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Recent Blog Posts

When Are Police Allowed to Search Your Vehicle?

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. However, it does not mean you are fully protected from a search if an officer pulls you over in your vehicle. There are some circumstances in which officers can search your vehicle without a warrant, including when the following are present: […]

Do Police Need Warrants to Extract Evidence from Social Media Profiles?

People are putting information about themselves and their lives on the internet more than ever, thanks to the explosion of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you are not careful with your privacy settings, you might find that content you thought you were just sharing with friends and family is actually available […]

Private Attorneys vs. Public Defenders: How Do They Stack Up?

When you are accused of a crime, you have the right to an attorney. As the arresting officer tells you while reading your Miranda rights, if you are unable to afford a private defense attorney of your own, you will be provided with an attorney known as a public defender. In either case, the job […]

New Anti-Hazing Law Introduced After Death of Penn State Fraternity Member

The Pennsylvania state legislature recently passed an anti-hazing law that was proposed after the death of a Penn State student who had been drinking at a fraternity house in early 2017. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law shortly after the legislature passed it. The bill allows prosecutors to seek stricter criminal penalties and […]

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Toughen State’s DUI Penalties

After years of receiving criticism about Pennsylvania’s relative weakness in the area of driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement, state legislators passed a bill in October that would impose stricter penalties on repeat offenders. The legislation is Senate Bill 961. It is expected to levy harsher penalties on those convicted of DUI starting in 2019. […]

Are Felony Drug Charges Helping Deter Opioid Use in Pennsylvania?

Drug-related deaths and overdoses are on the rise across the country, and Pennsylvania is one of the states hit the hardest by the opioid crisis. In fact, earlier this year, the state declared the epidemic a state of emergency, indicating just how serious the problem has become here. One of the tools state officials are […]

Pennsylvania to End Mandatory License Suspensions for Some Crimes

The Pennsylvania State Legislature recently passed House Bill 163, which will eliminate mandatory driver’s license suspensions in cases involving drug crimes that were not related to driving. The state had been one of only about a dozen left that would implement mandatory driver’s license suspensions in cases that had nothing to do with operating a […]

Pennsylvania Senate Passes Bill to Change Definition of Crime Victim

The most recent session of the Pennsylvania state legislature featured some contentious debates over various pieces of legislation and issues. Perhaps the most important development of the session was the passage of Senate Bill 897. The new law expands the definition of a victim of a crime to include nonprofit organizations, businesses and other entities. […]

Private Money Flooding Pennsylvania to Fight Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis has been the subject of considerable national attention over the last several years. The issue has been especially pressing locally, as Pennsylvania is one of the states with the highest numbers of opioid overdoses. It’s perhaps unsurprising that there has been a lot of debate among law enforcement officials and the state […]

Pennsylvania to Ramp Up DUI Enforcement for Halloween

The last few weeks have been busy ones in Pennsylvania when it comes to the enforcement of driving under the influence (DUI). In early October, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill that introduces felony DUI charges in the state. Previously, Pennsylvania was one of only four states that did not require felony charges for those […]

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