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Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Pennsylvania's drug courts help address the opioid crisis

Many states have been seriously impacted by the opioid crisis. Pennsylvania has not been spared the impact of the use of opioids. In 2016, there were 2,235 people who died from opioid-related overdoses. That equals a rate of 18.5 deaths per 100,000 people. Nationally, the recorded rate is 13.3 deaths per 100,000, showing that the state is struggling particularly hard with this epidemic.

It's not just heroin that leads to overdoses. In fact, while heroin deaths have increased from 131 deaths to 926, it's synthetic opioid overdoses that are even worse. They increased from 98 to 1,309 deaths. Prescription-related opioid deaths rose by almost 50 percent, from 411 to 729.

Criminal defense: Judge reduces ex-cop's murder charge

A white police officer charged with the first-degree murder of a black man has had the charge reduced to third-degree murder. The criminal defense team of the accused Pennsylvania man said the judge made the right decision after reviewing evidence of the 2017 incident that claimed the life of the 30-year-old man. The former Philadelphia officer is accused of shooting the man in the back after a disagreement over a dirt bike and while the man was leaving the scene.

The former police officer's defense team said the accused felt a gun on the deceased during a search. He said the deceased tried to shoot the accused during the scuffle, but the gun jammed. The judge also gave the green light for the case to proceed straight to trial, forgoing a preliminary hearing.

Criminal defense: Pennsylvania man charged with raping 2 children

A 47-year-old man was recently arrested for allegedly raping children. The Pennsylvania resident was taken into custody in Delaware County after an extensive search for him. Police say the accused raped two sisters. He would be wise to enlist the help of a sharp criminal defense team to help him fight the charges. 

The accused claims he is innocent and told reporters he would never have done such a thing. But he says that most people believe those arrested are guilty until they're proved innocent, not the other way around. The assaults supposedly happened five years ago.

Pennsylvania man missing after being charged with 8th DUI

A 48-year-old man is on the lam after being charged an eighth time for drunk driving. The Pennsylvania resident didn't meet with his probation officer at the scheduled time, so police are considering him to be a fugitive. The latest DUI charge came last month after police allegedly spotted the vehicle in which he was driving making an illegal turn.

The cop who stopped the vehicle said there was an indication the driver had been drinking. But the suspect refused to perform a sobriety test at the scene. The officer said he arrested the accused anyway based on his experience, observations and training. 

Pennsylvania man charged with DUI, other offences

A 44-year-old Pennsylvania man could be spending almost a decade in prison after being convicted of charges filed against him last year. The accused, a Venango County resident, was charged with resisting arrest, fleeing police and DUI. He entered guilty pleas in court recently as part of a plea bargain with the district attorney's office.

As part of that agreement, the district attorney won't prosecute the man for other charges brought against him, including aggravated assault, harassment and summary traffic counts. Police were initially called to check on a domestic dispute between the man and his spouse, allegedly taking place in a vehicle. The car left before police arrived, but was spotted by police just outside the city limits. Law enforcement had to use a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) to eventually stop the car.

Custody can be decided by a judge in your case

In a divorce, one of the things that you need to think about is who should have custody of your children and when. If you and your spouse can determine how to set up visitation and custody yourselves, then your attorneys can submit any parenting plan you create to the courts for you. However, if you're unable to agree, you'll need to think about other options.

If you go to court over your custody arrangements, then a judge plays a role in what happens next. The judge considers the best interests of your child overall.

Does the fighting really stop after a divorce?

Fighting has a way of continuing to escalate until a couple finally decides enough is enough. But even when some Pennsylvania couples decide that divorce is their only option to quell the fires of animosity, the bickering never really seems goes away. The question is, does it ever?

Couples divorce to put an end to all the back-and-forth negative dialogue between them. For some people; however, it seems to continue far after a divorce decree is issued. It seems as though some people have been at each other for so long, they find it difficult to stop, and in some instances, the fighting actually becomes worse. 

Pennsylvania man facing a number of drug charges

Police recently arrested and charged a 26-year-old man in a drug-related incident. The Pennsylvania resident is facing multiple drug charges after police allegedly found seven containers of marijuana in his residence. Some of the cannabis was already packaged for sale. Cops also seized a digital scale, $699 in cash and a number of cell phones.

Police attended the home of the accused on a house check, which is when they apparently found the drugs on the premises. There was also a three-year-old child in the home. After the accused was arrested, the authorities obtained a search warrant. Police said the accused was selling marijuana from his residence. 

Drug charges: Cannabis grown on Pennsylvania game land

Police were searching for a male in connection with growing cannabis plants. But it turns out the 51-year-old suspect who would have been facing drug charges was mowed down by a bulldozer and killed. The deceased Pennsylvania resident had apparently been growing 10 marijuana plants in Berks County on state game lands.

A worker alerted police to a suspicious vehicle on the land. The late suspect was killed by a dozer being used in the search for him. He died in hospital of his injuries. The suspect's badly injured body was found in the bulldozer's tracks. The machine had been mowing down brush to try to find the suspect.

Drug charges: 25 charged after 2-year drug investigation

Twenty-five people have recently been identified as being involved in one of the biggest drug rings in Montgomery County. Drug charges have been filed in connection with the biggest fentanyl trafficking organizations in Pennsylvania, according to police. Charges stem from a two-year investigation.

Five men have been identified as leading the alleged drug ring. During search warrants, police allegedly found illegal firearms as well as material to make illegal drugs. Wiretaps were used in Operation Poison Control, as it was named, to track a drug transfer as it was happening. Reportedly, the tap led police to find almost 200 grams of fentanyl in a mini van which is said to be the equivalent of nearly 6,600 street doses.

  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • ABA Defending Liberty Pursing Justice
  • CDSA
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