Free Initial Consultations Available : 800-822-1066

Lehighton Legal Issues Blog

Dealing with a drug arrest

A person's behavior during an arrest can determine whether a person is ultimately convicted of drug offenses. Citizens can protect their constitutional rights and lower the chances that drug charges will have long-term consequences.

Police must obtain a search warrant before they undertake a privacy-invading search. However, any illegal material that can be plainly seen from a non-intrusive location may be confiscated and lead to an arrest and a search warrant. A "roach" left in an ashtray, a pipe or baggie on a coffee table or marijuana being smoked in public are mistakes that can lead to an arrest.

Bankruptcy may be filed more than once

A person may declare bankruptcy more than once. However, there are different time periods for a Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy and other serious considerations. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the most-recognized and is a discharge of all eligible debts, such as credit cards and hospital bills. Tax debts, child support and student loans are among the debts that cannot be discharged and must be repaid. There is an eight-year wait for refiling a second Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 is debt restructuring to help make monthly repayments to creditors over three to five-years. Monthly payments are as low as $125 to $150, which is distributed among all creditors. There is a four-year wait for debtors who previously filed under Chapter 7 to file Chapter 13. A debtor who earlier filed under Chapter 13 and seeks to file under Chapter 7 must wait six years. There is a two-year period for repeat Chapter 13 filings.

Understand the automatic stay before relying on it fully

Financial problems affect most people at least once in their lives. In some cases, the issues may be addressed quickly and without lasting repercussions, but in others, Pennsylvania residents may struggle for a long time and accrue a considerable amount of debt. In this latter scenario, collection agencies may try to contact those with debt and collect outstanding balances.

If you have financial problems and the stress of collection calls is becoming too much, you may wonder how you could right your situation. For many people in this predicament, filing for bankruptcy may be the debt relief option needed. One benefit that many people find useful when it comes to filing for bankruptcy is the automatic stay.

NTSB cites distracted driving as priority

The federal National Transportation Safety Board cited the dangers posed by distracted drivers as one of its priorities in its most wanted list of transportation safety improvements for 2019. The NTSB is seeking action to prevent car accidents caused by distracted driving.

Distracted driving occurs when motorists divert their attention away from driving and do not perform basic safety tasks, such as monitoring the road and being vigilant to unexpected events. While other passengers and "infotainment" systems are distracting, cell phones and other personal electronic devices pose even more concern.

Bankruptcy code and disabled veterans

The bankruptcy code is intended to give a fresh financial start to debtors and a point of contact for creditors. However, the code is unfavorable to disabled veterans because it makes them seek discharge under the more burdensome provisions of Chapter 13.

Over 13 years ago, Congress changed the federal bankruptcy code to force debtors with incomes meeting or exceeding the median income in their locality to file under the reorganization provisions of Chapter 13 instead of Chapter 7 liquidation. Chapter 7 is a faster process, while Chapter 13 reorganization takes three to five years. This change was intended to stop debtors who could pay some of their debt under Chapter 13 from abusing the system by seeking faster discharge under Chapter 7.

What is Pennsylvania's clean slate law?

Convictions for drug offenses and minor crimes can hamper career and educational chances and have other serious consequences for many years. However, Pennsylvania enacted a clean slate law that requires the sealing of more drug charges and other crimes.

This law took effect at the beginning of 2019. It created an automated computer process for sealing arrests that did not lead to convictions within 60 days, summary convictions after 10 years and certain second and third-degree misdemeanor convictions when there are no other misdemeanor or felony convictions for 10 years after the conviction.

Increasing child custody odds

Judges in Pennsylvania and other states are not allowed to discriminate against fathers when awarding custody of their children and base their decision on the best interests of the child. However, there are concerns that judges rely on rapidly-outdated presumptions while deciding child custody issues. There are several ways to increase the odds of obtaining custody for fathers or either parent, for that matter.

A strong record of timely child support payments is essential. A parent should keep payment records if there is an informal support agreement. Modifications should be sought from the court if payments cannot be made.

Safety tips to avoid a pedestrian accident

The new year is a time many of us resolve to establish positive new habits, and that often includes an intention to exercise more. One easy, and cheap, way to accomplish that goal is by taking up walking. It's good for your health, relatively low-impact and, if you invite a friend, can be a fun way to catch up as opposed to the more common method of doing so over a high-calorie meal.

However, walking is not without risks, ones you may not even have thought about. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2016, there was an increase in fatal accidents involving pedestrians. Almost six thousand pedestrians lost their lives while out walking, or a rate of a pedestrian killed every 1.5 hours. However, the NHTSA has some great advice for staying safe and avoiding pedestrian accidents for both pedestrians and the drivers who may encounter them.

Challenging a DUI arrest

A DUI charge can have serious penalties in Pennsylvania such as driver license suspension, fines, costs and even imprisonment in some cases. There are several ways to fight a drunk driving charge, however.

There are some general defenses against drunk driving. First, the police officer did not have solid legal grounds for stopping or detaining the driver. Or, in unique circumstances, it is proven that the person who was arrested was not driving the vehicle.

Chapter 7 or 13?

Borrowers who fall into debt may find relief and a fresh financial start by filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcies under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 have different consequences.

Chapter 7, also known as liquidation that can clear some or part of debt. However, this option requires surrendering property, cash or other assets. Chapter 13 can also discharge some debt but allows debtors to keep some property and repay debt under a 3 to 5-year repayment plan. Neither filing allows discharge of child support, spousal support or taxes.

Lehighton Office

Rapa Law Office, P.C.
141 South 1st Street
Lehighton, PA 18235

Lehighton Law Office Map

Allentown Office

Rapa Law Office, P.C.
609 Hamilton Street, 1st Floor
Allentown, PA 18101

Allentown Law Office Map

Contact Numbers

Phone: 610-377-7730
Toll Free: 800-822-1066
Fax: 610-377-7731
Toll Free: 866-740-6117

Review Us