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Theft and the law

Theft, like many crimes in the United States, is an act that often arises from complex circumstances. Poverty and psychological issues are among the many reasons an individual may commit a theft. In Pennsylvania, theft comes with lasting consequences, including the charging of fines and even jail time.

Washington stabbing prompted by sexual assault of child

Many in Greensburg may claim that the criminal actions that they are accused of were only done in their own defense or that of another. It may be easy for many to dismiss such an assertion as an attempt deflect responsibility for one’s actions, yet at the same time, nearly everyone may be able to contemplate a scenario where physical force may be warranted. It should also be remembered, however, that not all threatening or violent scenarios empower citizens to take the law into their own hands. The interpretation of such situations is left up to the state’s statutes.

Body camera bill allows recording in homes

A bill recently passed by the Pennsylvania Senate would change the laws regarding body cameras worn by law enforcement. According to Gizmodo, the bill was introduced by Senator Stewart Greenleaf and will change the state's Wiretap Act so that officers are allowed to record in the home of residents and do so without informing the people who are being filmed. Under the current law, it is illegal in most situations for officers to record conversations that occur in a private residence, and typically both parties need to be aware that they are being recorded. This bill would exempt body camera recordings from the law.

Mandatory minimum sentencing bill advances

Although mandatory minimum prison sentences have been falling out of favor across much of the country, the Pennsylvania House is advancing a bill reintroducing them in the state. According to the Morning Call, the bill has yet to be voted on by the State Senate, but did pass the House with a recent vote, although another was scheduled before passing the bill on to the higher chamber. The Senate has previously rejected similar bills, and Gov. Tom Wolf is not in favor of mandatory minimum sentences, so it may never become law.

Are breath test device results reliable?

When people in Pennsylvania are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, they may be asked to submit to a roadside breath test. These small portable machines are designed to determine drivers’ blood alcohol content level. Law enforcement officers use the results to ensure that motorists are not driving at or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Although using these devices is a standard procedure for law officers across the United States, research shows that the results of these tests are not always accurate. In fact, one in every four people who take a breath test will have elevated BAC results and may be wrongfully charged of a DUI.

Distinguishing self-defense from assault

“I was only acting in self-defense.” Such is the claim that you may hear from many in Greenburg that are charged with assault. Many come to us here at Schimmizzi Law, LLC with such a claim only to later learn that it is the state that sets the guidelines for what constitutes self-defense, not the individual. If you are facing charges over an incident in which you felt you were justifiably defending yourself, then you may want to review the laws outlining acceptable cases of self-defense in Pennsylvania in order to support your belief.

Richard W. Schimizzi
Richard W. Schimizzi

Information about Richard Schimizzi will appear here.

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Matthew R. Schimizzi
Matthew R. Schimizzi

A 2002 graduate from Greater Latrobe High School, Matt graduated summa cum laude from the University of ...

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