Blog Posts in 2015

  • Why Would Criminal Charges Be Dropped or Dismissed?

    Criminal charges do not always lead to a trial. They are not "set in stone," so to speak. Criminal charges may be altered, added on to, or even dismissed. Charges may be dismissed for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, new evidence in a case leads to a different development of culpability. In other cases, prosecutors may find that criminal charges are exaggerated or overblown. For more reasons as to ...
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  • What Happens If You Cannot Pay Your Criminal Fines?

    Criminal fines are monetary penalties that are assessed after a criminal defendant has been convicted of a crime. Many state and federal criminal laws allow the judge handing down the sentence to order the defendant to pay a fine as a punishment for a crime. This fine may act as the singular form of punishment, or it may be combined with an incarceration penalty. For some criminal convictions, a ...
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  • Can I Get in Trouble for Accidentally Downloading Child Pornography?

    Tired after a long day of work or classes, you sit down with your laptop to unwind with some mindless web browsing. You're surfing around, munching on a snack, one eye on your smartphone, not paying too much attention to what you're doing. You click on a link or download a file, thinking it will lead you to that one movie or TV show you've been meaning to check out - but to your horror, you ...
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  • What Are Plea Bargains and How Do They Work?

    Hollywood courtroom dramas would have you believe that criminal cases always end with the judge pronouncing a verdict. In reality, the vast majority of cases are actually resolved through plea bargaining, also referred to as making a plea deal or plea agreement. In this article, our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys will explain some basic rules about how plea bargaining works in ...
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  • Can You Get Arrested for Sharing Prescription Drugs?

    Imagine this hypothetical scenario. You've been diagnosed with a certain condition, and you take daily prescription medication to help control your symptoms. Your friend hasn't been formally diagnosed by a physician, but seems to suffer from many of the same effects. Feeling bad for your friend, you decide to share a few of your prescription pills, just to see if they help. Unfortunately, this ...
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  • What Happens if You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Pennsylvania?

    Most people know that the penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) include fines, jail time, and suspension of your driver's license. But did you know you could lose your license even if you're found not guilty of DUI? This is because of a little-known law known as implied consent. If you have a Pennsylvania driver's license, you've already given your implied consent - maybe without even ...
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  • Is There a Difference Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary?

    Most people use the words theft, burglary, and robbery interchangeably. While this is fine for casual conversation, there are significant distinctions between each of these offenses in the context of criminal law. If one of your loved ones has been arrested for stealing, it's important to understand exactly what the charges involve. In this article, our burglary defense lawyers will explain how ...
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  • Do You Have to Register as a Sex Offender in Pennsylvania if You Live in Another State?

    Megan's Law, less commonly known as the Sexual Offender (Jacob Wetterling) Act of 1994, is a federal law requiring all states to make information about certain sex offenders available to the public. This is accomplished primarily through the Sex Offender Registry, which exists in every state and can be accessed through the internet. While all states have registries, all registries aren't the same. ...
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  • Can You Get a Government Job with a Felony?

    Most employers conduct background checks on job applicants, and the federal government is no exception. If you have a criminal record, but want to become a government employee, there's both good news and bad news: you might be able to get the job you want, but it depends on what you were convicted of, and which type of occupation you're interested in pursuing. Drug crimes and domestic violence ...
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  • Can You Be Charged with Statutory Rape if They Lie About Their Age?

    Statutory rape, known in Pennsylvania as statutory sexual assault, is a common offense to be charged with. Many defendants ask the same question of their criminal attorneys : is it a defense to say that you didn't know the other person's real age? As with many legal questions, the answer depends on the details of the situation. Before we can discuss the nuances of Pennsylvania's statutory rape ...
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  • Do Federal Convictions Appear on Background Checks?

    According to the results of a 2012 survey conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management, nearly 70% of all employers in the United States run background checks on job applicants. Included in that number is virtually every industry and occupation you can think of, ranging from accounting to construction to transportation to hospitality. As technology erodes at our privacy, background checks ...
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  • What is Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse?

    Most terms for criminal charges are part of our everyday language. For instance, anyone would be able to loosely define offenses such as assault, theft, murder , or rape. Other crimes, like involuntary deviate sexual intercourse (IDSI), are less familiar. If you or someone you love has been arrested for IDSI in Pennsylvania, it's important that you understand exactly what the allegations involve. ...
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  • How Often Does the IRS Prosecute Tax Crimes?

    The Internal Revenue Service has an intimidating reputation. Each year, hundreds of millions of Americans scramble to get their tax returns filed on time for April 15, and everyone worries about receiving that dreaded IRS audit notice in the mail. Most taxpayers have little to worry about, but for the unfortunate defendants who do come under investigation, the consequences can be harsh. So just ...
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  • Will I Lose Child Custody if I'm Charged with Sex Crimes?

    No parent wants to be separated from their children. Unfortunately, if a divorced parent is charged with serious sex crimes , the allegations could negatively affect the defendant's child custody arrangement. Pennsylvania's laws allow parents to seek custody modifications in cases where the other parent has been charged with certain offenses. The Pennsylvania Department of Health maintains annual ...
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  • How Do You Get Charged with Identity Theft?

    Identity theft, which can be charged as a state crime or a federal crime depending on the circumstances, is an increasingly common criminal offense. According to statistics compiled by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), identity theft prosecution recommendations nearly doubled in the short period from 2012 to 2014. But how does an investigation begin? When can you be charged with identity theft? ...
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