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DUI11

UPS Driver Charged with DUI After Multi-Vehicle Crash in O’Hara Township

By Gary E. Gerson |

DUI laws in Pennsylvania have been strict since drunk driving was first officially outlawed, and it seems like they are only getting tougher. You might think that drinking and driving is not a big deal, but sometimes just a small amount of alcohol can impair someone’s driving ability enough to cause a major accident. … Read More »

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Arrested4

Court Drops Charges Against Woman Who Filmed Her Arrest

By Gary E. Gerson |

Thanks to smartphones, almost anyone can make a video recording almost anywhere. And, to be sure, video recordings can tell truths that would otherwise be unknown, and thus they can be an important piece of evidence in court. Today, the story of Melanie Carter’s cell phone video of her own arrest ended with a… Read More »

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Arrested5

John Fetterman, the New Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, Will Head the Board of Pardons

By Gary E. Gerson |

Recent news cycles have made it difficult to miss the recently sworn-in Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, and leave it to the media to focus on outward appearance instead of on substantial issues. With his shaved head and his gentle giant figure, John Fetterman does not look much like how your grandparents would expect a… Read More »

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Advocate

When Is Sending Someone a Picture of Hannibal Lecter a Crime?

By Gary E. Gerson |

Context is everything. Famous quotes and images from movies are everywhere. However, in the right circumstances, a movie reference can be a threat, and threatening someone is against the law. Last September, a Westmoreland County man was acquitted of threatening a judge by sending her a picture of an intimidating character from a famous… Read More »

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Custody

Is It Kidnapping If It Is Your Own Child?

By Gary E. Gerson |

Any lawyer or judge who deals with the family court system will tell you that child custody disputes are among the most difficult type of dispute to resolve. While people make plenty of threats about taking the children away from one or another relative or about having their ex arrested because of some bad… Read More »

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LadyJustice2

Report Alleges Racial Discrimination in Pennsylvania’s Enforcement of Marijuana Laws

By Gary E. Gerson |

Under Pennsylvania’s current Drug Act, possession of Marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance, for mere personal use, is classified as an ungraded misdemeanor having a maximum penalty of one year in jail, a fine of $5,000.00, or both. Even possession of a small amount of marijuana, i.e., less than 30 grams, is classified as… Read More »

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Cyber

Federal Law Protects Teens Against Cyberstalking

By Gary E. Gerson |

The Internet was created as a source for education known as the “information highway”, but has evolved into a mechanism to socialize with others. On the positive side, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat enable individuals to share their life experiences, share photographs, communicate with others, both known and unknown,… Read More »

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scales of justice

New Yorker Feature About Pennsylvania District Attorney Contains Valuable Information for Defendants

By Gary E. Gerson |

In Pennsylvania, there are three types of prosecutors who file criminal charges: the Office of the District Attorney, the Office of the Attorney General, and the Office of the United States Attorney. The Office of the District Attorney is involved in county prosecutions; the Office of the Attorney General handles statewide prosecutions; and, the… Read More »

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Hate Crime

What Pennsylvania Law Says About Hate Crimes

By Gary E. Gerson |

Pennsylvania has specific hate crime laws, which state that additional charges, such as ethnic intimidation, can be applied to enhance the penalties for violent crimes such as arson, homicide, murder, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, risking a catastrophe, terroristic threats, or criminal mischief, when the violent acts are motivated by hatred of an… Read More »

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Drug3

Swissvale Barber Arrested for Selling Drugs Just Outside Barbershop

By Gary E. Gerson |

Drug “busts” involving undercover police or detectives are a familiar plot development in current movies and television series. The movies and series are entertaining viewing because of the dramatic irony: the seller does not know the true identity of the buyer, and the audience is waiting for that critical moment when the truth becomes… Read More »

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