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State College Criminal Defense Law Blog

How to defend yourself against a drug charge

When you have been accused of possessing drugs or you have been found in the possession of drugs, you will likely be worried about how serious the consequences could be. The consequences can be serious enough to affect your entire life, but the charge will depend heavily on the type of drug you had in your possession and the quantity.

If you believe that you were not guilty of a crime, however, and you want to defend yourself in order to lessen the change or have the charge dismissed completely, there are several routes that you can go down in the state of Pennsylvania. The following are some of the most common defenses to drug possession accusations.

What are the consequences of reckless driving in Pennsylvania?

When you are a driver on the roads of Pennsylvania, you have certain legal obligations in order to keep other people on the road safe. Many of these obligations will be obvious: You should refrain from driving over the designated speed limit, you should not drive under the influence of alcohol and you should generally obey the rules of the road.

However, not all practices are quite so clear cut. This is true for what is perceived to be reckless driving. Reckless driving is a term that can be used for a broad number of actions, yet it is considered a major traffic violation in the state of Pennsylvania. It is important, therefore, that you understand what reckless driving means and the consequences of such an offense.

Understanding the texting and driving ban in Pennsylvania

We all know that when we are behind the wheel, we shouldn't be using our cellphones at the same time. Horror stories of fatal car crashes that occur while using Snapchat or updating Facebook statuses are rife in the media, yet most of us are still tempted to catch a quick glance of our screens every time we hear our phones buzz.

As well as the dangers of cellphone usage while driving, it is also illegal in the state of Pennsylvania. This means that if a police officer notices that you are using your phone while driving, they are able to pull you over and fine you on the spot.

Explaining a drunk driving checkpoint in Pennsylvania

Law enforcement officials across the state of Pennsylvania routinely conduct checkpoints to find drivers who are operating their vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These are known as DUI checkpoints. They most commonly occur on weekends and during holidays. They can also be held during the week. Either way, drivers should know what occurs during a DUI checkpoint in State College.

As you approach the checkpoint, one of the officers on scene will ask you to stop your vehicle. You will need to provide the officer with your driver's license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. The officer will use this information to find out if you have any warrants out for your arrest.

Just how pervasive is underaged drinking around graduation time?

Many students are often in festive moods as they celebrate finishing high school and begin their foray into adulthood. Although it may be illegal to do so, this marks a time in which many underage individuals may consume alcoholic beverages.

The fact that many individuals younger than 21 consume alcohol illegally in the United States shouldn't surprise you. It's the most commonly abused drug among minors. One statistic recently reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the U.S. is drunk by those age 11 to 20.

Surcharges after a Pennsylvania traffic ticket

When you are faced with a traffic ticket in the state of Pennsylvania, you may be confused about the fines and penalties that you are subject to. If you with to contest the ticket, you may also be unsure as to whether you should pay the fine and expect to have it reimbursed later.

In the state of Pennsylvania, fines are the same rate across the entire state, but they vary from different states across the country. The will be determined by the violation that you are subject to.

Should you walk home from the party?

Most Penn State students know that they should not drink and drive. Operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above can result in DUI charges and serious consequences. This threat of criminal charges, and the high risk of accident and injury, may influence students to walk home after a night out instead of driving.

However, if you have had a few too many drinks in the course of a night, you may still face charges for walking home while drunk. Known as public intoxication, you can face up to a $500 fine for a first offense and up to a $1,000 fine for subsequent offenses. What should students know about Pennsylvania's public drunkenness laws?

Tips to help college students avoid DUI charges

College offers many new freedoms, and may be the first time that you have been able to make your own choices without the watchful eye of your parents. However, this does not mean that you can live without consequences.

Parties and alcohol are a part of many students' college experiences. If you are over 21, you many think that you are in the clear. However, even students of legal drinking age need to be careful if they plan on driving home after a night out with friends. Driving after a few drinks can quickly spiral into drunk driving charges, fines, loss of license, impact your career plans and result in jail time. How can you avoid DUI charges?

Heroin possession in Pennsylvania

Heroin is one of the most addictive and dangerous drugs, and therefore, being found in possession of even the smallest amount of the drug in the state of Pennsylvania is an extremely serious charge. It is classed as a Schedule I drug in the United States, meaning that they are classed in the highest category of high-risk drugs, and therefore, carry the heaviest penalties.

If you have been accused of having heroin in your possession in Pennsylvania, it is vital that you take the time to understand the consequences of this charge, and the steps that you can start to take in regard to protecting yourself.

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.

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