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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Take Action on “Ghost Guns”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro recently released a legal opinion that classified unfinished gun frames as firearms under state law, which closes a significant loophole that has existed for years in gun laws. Before Shapiro issued this clarification, felons who could otherwise not purchase firearms at gun shows could still purchase partial frames at these […]

Governor Wolf Signs Bills to Cut Incarceration Costs, Reduce Prison Populations

Governor Tom Wolf recently signed two bills into law aimed at reducing costs of incarcerating prisoners, putting the money saved into probation offices in counties across the state. The bills are being referred to as Justice Reinvestment Initiative 2. They are expected to cut prison populations by about 600 inmates over five years, which will […]

Gun Rights Activists Push Back Against Firearm Restrictions

A group of gun rights activists in Pennsylvania has started to lobby state and county leaders to pass a series of so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuary” ordinances to say local officials will not comply with certain firearms restrictions those advocates believe to be unconstitutional. One county, Bradford County, already passed such a resolution in December, and […]

Pennsylvania Training More Officers in Drug Recognition

Thanks to a growing Drug Evaluation and Classification Program in Pennsylvania, the state now has more officers trained in drug recognition than ever before, with many more expected to continue to take the course. So far, approximately 200 officers have completed the program. Officials say continued expansion is a priority for the state. The importance […]

What are the Elements of a Public Intoxication Charge?

Public intoxication is considered a criminal offense in many cases, and there are several elements that must exist for the prosecution to successfully secure a conviction in this type of case. Here are the main elements of a public intoxication crime: Being in public: For an incident to qualify as public intoxication, the person in […]

When Does a DUI Become a Felony?

Many DUI crimes are classified as misdemeanors, but when do the charges rise to the level of a felony? Each state has its own rules regarding DUI punishments, so it is important to be familiar with state law for Pennsylvania if you face DUI charges. Here’s a quick overview of when Pennsylvania classifies a DUI […]

Sentencing Reform Advocates Say Pennsylvania is Paying Too Much for a Failing System

Van Jones, a political analyst with CNN, recently echoed the voices of many probation and parole reform activists in Pennsylvania when he said the system “is actually making it harder for people to get on their feet and get on with their lives.” There have been many critics who have long said the state’s probation […]

Pennsylvania Law Has Five Times More Criminal Offenses Today than in the 1970s

A recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania opened the state up to some criticism of its criminal justice system. According to the report, the state’s criminal code had 282 offenses in 1972, but that number rose to 636 by 2010 and more than 1,500 in 2019, meaning there are now five […]

What Defenses Exist in Cases of Wire Fraud?

Wire fraud is a criminal offense that occurs when a person intentionally uses a communications device (such as the internet or a telephone) as a means of defrauding another person of their property or anything of value. In certain circumstances, wire fraud can result in significant fines and prison time. The defenses a person charged […]

Are Police Allowed to Question Children About a Crime?

If a police officer approached your child to ask them a question about a crime, you might be wondering whether or not that method of questioning is actually legal. The answer is yes—police are allowed to approach children to ask them questions about their potential involvement in a crime or if they have any knowledge […]

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