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Lehighton Legal Issues Blog

State releases disturbing stats about distracted driving

Despite countless attempts to curb distracted driving, it seems that the epidemic is getting worse, according to recent statistics provided by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts and PA Courts InfoShare. Between 2014 and 2016, citations for distracted driving rose by over 1,000 from 2,195 in 2014 to 3,336 in 2016. This is a rise of over 52 percent across the state.

Various authorities and agencies are trying to address the situation. Texting while driving is illegal throughout the state, which includes writing, reading or sending texts or emails while a driver's vehicle is in motion. Furthermore, drivers are not allowed to wear headphone or earbuds while driving.

Alimony can help ease post-divorce financial stress

The process of ending your marriage can be an emotional roller coaster. The thought of moving on can bring a sense of relief, but the unknown can also be rather intimidating -- particularly when your financial situation is about to significantly shift. Thankfully, there are those in Pennsylvania who qualify to receive alimony, which can help them stay financially afloat while they navigate post-divorce life.

Do you qualify for spousal maintenance? If so, how long can you receive it?

How are marijuana manufacturing charges determined?

Over the last few years, the United States showed a gradual increase in the acceptance of medicinal and recreational marijuana in certain states. Although still illegal on a federal level, it was not aggressively enforced and generally unofficially left at each state's discretion. The current administration, however, has made a few subtle suggestions that they might not be as apathetic toward drug usage. This can be applied to both drug use and drug possession, as well as drug trafficking and drug manufacturing.

Currently, federal law treated marijuana manufacturing or growing as a Schedule 1 drug. The lone exception was Colorado, which allowed the cultivation of up to six plants. Additionally, several states that allowed medicinal marijuana also allowed modest manufacturing.

Is Chapter 13 right for you?

There are a few distinctions between Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 bankruptcy that should be taken under consideration when you are deciding if either are right for you. Chapter 7 bankruptcy is considered liquidation bankruptcy, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy is "reorganization" bankruptcy. This distinction generally means that with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, one must turn over non-exempt property that you own. For Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are setting a repayment plan based on your earnings, and you get to keep the property that you own. There are a few qualifying factors that you must fall within in order to qualify for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, however.

If your secured debts are higher than $1,010,650 or unsecured debts higher than $336,900, you will not be able to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Secured debt is debt where the creditor is promised to take an item of property if the debt is not paid while unsecured debt does not have any items or property associated specifically with the debt.

Cinco de Mayo means increase of drunk driving

It seems that nearly every month throughout the year there is a holiday for Americans to go out and celebrate. Our country has our own holidays to celebrate like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Plus we go out and embrace other holidays such as Saint Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo, which celebrates Mexico's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. And, with these holidays, many throughout the United States, including those from the Lehighton, Pennsylvania area, go out with friends to have a few drinks.

Unfortunately, all too often a drink or two turns into more and more. Alcohol itself is a drug which affects not only a person's thought process and judgements, but impairs a person's motor skills as well. This, as we all know, can be a dangerous combination.

Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy the right way to go?

Many Americans are suffering from financial woes. Whether it was serious health woes or just un-restrained spending on credit cards or anything in between, if you are feeling the burden of overwhelming debt, you may feel helpless, as if there is no way out. Thankfully, there are things that you can do to help relieve yourself of debt, including filing for bankruptcy.

Despite the public misconception surrounding the term "bankruptcy", it is important to realize that bankruptcy's purpose is to help people relieve themselves of personal debt and to eventually get off to a fresh new start. Two of the most common forms of bankruptcy are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. Today we will discuss some of the pros of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It may help determine whether this is a viable option for you.

Are bankruptcy myths keeping you from handling debt?

Dealing with a substantial amount of debt can cause you to face extreme stress and anxiety. Even though you may want to take action to address your debt issues, you may feel uncertain about what option could work best for you. Unfortunately, you may not receive reliable information pertaining to your viable debt relief avenues, and it can prove especially difficult to determine fact from fiction when it comes to bankruptcy.

Numerous untrue ideas surround bankruptcy that many individuals take as fact. You may have heard and believed many of these myths yourself, and as a result, bankruptcy may not land at the top of your list of debt management options. However, with the right information, you may find that this route could prove more helpful than imagined.

Failed drug deal leads to robbery, assault

According to police, a drug deal went awry in South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, recently, leading to a robbery. The incident occurred, police said, when a 19-year-old man was expected to meet two clients at Cambridge Circle to sell marijuana.

Police said the would-be buyers attacked the man. Police said they found him with a large, bloody cut above his eye, which required treatment at the Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedar Crest. Police arrested two suspects and they are now facing felony counts of aggravated assault and conspiracy, as well as a misdemeanor simple assault charge. One of the men also faces a felony robbery count.

Understanding the different drug crime types

Being accused of a crime means more than just potential penalties. It could also mean a tarnished reputation and a harmed personal and professional life. Thus, it is important to understand what details and evidence are used to charge individuals in Pennsylvania and elsewhere with a harsh crime such as a drug charge. This information could help those accused of a drug crime assert their right to a criminal defense.

Drug crimes can range, and the severity of the crime often depends of whether it violated federal or state laws, what type of drug is involved and the quantity of the drug. State drug laws are often narrower so long as they do not conflict with federal laws. Additionally, federal drug charges usually result in longer sentences than state drug charges, which often involve short-term sentencing or even probation.

What is physical custody of a child?

During the divorce process, parents in Pennsylvania and elsewhere must take the time to consider what child custody agreement is best for their child. And, while it might meet the best interests of the child, it should be noted that it might not meet the needs and interests of both parents. In some cases, a parent might seek sole custody of their child. This results in that parent having physical custody.

What is physical custody of a child? When a court determines that one parent will have physical custody of a child, this means that parent is the one that provides care for the child on a daily basis. Additionally, it usually means that the child will live with that parent full-time.

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