Heroin use has become such an epidemic in our country that states have adopted laws that specifically address and set out sentences for its use, possession and distribution. Pennsylvania is no exception.
A 28-year-old Lansford, PA man faces a multitude of drug charges after police found packages of heroin stashed in his 18-month-old child's car seat. One bag was found in the floor of the vehicle near the child, while three others were found underneath the car seat. The child was in the car seat at the time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
During the process of an arrest and criminal trial, it is incumbent upon the law enforcement officers to act in a professional manner, and follow all police procedures per legal protocol. These are among the right entitled to every American, whether you live in California, Alaska or Pennsylvania.