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Lehighton Legal Issues Blog

What is "negligence" in a Pennsylvania car accident?

Most Allentown residents, like Americans nationwide, spend a lot of time in motor vehicles. Whether driving to work, to church or the store, automobiles play a large part in our lives. Car accidents result in thousands of deaths and multiples more injuries every year in Pennsylvania. Those who have been hurt in a car crash can end up with huge medical bills, months of lost wages and other economic fallout. Because of this, the legal system maintains a way for these victims to pursue compensation.

In most civil actions for personal injury arising from a car accident, the plaintiff will proceed with a theory of negligence. While there are other possible ways to go about showing liability, negligence is one of the oldest and most common. The underpinning of any negligence theory is the common-law concept, "reasonableness." That is, did the person who created the situation that caused the injury act in a way that a reasonable person in those circumstances would? This standard is often referred to as an "objective standard" as it asks about a hypothetical "reasonable person," rather than what the individual involved was actually thinking.

DUI in Pennsylvania encompasses more than drunk driving

Drunk driving has been a point of focus for legislatures, prosecutors and law enforcement on and off for 30 or more years now. Since the 1980s, the legal penalties for Driving Under the Influence or "DUI" have become stiffer and stiffer, even for a first offense. And, while protecting the public against dangerous drivers may be a laudable goal, overzealousness can sometimes creep in to such prosecutions and create a situation where a person's life can be ruined.

This may be even more apparent when it is taken into consideration that DUI can be charged against someone, even if he or she has not been drinking. If an officer believes he or she has probable cause to think a driver is under the influence of a drug, he or she may make an arrest ad a prosecutor might bring charges. This includes people who may have taken a substance prescribed to them by their physicians.

Intent to distribute charges pending against Pennsylvanian couple

There is a saying that a "family that plays together, stays together." While that might be true, some activities are probably best left unshared. Being in possession of large quantities of illicit substances may be one of these, as one Allentown resident recently discovered.

According to police, an operation conducted by the Vice Unit led to a home on Law Street. Inside that home lived a couple in their mid-thirties, who authorities claim was involved in the selling of illegal drugs. When the police entered the house about 9:30 on a recent Wednesday morning, they say they found over 200 containers of heroin and over 50 bags of cocaine. The 36-year-old male resident was arrested at the home, while the female resident, who is the same age, was taken into custody sometime later.

Do you know how to decrease your risk of a rollover accident?

Many Pennsylvania residents understandably have a fear that their vehicles will flip. Rollover accidents can often cause serious or fatal injuries, and you certainly do not want to find yourself involved in such an incident due to your own actions. Therefore, you may want to take certain precautions that could help you potentially avoid involvement in a rollover crash.

You may not immediately understand the best methods for increasing your safety when it comes to such accidents. Luckily, various steps and information could help you remain more aware of what could contribute to your vehicle overturning.

What is the 'means test' in a PA Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

As many Pennsylvania residents may be aware, bankruptcy is a federal legal structure. It is based on the federal Bankruptcy Code, and adheres to the rules set out thereby. However, there are variations in bankruptcies from state to state as the types of property that can be exempted in a Chapter 7 filing is usually dependent on state law, as well as what level a filer has to show to meet the "means test" for eligibility for Chapter 7.

Because one purpose of the Bankruptcy Code is to provide relief to debtors that will suffer hardship if attempting to pay their debts, the system attempts to preclude "abuse" of Chapter 7 to discharge debts of people who have the means to make payments. Due to this, a person filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will have to show that he or she does not make enough money to meet this test to be eligible. The bankruptcy court will first look at a person's annual income, and compare it to the median income in the state for the filer's household size. In Pennsylvania for example, the median income for a household of one person is around $47,000 per year.

Drug crimes are serious charges in need of a defense

Drug crimes are serious criminal charges that require a skilled defense, strong criminal defense strategy and knowledge of the criminal justice process and the rights of the accused individual. This blog recently discussed some of the rights individuals accused of crimes have when facing criminal accusations, allegations and charges. It is important for individuals who have been accused of committing a crime to understand their criminal defense rights and the right to respond to the charges they are facing.

Drug charges and a conviction for a drug crime can follow an accused individual throughout their lifetime and remain on their criminal record for life. Drug charges carry mandatory minimum sentences which means accused individuals face jail or prison time. In addition, drug charges can impact educational opportunities, professional opportunities and can result in the loss of a driver's license or ability to own a firearm.

What are my Miranda Rights?

In 1966, the United States Supreme Court made a landmark ruling that assured those accused of a crime the right to not self-incriminate. The term is called the Miranda Rights, and it is likely something you have heard before, whether it was during an arrest, or on the television or in a movie, where it is common. The saying goes, "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can, and will, be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you."

The ruling was made following a serious of previous rulings regarding the case of Ernando Miranda, a man who was accused of abducting and raping a Phoenix woman in 1963. Miranda allegedly confessed to the crime, but later took back his statements, only after learning that he did not have to say anything or admit to the crime. He was initially convicted of the crime, but the American Civil Liberties Union became aware of the case and filed an appeal, stating that the confession was coerced and false.

Do not go through a child custody battle alone

All parents love their child and will do almost anything for them. While a couple is married, this love for their children and each other is mutually shared. But when a relationship breaks down and a marriage turns towards a divorce, things can get testy.

Parents want what is best for their children. During a marriage, the decisions made by parents are done together and under one roof. But if a divorce is looming, there might be differences of opinion on what is best for the children, and this can lead to arguments and disagreements that are not easily resolved, including the decision of child custody following the divorce.

Fourth of July is nearly here; be mindful of drunk driving

It seems like just yesterday that we were shoveling out from snow and welcoming in the spring season. Now we have the birthday of our country, the Fourth of July, next week. While the holiday means different things to different people, most Americans know how to celebrate in style. Throughout the country, Americans will be attending parades, watching fireworks and hosting barbeques among family and friends to celebrate the holiday.

But with the holiday comes an inevitable increase in drunk driving arrests and accidents. While most Americans are mindful of what they drink and avoid going out on the roads after too many adult beverages, there will be thousands who get behind the wheel and take to the streets while still under the influence.

Do you have a chance at fighting a traffic ticket?

Every now and then, almost every driver bends the laws when operating their vehicles. You likely find yourself among this group, and whether you drive slightly over the speed limit or do not slow at a yellow traffic light, you may feel that your actions do not have major consequences on others. However, you could find yourself in a difficult predicament if you get stopped by a police officer.

Though some people may not think of a traffic ticket as a big deal and simply want to pay the fine to avoid a larger ordeal, you may think differently. Luckily, you do have options for fighting a traffic ticket in hopes of avoiding the fine likely associated with it. However, in order to do so, you may wish to understand why challenging a ticket may work in your favor.

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Allentown, PA 18101

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