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Latrobe Law Associates Blog

Defenses to Common Drinking Offenses

In Pennsylvania, the sales and use of alcoholic beverages are strictly regulated. Many people attribute this to our Quaker heritage, much the way that the state of Utah has similar oversight because of their Mormon heritage. Whatever the origin, the Commonwealth is known to perhaps more zealously prosecute alcohol related offenses than other states.

What are defenses to a DUI charge?

Although charges for driving under the influence of alcohol are fairly common, it is quite a serious charge that comes with consequences. It is never a charge to be taken lightly, and it is never one to be simply dismissed as "bad luck" if you believe that you were wrongfully charged.

In fact, there are many ways that DUI charges can be defended against.

What happens if you violate your probation?

When you are put on probation and you break the terms in one way or another, this is known as a violation of probation. This can be a very serious offense, but it could also be considered a minor one. It all depends on what terms of the probation you broke and what consequence it had.

If you have broken the probation terms, then the consequences will be based upon the circumstances. For example, you breaking your probation terms may have been accidental and resulted in no negative consequence. Or conversely, it could have been intentional and had the potential to cause serious harm to yourself or others.

What are my child custody options in Pennsylvania?

One of the most overwhelming things about child custody is that all of the different options and types of settlements can seem confusing and difficult to navigate. As a parent going through a child custody settlement, one of the best ways that you can prepare is by understanding all of the different options available to you and what they mean.

The types of custody that you choose will depend largely on your circumstances as a family. It may be that you wish to coparent and share responsibility for your child equally with the other parent, or it might be the case that you think the other parent poses a danger to the child and you want to make sure that your child is fully protected.

Pennsylvania’s new approach to drug sentencing

Across the United States, penalties for drug crimes, from drug use to selling and distributing, are slowly but surely being reformed. Much of the time, inspiration on drug penalties can come from European countries. Portugal is one good example. Portugal took the decision in the early 2000's to decriminalize drug use, reinvesting the money saved from jail maintenance into drug rehabilitation programs.

Pennsylvania's previous drug laws were criticized by Director of Research at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. He said that the previous punishment system was not effective enough to prevent crimes because it was not adequately consistent to act as a deterrent.

The pros and cons of joint physical custody arrangements

Joint physical custody is often what people think of when considering joint custody in general. In reality, this only refers to the children's living situation.

There is also joint legal custody, which revolves around making decisions for the children, such as what medical care they will receive.Looking strictly at the physical custody side, you may find yourself wondering about the potential benefits and drawbacks.

Pennsylvania drug-free zone laws

Illegal drug use in public spaces is always a serious offense. However, there are additional laws and policies intended to limit the presence of drug use near children. Therefore, those who get caught using, buying or selling drugs in close proximity to schools or in other drug-free zones are likely to face even harsher penalties than others accused of the same offense.

Harsher laws near schools are meant to protect impressionable children and prevent dealers from targeting them. Children have the right to be protected from illegal activity and illegal drug use, so the law tries to limit the exposure that children have to drug abuse as much as possible.

Considering temporary custody arrangements

Many parents, when faced with a divorce, will immediately decide to file for full custody of their child. It might be an impulsive decision, or one based on anger or resentment toward the other parent. However, it is important to make every effort to consider what is in the best interests of your child or children when going through a custody battle, and temporary custody may be a good solution for this.

It is much better for the emotional development of children when they have healthy relationships with both parents. Therefore, the courts will always try and find a way to give custody to both parents unless one of the parents presents a risk or danger to the child.

Medical marijuana permits to affect gun ownership in Pennsylvania

If you're a gun enthusiast and you have a debilitating condition that you can treat with medical marijuana, you're going to have to make a choice — guns or marijuana? You will not be able to have both in Pennsylvania.

You can drink and have a gun. You can spend time in a mental hospital and later buy a gun. But you can't be a card-holding medical marijuana user and own a gun under Pennsylvania's current medical marijuana laws.

Getting through a contested divorce

Every divorce is going to involve conflict in one form or another; however, in an ideal situation, each spouse will be able to work through divorce-related issues through discussion and mutual compromise. It's never easy, but there are many services available that help divorcing couples through this, from divorce mediation to counseling and therapy.

If an agreement on the way in which the divorce should be finalized cannot be reached, the divorce is known as a contested divorce.


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Latrobe, PA 15650

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