Central Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Legal Blog

Felony drug smuggling charges for Pennsylvania prison staffers

Tightened security measures implemented last year in Pennsylvania state prisons have reportedly reduced the inflow of drugs to the institutions and resulted in busts of more than 30 visitors to the prisons. However, authorities probably did not expect that three drug smuggling arrests, each on a different state prison campus, would be their own employees. 

Two of the prison staffers arrested worked as security guards at their respective facilities, while the third taught inmates how to cook. In addition to the felony charges that they face, each of the three is on suspension without pay.

DUI charges for Pennsylvania school bus driver

A school bus driver in eastern Pennsylvania allegedly abandoned 26 students inside the bus at a gas station last Friday after reportedly driving erratically. Authorities have since arrested the 44-year-old woman for driving under the influence, in addition to charges of careless and reckless driving, as well as child endangerment. 

Fortunately, there were no injuries as a result of the incident, but one eighth-grader who was a passenger at the time reported that she and the other students became frightened by the driver's allegedly erratic driving, which included driving on the wrong side of the road, missing stops and not following her regular route, according to the student's claim. 

Is crime scene contamination an issue?

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been accused of a crime, it goes without saying that you hope the crime scene and evidence were properly handled. However, there are times that Pennsylvania crime scene technicians could make mistakes or contamination could occur that might taint evidence. This is something that simply cannot occur. It is a violation and a major issue within the criminal justice system.

Forensic Magazine explains that contamination of a crime scene ruins evidence and puts the prosecution's case in jeopardy. It also can be damaging to you as the defendant if your defense team does not learn of the contamination. If they do not know about it, then they cannot fight it in court.

What is the penalty for drug dealing?

It is no secret that Pennsylvania prosecutors would usually try to file as many charges as possible against you if you get arrested with a drug charge. What happens afterward might not be as intuitive — unless you understood how the justice system in the state works.

There are several factors that could contribute to the eventual outcome of any drug case you find yourself involved in. For example, you could secure a promise of reduced charges by pleading guilty to certain offenses. Most people have heard about these plea bargains, but there may be other factors you do not know about.

Is it a crime to accidentally discharge a firearm?

Pennsylvanian residents, like others across the country, have the right to bear arms. But what are your rights if your firearm is accidentally discharged? What happens if you unintentionally injure someone with a weapon you legally possess?

FindLaw takes a look at accidental discharges of firearms. This is any situation in which a firearm goes off without the user intending for it to do so. Accidental shootings can result in fines, fees, penalties, or even jail time depending on what happens. For example, in Florida, discharging a gun on any property used as a dwelling is a first degree misdemeanor. This can include up to $1,000 in fines and 12 months in jail.

Two face charges in Pennsylvania drug bust

Sometimes relatively minor offenses can lead to much more serious charges. For example, two individuals in Dormont, Pennsylvania are currently facing drug charges after a failure to stop at a stop sign led to a major drug bust. 

One of the individuals is a 41-year-old man; the other is a 33-year-old woman. The exact nature of the relationship between the two of them is not entirely clear, but authorities have charged both with drug crimes including possession with intent to deliver and criminal conspiracy. 

Implied consent and driver's license suspension

A Pennsylvania law enforcement officer who pulls a motorist over on suspicion of intoxication cannot force the motorist to take a breathalyzer test, but refusing to do so can get one into greater trouble due to implied consent laws. 

According to the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the law presumes that motorists give consent to tests to determine intoxication levels, including breathalyzer tests as well as field sobriety tests, simply by applying for a driver's license. If one refuses to submit to a breathalyzer test when an officer has reasonable suspicion of intoxication, the officer cannot perform the test, but the driver will automatically incur other penalties. Depending upon the nature of the violation, the arresting officer can suspend the motorist's driver's license for a period ranging from six months to 18 months.

Is it possible to restore your gun rights?

In Pennsylvania, there are laws that make it so anyone who commits certain crimes will have their ability to wield firearms taken away.  Marros Law Office understands that your gun rights are important and will work with you to see what can be done about restoring them.

First, the severity of the crime you're accused of will be scrutinized. Some gun-related charges are considered to be more dangerous than others and can result in you losing your gun rights more quickly. An example includes committing a felony with a weapon, even if that weapon isn't used. You can have a gun in your car when being accused of robbing a bank and it can be used against you. Assault or battery with a weapon is also severe.

Drug charges filed against Pennsylvania teacher

In an incident that reads like a plot summary for an episode of a dramatic television series, a 47-year-old middle school science teacher in Pennsylvania now faces drug charges after allegedly dealing drugs to students out of her home prior to an overnight school trip.

Investigation of the teacher, whom the district has employed since 2008, began earlier this month. While making undercover buys from the teacher's home, authorities learned that she was planning an overnight field trip with several students in the coming days and filed for a search warrant in order to prevent the excursion. 

Protecting your right to protect yourself

Simply owning a weapon does not mean that you intend to use it in a crime. However, if the state charged you with a violent crime, a robbery or a drug infraction while in possession of a gun, prosecutors would likely try to enhance your charges and extend your sentence by adding on special Pennsylvania deadly weapon enhancements.

At Marros Law Office, we are familiar with the tactics prosecutors used to intimidate our clients. We make it our first priority to help people understand the types of charges they face and the possible legal defenses that could reduce sentencing, force the prosecution to drop certain accusations or persuade a judge to dismiss the case.

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