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State College Criminal Defense Blog

New bill proposes felony DUI charges in Pennsylvania

Right now, you can get an infinite number of DUI charges in a row, and they will always be misdemeanors in Pennsylvania. It does not matter if it is your first offense, your second offense or your tenth offense. There are no felony DUI charges in the state.

However, change may be on the way. A recent bill was proposed that would create felony charges, shifting toward a system many other states already use; in fact, only four states do not have felony DUI charges at this time. The bill has not passed into law yet, but it did get through the state Senate.

Was your child arrested for possessing 'study drugs' illegally?

When you sent your son or daughter off to college here in Pennsylvania, you probably experienced excitement, pride and trepidation all at the same time. You want your child to do well, but you also know that this is the first time he or she is away from home.

When you think about the trouble your college student could get into, you probably think about parties where alcohol and drugs like marijuana may be present. You may not have anticipated that your child would get caught with so-called "study drugs," and now he or she faces charges of drug possession.

Drunk driving as a Pennsylvania teen

Driving while having some amount of alcohol in your system is never a good idea. When a person over the age of 21 is found to be driving while their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, he or she will likely have his or her driver's license suspended for a minimum of six months.

A person under the age of 21 will probably have less driving experience than a person over the age of 21. In addition, in the United States, a person under the age of 21 is not allowed to consume alcohol whatsoever, whether he or she is behind the wheel or not. Therefore, an underage person who is found to be under the influence of alcohol is breaking two different laws at once.

Crime at Pennsylvania State University

When you are attending a university in any part of the country, it is always good to know key statistics about the college, especially when it comes to crimes. It is important that you feel safe in the university that you attend, as well as understand what the process is if you ever become the victim of or accused of a crime.

Universities have a unique way of dealing with on-campus crimes, since it is regarded as an enclosed place where students are able to transition to adulthood. Therefore, many universities deal with any reported crimes internally, rather than reporting them directly to the police. This means that many incidents and complaints are dealt with by the college court.

The consequences of running a red light in Pennsylvania

We all know that driving through a red light does not comply with the traffic code of conduct. However, from time to time, it can happen. There is never really a great excuse for doing failing to stop.

If you didn't notice that you drove through a red light, it could be argued that you were not paying enough attention to the road. Alternately, if you did so because you were running late, it could be argued that you did not prioritize safety over punctuality.

Attending Penn State and under 21? You may want to know this

Going off to college is often a freeing time in life. Moving away from home for the first time provides you with the opportunity for new experiences, new friends and new social situations. You may attend parties and have a few drinks. This wouldn't present a problem unless you are under the age of 21.

The state of Pennsylvania and Penn State take underage drinking seriously. You may want to think twice before getting into your car after having a few drinks. The state has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. Adults over the age of 21 have some chance of not suffering any consequences if their blood alcohol concentration remains below .08, but you don't have the same chance.

Cocaine possession in Pennsylvania

Being found with any type of drug on your possession should be taken very seriously, especially when in Pennsylvania. The state of Pennsylvania is stricter than most when it comes to drug laws, and being found in the possession of cocaine is treated much more harshly than the possession of marijuana, for instance.

The only way that you can avoid not getting caught with cocaine on your possession is to never have anything to do with it. But once you have been caught, the charge could have serious implications for the rest of your life.

Dealing with a misdemeanor traffic ticket

Traffic offenses are usually very minor offenses, and typically come with a small fine, such as in the event of parking illegally or making a wrongful turn. However, traffic offenses have the potential to be very serious depending on what actions you took.

Usually, the factors that define a more serious traffic offense are when the actions that you took were dangerous. If you destroyed property or caused injury and it was seen to be through the fault of your actions, it will likely be a serious offense. In addition, if you created a situation that was extremely dangerous and could have caused real injury or damage, the offense will also be treated very seriously.

When is speeding classified as reckless driving?

Most of us would like to identify ourselves as safe and careful drivers, but it is likely that there are occasionally times when we drive one or two miles above the legal speed limit. This might be because of an increased acceleration due to traveling down a hill, or just because we did not keep a close eye on our speed as we were traveling down the highway.

Minor violations of the legal speed limit usually go unpunished because they are not excessive enough to be detected, and they are not generally unsafe. However, when a car is driving five or more miles over the legal speed limit, there could be safety implications.

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