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Criminal Defense Archives

Pennsylvania's response to the opioid epidemic

With the opioid epidemic showing no signs of slowing down, lawmakers and state officials are increasingly shifting focus toward putting a halt to drug trafficking and keeping a keener eye on the types of drugs used in overdoses. However, recent news shows that Pennsylvania's recording of drug types in fatal overdoses is lacking. How effective are current efforts to combat illegal drug trafficking, and might the state see a change in the ways it tracks cases involving drugs and overdoses?

How are drugs classified?

If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense in Pennsylvania related to a controlled substance, there are many things you will want to know about as you or your friend get into the criminal defense process. One of the things to understand is that different drugs are rated differently by the government and that the particular rating associated with a substance may contribute to the actual charge a person may face.

Alleged drug dealer arrested after man dies

Pennsylvania residents have likely known for a while that they may be at risk of being arrested and charged with a crime if they use or consume an illegal substance like heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine. It has also been a practice for law enforcement officers to arrest those persons who are suspected of dealing or transporting these substances when believed to have done either or both things.

Can law enforcement search your car during a traffic stop?

Being stopped for a traffic violation in Pennsylvania is a fairly common occurrence. Usually the officer pulls you over for speeding and the consequences generally are not too serious, especially if this is your first offense. But what if there are drugs in your car? If the officer searches and finds them, you get arrested for drug possession and your life becomes very complicated.

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. 

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. ยง 780-113.7.

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.

Pennsylvania and the opioid crisis

Drug crimes -- especially those involving opiates -- are a bleak but concerning matter in Pennsylvania. The state is not exempt from the opioid crisis currently at stake across the country, and recent news shows that officials in the area are cracking down on the issue now more than ever before. While the drug problem is one the nation hopes to see come to an end sooner than later, Pennsylvania law enforcement say they are here to stay until the epidemic's bitter end.

Car theft and the numbers

Vehicle theft is no small crime in Pennsylvania. Regardless of the motivation of the crime, the state penalizes incidents of theft seriously, and through a complex and detailed system. However, some situations create doubt as to whether a defendant intended to steal the property; such legal situations can stem from a defendant's age, mental capacity and other factors. While determining a charge can prove to be a complicated process, it is also important to know the state's regulations, crime climate and other factual information on car theft.     

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