Montgomery County Pennsylvania Legal Blog

Do juveniles understand the Miranda warning?

Children and adults are treated differently and have different expectations. There is no denying this reality. When there is a criminal issue, juveniles and adults go through different courts. While there are differences, the principle of due process is a universal American right. It means that everyone has the same right to a fair trial.

While it's a core American value, those differences between kids and adults are worth noting. One big legal issue is Miranda Rights, known for their use on TV police shows and starting with "You have the right to remain silent." While we all know these words, do we know what they mean? Does a child know what they mean?

When to hire an attorney to fight a traffic ticket

You were pulled over for speeding. It’s a big pain, but it seems to only make sense to just pay the fine and get on with your life. It’s not worth fighting, is it?

You may be surprised how much one ticket can affect your insurance rates, especially for young drivers. This is especially true if you’ve already had a ticket and are in danger of accumulating enough points to have your license suspended. It may well be worth it to hire an attorney to fight that ticket.

What happens if I get caught underage drinking in Pennsylvania?

You probably know that the legal drinking age in Pennsylvania is 21. But peer pressure as a teenager is also something serious. If you’re at the homecoming after-party, and everyone on the soccer team is doing keg stands, you might be tempted to join in.

Can a few beers in high school really matter that much? What consequences could you face?

Juvenile assault charge leads to teen facing hate crime charges

In Pennsylvania, the hate crime category is seldom utilized. However, a recent case that involved a teen facing assault charges has turned into a different situation altogether. Now a ninth grade student faces charges of ethnic hate crimes.

The case against the 14-year-old boy was opened after the Northampton District Attorney's office heard of the charges against an African-American teen. According to the report, the teenager was charged after he allegedly attacked the younger boy for supposedly posting demeaning footage of the older boy on a social media site. It was that footage and the purportedly accompanying derogatory language that prompted the DA to pursue a case against the freshman.

When is an interlock device used in Pennsylvania?

Interlock devices are breath test kits that you use to start your car. When an interlock device is installed in your car, you need to blow into the machine to prove that you have not been drinking. It will not start if it detects alcohol.

Historically they've been required for repeat DUI offenders and special cases of extreme intoxication. One recent study at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found that they reduce traffic deaths, which is likely to increase the push for their use on a larger scale, both nationally and in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania police say drunk driving arrests up over holidays

Holiday parties provide friends and families an opportunity to relax and enjoy timeout from all of the pressures that come with every day life. However, if one chooses to indulge in a few alcoholic beverages, there is the possibility of later facing a drunk driving charge. Pennsylvania police recently announced the total numbers of arrests that were made over the recent holidays.

Officials stated that the number of arrests for drunk driving increased significantly over the previous year. Over the long Christmas weekend troopers recorded approximately 314 arrests for impaired drivers. The figure for the 2015 holiday was an estimated 218. The number of vehicle crashes was also up, though the ones that allegedly involved intoxicated drivers was down from the previous year. None of those crashes included fatalities.

Man's political career likely over due to assault allegations

Life in the political arena leaves one open to all manner of criticisms. It is not uncommon for one to find himself standing accused of bending the rules or cutting deals for the sake of gaining favors. However, most will not find themselves on trial for allegations of assault like one former congressional aide from Pennsylvania.

The aide, who had served in different capacities for more than one congressperson, had a career that lasted 20 years. However, in 2012, a man came forward and made allegations of improper sexual contact by the 56-year-old aide. The incident purportedly took place when the accuser stayed overnight at the man's home after a gathering. The supposed victim claimed that he was inappropriately touched while he was in a bed in a lower level of the aide's home.

Pennsylvania firefighter charged with drunk driving

An off-duty firefighter in Bethlehem is facing charges that may end his career. The Pennsylvania rescue worker stands charged with drunk driving as well as fleeing police and weapons possession. His arrest came on the heels of reports from concerned family that the man was mentally unwell and could pose a danger to himself. 

The report notes that around 10:30 p.m. police were forwarded texts sent by the 44-year-old firefighter which, officers say, included specific references to suicide as well as photos of an open bottle of liquor and a semi-automatic handgun. When police approached the man, who was found in his vehicle in a parking lot, he apparently fled the scene, prompting police to chase him for some seven miles. Police say he was operating his vehicle with reckless abandon and without concern for the well-being of others on the road. 

Pennsylvania mayor faces drunk driving charges

The long-time mayor of Upland Borough is facing serious criminal charges, according to local sources. Mayor Michael Ciach of the Pennsylvania borough has been charged with drunk driving in connection with an accident the morning of Nov. 18. He also faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident. No court date has been set as of this report. 

According to the accident report, the mayor was driving in the early morning when he apparently rear-ended another vehicle. He then struck two other cars before fleeing on foot. It is unclear whether anyone was in any of the other vehicles at the time of the crashes. 

Pennsylvania woman charged with assault, drug crimes

A woman was arrested after allegedly trying to shoot up heroin in a Target bathroom and injuring a police officer, according to local sources. Pennsylvania authorities have charged the 25-year-old woman with felony aggravated assault along with several other charges. So far, no court date has been listed.

According to the unusual report, the woman was perceived to be under the influence of a substance when she entered a Target on the afternoon of Oct. 29. According to security staff, she took a bag of candy into a women's restroom and was subsequently followed by staff, who called police. When police officers arrived on the scene, they say the woman was allegedly shooting heroin in the stall.

Contact

Theodore H. Swan, Jr., Attorney at Law
1150 Old York Road
Abington, PA 19001

Toll Free: 866-955-2946
Phone: 267-415-6130
Fax: (215) 886-8652
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