charges; drug cultivation charges; charges related to drug paraphernalia; prescription drug charges and charges related to illegally or fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs. Drug charges can include charges related to marijuana, heroin, Ecstasy, cocaine, oxycodone and others.

Pennsylvania car accident claims life of woman and injures others

Victims of car and truck accidents are legally protected. A recent four-vehicle car accident in Pennsylvania claimed the life of a 61-year old woman. The car accident occurred as traffic began to slow for road work in the lane the woman was travelling in. A tractor trailer driven by a 36-year old man failed to slow and struck the woman's vehicle from behind. The driver of the tractor trailer was cited by authorities for speeding. The woman's vehicle was forced into the vehicle in front of her, also slowing in the construction zone, which was then forced into an SUV in front of it.

In addition to the fatality, two other individuals in the vehicle hit by the victim's vehicle were also injured in the truck accident. Unfortunately, car and truck accidents can be deadly. In addition, they can cause serious, and sometimes catastrophic, injuries to victims. Because the legal system recognizes this, it provides important personal injury and wrongful death legal protections for victims and their families.

Bankruptcy help stopping the foreclosure process

The prospect of losing a family home is understandingly alarming and upsetting. As a result, it is important for those struggling with financial challenges to be aware of the personal bankruptcy options available to protect them. Personal bankruptcy options may be able to help protect a family home and may also help with foreclosure. The Chapter 13 bankruptcy process may help stop foreclosure which is why it is an option that is important to understand.

There are different types of personal bankruptcy protections available to help struggling individuals and homeowners. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one option that may help with foreclosure and provide protection against foreclosure. Once a petition for Chapter 13 bankruptcy has been filed, an automatic stay goes into effect that halts all creditor collection actions while the bankruptcy process proceeds. This can provide breathing room for the filing party to get caught up on payments and prevent foreclosure.

Distracted drivers in Pennsylvania may face legal consequences

Most of us are familiar that distracted driving can cause serious car accidents that result in significant injuries and harm to victims. It is important for drivers to keep in mind that any activity that removes their hands from the wheel, their eyes from the roadway or takes their focus off the task of driving is considered distracted driving. This can include a variety of behaviors that are potentially dangerous on the roadway.

A variety of everyday behaviors can be considered distracted driving. Distracted driving behaviors can include talking, texting or emailing on a cell phone or smart phone while driving; adjusting a radio or operating a navigation system while driving; reading or writing while driving; interacting with passengers while driving; eating, drinking or smoking while driving; personal grooming while driving; paying too much attention to activities going on outside of the vehicle and roadway while driving; and rubbernecking while driving.

Make sure your teenager's aware of these driving distractions

As a parent of a Pennsylvania teenager, you likely experience a roller coaster of emotions on any given week. That's simply because living with people under age 18 can be quite challenging, even if rewarding most of the time. One of biggest challenges you'll probably undertake if you have a son or daughter age 16 or above, is teaching him or her how to drive a car. It's a much-anticipated milestone in the lives of many teens and parents alike.

You may agree with other parents who say they're delighted when their kids can drive themselves to sports practices or run to the store for milk. Knowing how dangerous state highways can be, however, you may also worry every time your child gets behind the wheel. If you provide appropriate tools and information to help your child stay as safe as possible, you will hopefully have more good days than bad, at least where driving is concerned.

Woman arrested for driving under the influence

Criminal defense rights apply to all types of criminal charges, including drunk driving charges. In a nearby Pennsylvania community north of the Lehighton area a 34-year old woman was recently arrested for drunk driving charges. According to authorities, the woman fled the scene of an accident that injured a 70-year old man. Witnesses provided a description of the vehicle allegedly involved in the accident and a partial license plate number. Also according to authorities, another witness called in to report that they were following a vehicle that was driving erratically and matched the description of the vehicle involved in the accident.

Following the witness's call to police, authorities arrested the woman. The woman reported to officers that she had taken an Ambien to help her sleep but police officers alleged her speech seemed slurred and she seemed under the influence. Police stated they did not conduct field sobriety tests because the woman had difficulty keeping her balance and understanding police. The woman consented to a blood alcohol test. Authorities reported that the woman's license was suspended because of a DUI.

Child custody basics in Pennsylvania

The idea of child custody can be troubling but is important for divorcing parents to understand and to know what to expect. Determining child custody can be one of the most emotional and contentious aspects of the divorce process. Additional concerns, such as grandparent visitation, can also arise which is why it is important for divorcing parents to understand the full range of resources available to them through the family law process.

Child custody decisions in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are based on what is in the best interest of the child. The family law court considers relevant factors to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Factors the court may consider can include which parent is more likely to encourage and allow frequent and continuing contact between the child and the other parents; which parent is most likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child; and which parent is most likely to care for the child's daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs.

A strong criminal defense strategy is needed for drug charges

Drug charges are significant charges and can be punished harshly in Pennsylvania. Drug charges carry potentially stiff penalties, serious consequences and a lifetime criminal record. Penalties for drug charges can include criminal penalties such as incarceration, administrative penalties such as the loss of a driver's license and can threaten a business or occupational license. Drug charges, therefore, threaten the freedom and professional and personal lives of accused individuals.

Both felony and misdemeanor drug charges can result in minimum jail or prison sentences. Drug charges can include possession charges; possession with intent to deliver charges; drug trafficking charges; drug cultivation charges; drug paraphernalia charges; and prescription drug charges such as fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs or illegally selling prescription drugs. Drug charges can relate to drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, oxycodone and ecstasy, among some others.

Bankruptcy may stop a lender from seizing your home

Are you behind on your mortgage payments? If so, you are one of many Pennsylvania residents in such a position. While foreclosure rates have declined over the years, numerous individuals have still found themselves struggling to stay financially afloat, making it difficult for them to meet their obligation to their mortgage lenders. This is when they start considering bankruptcy.

A mortgage lender is not going to take your home after one missed payment. In fact, they generally let things slide for a few months before they are willing to take action. Before you get to that point, though, it is wise to look at foreclosure defense strategies that may benefit your situation -- such as bankruptcy.

Do PA police need a warrant to search a vehicle?

Anyone who has watched police programs on television know search warrants. Judges issue these documents when a law enforcement officer is able to show the court that there is probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime may be found in some specific location. The idea behind warrants is to protect the privacy of people's property under the 4th amendment. However, it may be less commonly known by Pennsylvanians that warrants are not always used.

The legal requirements of a search warrant, including what can be used to show probable cause, and how specific the description of the place and what is being searched for needs to be, can be the subject of its own post. What Pennsylvania residents should realize, though, is that in many cases, police may conduct searches without obtaining warrants.

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