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Serious bodily injury while drunk driving is severely punished

Pennsylvania imposes potentially severe punishment on those who are convicted of causing serious bodily injury to another person as the result of driving under the influence. The offense is a second-degree felony with punishment of up to 10 years in prison, a fine up to $25,000, or both. Recently, the state police arrested a 42-year-old woman for that crime and a slew of other violations, including drunk driving.

The Pennsylvania State Police allege that the accused was driving her vehicle in a westerly direction on Route 6 in Pittsfield Township. They allege that her vehicle crossed over into the oncoming lane of traffic, veered back into the westbound lane and crashed into a guard-rail. The vehicle rolled over after hitting the guard rail and moved 50 feet while on its roof, then rolled another 150 feet while on its passenger side.

Family law procedures to follow for post-divorce security

When one comes to the end of a negotiated divorce settlement in Pennsylvania, the residual tension from a long, embattled process may contribute to a depressed mood. However, by this point various things must be done to establish a solid foundation going forward. The participant in a family law divorce proceding will find it well worthwhile to make sure that the following basic steps are executed and in place.

All accounts must be updated to the post-divorce reality. Thus, if a woman opts for a name change, for example, she must notify all agencies and companies of the change, preferably in a formal written communication. Regarding the divorce, the individual must notify all concerned financial institutions and must at the same time see to it that the former spouse is taken off of all applicable accounts.

Tips for avoiding DUI in Pennsylvania

Is there a festival or wedding reception in your near future? What about your car? Have you recently checked it over to make sure all your turn signals, brake lights and other external instruments are functioning properly? Although these issues may not seem related on the surface, they all have one thing in common: any one of them places you at risk for a traffic stop by police. Add alcoholic beverages and after-hours driving to the mix, and the chance of a police officer stopping you increases even more.

It's often possible to avoid DUI in Pennsylvania by thinking ahead and making responsible driving choices. There are several other things, in addition to the aforementioned, that may help you stay safe and keep legal problems at bay. A key factor in staying out of trouble is making conscientious decisions.

Family law attorneys can help to implement visitation orders

In Pennsylvania, the system for visitation of the minor children is generally handled much like it is in all other states. Generally, a custody and visitation agreement is negotiated by the parties and signed by the family law judge. The breach of such an agreement could be contempt of court and could expose the violating parent to changes or reductions in his or her visitation privileges, depending on the circumstances.

It is a common experience that separated or divorced couples get quite anxious, at least in the beginning years, over the implementation of visitation during the holidays. This may not apply in those cases where the parents have succeeded in working liberally together, without recrimination, to make things work for the children. In those situations, usually set up as shared custody arrangements, extra hours are freely given back and forth by mutual agreement, and changes are easily made when shifting schedules and various family matters may require changed holiday hours.

Tax reform could impact Pennsylvania family law

Alimony is a common feature of many Pennsylvania divorces. Even in marriages where both partners worked, if one spouse earned significantly more than the other, a family law judge will likely still order the higher earner to pay alimony. Currently, alimony may be deducted by the payor and must be reported as taxable income by the payee, but tax reform could change this process.

The proposed tax reform would affect divorces completed any time after Dec. 31, 2017. The ability to deduct alimony payments on the payor's federal income taxes would be eliminated. Recipients would no longer be required to report alimony as taxable income. If passed into law, the current alimony system could undergo a drastic change.

Man is arrested for drunk driving after trying to vote early

There was an unusually brisk turnout of voters on Nov. 7 in Pennsylvania. Many people were excited to cast their vote in the midst of so many controversial issues facing the public this year. Historically, election day is also a day when some citizens still go out and have some cheer to celebrate the day. There is usually a slight rise of drunk driving charges on election day.

In one case just prior to election day, a man started celebrating a bit early. The 34-year-old Harrisburg resident showed up at an elementary school a day early and requested the right to vote. It was Monday, however, and voting is always on a Tuesday. He appeared to be drunk and the authorities were called to escort him out.

Constable preparing criminal defense to fentanyl charges

Generally, in Pennsylvania constables are used to serve court papers and engage in other miscellaneous law enforcement activities. A constable is elected to office but must become state certified prior to engaging in the full realm of authorized activities. Like anyone else, constables will have to retain a criminal defense attorney and defend any criminal charges brought against them.

Recently in Northumberland County, authorities arrested a Sunbury constable on drug charges that allege that he provided a woman with fentanyl in September.  The 32-year-old man was working his duties at a polling station on Nov. 7 when the police arrested him. Authorities say that they tried to reach him several times at his home but he did not respond.

Drunk driving charges lodged against designated driver

The concept of the designated driver has been immensely popular and has saved the lives of many potential drunk drivers over the years. The Pennsylvania State Police, however, had a negative run-in with a designated driver recently. The 23-year-old man was allegedly drunk himself and speeding erratically on various highways in the Lehigh Valley area when the police stopped his vehicle and arrested him for drunk driving.

The state police officers say that the man smelled of alcohol and was put through a field sobriety test, which he failed. They say that he also failed a preliminary breath test. The man allegedly told police that he had been drinking but that he was now the designated driver for the unidentified passenger(s) in the vehicle.

Seeking guidance when a medical condition leaves you facing a DUI

Being involved in a traffic stop can be a stressful and intimidating experience. Should allegations of intoxication arise during this period, despite your sobriety, you could begin to feel somewhat overwhelmed by the process and uncertain where to turn for guidance.

Authorities may look for a variety of signs and behavioral patterns to indicate intoxication. However, they may also indicate the presence of a medical condition, and being unaware of how this might influence the situation could leave you suffering the consequences, regardless of your innocence.

County prosecutor must enter criminal defense to 17 charges

What happens to the criminal justice system when it is the prosecutor himself who is arrested and charged with crime? This is the question being pondered in Mercer County where District Attorney Miles Karson has been charged with 17 misdemeanor crimes by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office. To be sure, even a prosecutor must obtain counsel and present a criminal defense to the charges just like anyone else in that situation.

The charges range from obstruction of government functions to officially oppressing an arrest or search warrant, and hindering prosecution. The press reports are unclear regarding the nature of the alleged facts surrounding the charges. There were reports in February regarding an incident when police responded to a call involving a woman in her underwear in the streets spewing profanities regarding Mr. Karson.

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