Schimizzi Law, LLC
Phone: 724-972-4524
Toll Free:866-475-0816
Text Message: 724-454-6718

Greensburg Area Law Blog

Be careful with spending even if you plan to file bankruptcy

Certain times of the year, such as the winter holidays and your loved ones' birthdays, can lend themselves to more credit card spending than you would undertake other times of the year. Summer may also seem like a tempting time to spend because it is a popular time to vacation.

However, if you are considering a bankruptcy filing, especially to the point that you have already spoken with a lawyer, be careful with your credit card spending. Some people think they can charge all they want on their cards, file and the bankruptcy will wipe the debt. This is not necessarily true, and it can be fraudulent to submit credit card debt that you incurred while knowing you would file.

Pennsylvania's Ignition Interlock Law for First Time DUI Offenders

In May 2016, Pennsylvania altered the effect a first time DUI conviction has on a person's driver's license by amending section 3805 of the Motor Vehicle Code and enacting section 1556.  These changes went into effect in August 2017.  Prior to August 2017, a person convicted of a first offense DUI with a blood alcohol content ("BAC") of .10% or higher received a 12-month license suspension. The current law now allows for an individual to avoid the hard license suspension and to operate a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock.

Prepare for your annual estate plan review

You may be one of the many people in Pennsylvania who has taken it upon themselves to properly document their estate planning wishes. If so, you should feel very good about that. But, you should also ask yourself how long it has been since you have reviewed that plan. That's right - making an estate plan is only one part of what you need to do. This plan should be considered a living document if you will as it should evolve and change as your life and some laws change.

With the end of the year near, now is a great time to make reviewing your estate plan a priority. Fidelity Investments provides a window into some of the many life events that may trigger the need for you to review and update a plan. If you or any of your heirs get married or divorced or add by birth or adoption a new child to the family, editing your plan certainly makes sense. If you had a business that you sold or closed or maybe if you started a new business or bought into an existing business, that also would necessitate a plan review.

Encounter at Solebury Township park results in teacher's arrest

Ask any teen in Greensburg about their readiness to deal with adult matters, and most will tell you that they are more than prepared to do so. Yet the actions of their particular demographic often indicate otherwise. Thus, when issues arise between teens and adults (especially those of a sexual nature), the immediate reaction is often to place the blame for any incidents that occur on adults. That blame is magnified when the adults involved are in positions of authority over the teens, as it is often assumed that they either used such authority to compel the teens to do what they wanted, or that they simply should have known better. 

A Maryland woman is currently learning this lesson firsthand. During her time working as a teacher at New Jersey area school, she is alleged to have sexually assaulted a 16-year-old student. Investigators believe she and the teen engaged in sexual intercourse at a park in Solebury Township. Authorities from that area recently arrested her in Maryland and are planning to extradite her to Pennsylvania for prosecution. Along with being charged with sexual assault, she is also facing charges of criminal use of a communication facility, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of a minor. She had been teaching at another school in Maryland at the time of her arrest. 

The walk and turn field sobriety test

If you are ever stopped while driving by an officer in Pennyslvania and that officer suspects that you may have been drinking, you might be asked to perform a few tests. These are called field sobriety tests. Contrary to what many people may believe, these tests cannot prove that you are drunk. According to, the intended purpose of these tests is to give a law enforcement officer enough evidence that suggests you might be drunk. Armed with this evidence, the officer may then arrest you and charge you with suspected drunk driving.

There are three tests approved for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. One of these is the walk and turn test. As the name implies, you would be asked to walk a bit and then turn around and walk back. Details here include that you must maintain a strict heel-to-toe formation as you walk and you must take only nine steps before turning around. You are not allowed to use your arms for balance, to pause partway through the test or to fall off a real or imagined straight line.

Pennsylvania's Drug Overdose Response Immunity Law

Most people are aware of the devastation caused by the recent opioid epidemic. In many communities, there has been a steady increase in the number of overdose deaths each year. Many who have died could have been saved if prompt medical treatment was received. And in some of those cases, medical treatment was not received because a friend or family member, who may not have realized the seriousness of the situation, failed to call 911 out of concern that criminal charges would be filed. In response, the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the Drug Overdose Response Immunity Law, 35 P.S. § 780-113.7.

Bankruptcy and a new mortgage

Many Pennsylvania residents who struggle with financial problems may feel hesitant about pursuing bankruptcy to help them get a fresh financial start in part because they fear that they would be unable to get a new mortgage someday. That, however, is not true. While there may be some extra steps involved, it is possible to buy a new home or refinance an existing home even with a bankruptcy on a record.

As Smart Asset explains, people who have filed for either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will not likely be able to get a new home loan immediately upon filing for or completing a bankruptcy. There are generally accepted waiting periods for this. These waiting periods vary based in part on what type of bankruptcy was filed as well as what type of home loan is being sought. For example, FHA loans may have different wait times than do loans for veterans.

Assault vs. aggravated assault vs. battery

While many people use the terms "battery" and "assault" interchangeably, there is a significant difference. This is why it is so important to learn the legal definitions of both in the state of Pennsylvania

In some cases, an attorney will attempt to reduce the charges. For example, if a person faces charges for battery, then a lawyer may attempt to reduce the charges to simple assault, which is still serious but carries less harsh penalties. Here are the ways to differentiate assault, aggravated assault and battery.

Right to a Speedy Trial - PA Rule of Criminal Procedure 600

A person charged with a crime has a right to a speedy trial under Article I, Section 9 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  While neither Section specifies the time within which a criminal defendant must be brought to trial, the Pennsylvania Criminal Procedural Rules Committee has adopted Rule 600 (formerly Rule 1100) which sets forth when a defendant must be brought to trial in various situations.

The basics of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy

If you find yourself strugling with how to pay your bills and feel that they only seem to increase every month despite your efforts to make payments on them, you are far from alone. Many people in Pennsylvania are in a similar situation. For some, a bankruptcy may offer a good solution to the problem and provide a fresh financial start. However, before you jump too fast to get a bankruptcy filing started, you should learn about how a Chapter 13 plan works as it is different than a Chapter 7 plan.

As explained by the United States Courts, there are many differences between the two types of common consumer bankruptcies. One main feature of a Chapter 13 plan is that you will actually repay some of your debt over the life of your plan. You can think of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy as a form of debt consolidation. Over a period of 36 to 60 months, you will make monthly payments to your plan's trustee. The trustee in turn will pay some of your creditors per an agreement made at the outset of the plan.

Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Keystone Commons
35 West Pittsburgh Street
Greensburg, PA 15601

Toll Free: 866-475-0816
Phone: 724-972-4524
Phone: 724-454-6718
Fax: 724-837-7868
Map & Directions

Make payment | Visa | Master Card | Discover | American Express | Law Pay practice panther image