Central Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Legal Blog

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.

What is a defiant trespasser?

If you go into or remain in any Pennsylvania building or occupied structure without permission to do so, you could face trespass charges. You likewise could face such charges if you venture without permission into any part of a building or structure that is secured.

As the Pennsylvania General Assembly explains, Section 3503 of the Pennsylvania Code provides for the following five types of trespass:

  1. Criminal trespass
  2. Defiant trespass
  3. Simple trespass
  4. Agricultural trespass
  5. Agricultural biosecurity area trespass

What are the symptoms of prescription drug addiction?

Addiction to prescription drugs is a problem not only in Pennsylvania but throughout the United States. If you suspect that a loved one may have a drug problem, you should know the signs and symptoms to watch for. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs and symptoms of a prescription drug addiction depend on the type(s) of drugs used. Opioid addiction is a prevalent problem that has received a lot of attention in the news lately, but prescription drug abuse is not limited to opioids. Other commonly abused prescription drugs include stimulants, such as those used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and anti-anxiety medications, such as Valium and Xanax.

What is an ignition interlock device?

If you have been convicted of a DUI in Pennsylvania, you may have been ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. In fact, Pennsylvania is one of 20 states in the nation that requires all DUI offenders to have interlock devices installed, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. This includes first time offenders who have no prior DUI convictions, as well as people who refuse to submit to a chemical test. What are ignition interlock devices and what are the regulations surrounding their use?

Interlock devices are installed directly into your vehicle’s ignition system, with an attached dashboard monitor. In order to start your car and keep it going, you must exhale a breath sample into a tube attached to the monitor. If your BAC level measures below a preset level, your car will start. While you are driving, the vehicle will require rolling retests, or subsequent breath samples to keep the car going. All of the information involving attempted startups, BAC levels and rolling retests is recorded within the device and sent to law enforcement officials during each maintenance appointment.

What should you know about accomplice liability?

In Pennsylvania, there are laws in place that specifically deal with people who are either complicit in crimes, or are active or passive accomplices when a crime is taking place. If you are facing charges of being complicit in a crime or an accomplice to another person, this information may be useful to you.

FindLaw takes a look at complicity and accomplice liability, both of which involve aiding a person accused of a crime in some way. Another term for these charges is "aiding and abetting". In some cases, an accomplice's actions may be forced. In others, these actions may be of your own free will. The willingness of an accomplice or someone complicit in a crime is often the focus of debate in court cases.

How police may handle suspicion of DUI

In Pennsylvania, there are instances in which residents who are pulled over for routine traffic stops may later be suspected of driving while under the influence (DUI). Not only will they be facing different tests to determine their blood alcohol content (BAC) level, but they may also potentially need to know where their legal rights are in terms of police drawing blood or searching their vehicle.

First, police can't simply search a person's car without a warrant even if they do suspect DUI. FindLaw lists the reasons police can search a vehicle. They include:

  • Giving police consent to look
  • The officer having or obtaining a warrant
  • If the officer believes a search is necessary for safety, such as looking for guns
  • If someone has been arrested and items related to their arrest may be found
  • If there is probable cause to search

The basics of stand your ground laws

Pennsylvania residents who own firearms may wonder what their rights are when it comes to self-defense. Many states have stand your ground laws and Pennsylvania is one of the places where people can legally defend themselves.

Most of the time, a stand your ground law means people can try to defend themselves without retreating. FindLaw says that people may still need to follow some restrictions as they protect themselves. Someone who uses self-defense usually cannot be trespassing but instead needs to be a legal patron of a location. Additionally, people typically cannot use an amount of force that is disproportional to the perceived threat. Sometimes people may also use force to protect themselves only if they did not begin a violent incident.

The basics of assault charges

When Pennsylvania residents hear the term "assault," they may picture a physical altercation between people. This is not necessarily the case. Some people may be surprised to learn that the actual definition does not always include physical contact with another person.

Most of the time, someone does not need to make physical contact with another person for an assault to take place. According to FindLaw, assault occurs when someone threatens to harm other people or tries to hurt them. Most of the time, a person's intentions determine whether an assault has happened. This means that if someone intentionally used words or behavior that could be interpreted as a threat, then that person may be charged with assault. Someone may also commit this crime if he or she issues a threat which is accompanied by an action that makes other people fear they are not safe.

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York, PA 17401

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