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Harrisburg Criminal Defense And Family Law Blog

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Planning a summertime move with your children?

Summer is a time of the year when many families move. After all, the children are out of school, and they have time to settle into a new place and meet people before starting at a new school. The parents, too, have the opportunity to settle into a new job at a time when the workplace might not be as busy.

However, if you are planning a summertime move with your children and the other parent has custodial rights, you have to take certain steps to notify him or her. It could be that you end up not being allowed to move.

Statutory Sexual Assault- Four Years Means 1461 Full Days

The Pennsylvania Superior Court in Commonwealth v. Price, 2018 Pa. Super. 105, ___ A.3d ___ (May 2, 2018), recently vacated the judgment of sentence of the York County Court of Common Pleas. The issue before the panel was whether habeas corpus relief was appropriate for two identical twin defendants charged with statutory sexual assault, 18 Pa.C.S. Section 3122.1(a)(1), where the defendants were not four (4) or more years older than the victim, but precisely 1460 days and 14 hours older. There are 1461 days in a four (4) year period based upon simple arithmetic, which includes an extra day for a leap year. The Trial Court determined that since the Appellants were exactly four years older than the victim, the Appellants were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt where they readily admitted to sexual intercourse. The exact ages, including date and times of birth, of all parties was stipulated to by Counsel for Appellants and the Commonwealth. The Appellants appealed this adjudication and remained free on bail pending appeal. 

What if my alibi is weak?

When police question you in connection with a crime, it is often in your best interest to remain silent. In fact, when police ask where you were at X time and on X day, both a weak and strong alibi can hurt you. Talk with an attorney before answering any questions, including alibi questions. For example, if your alibi is strong and easy to verify, you do no harm by consulting with an attorney first. You can always offer your alibi to police later if it is that easy to verify.

What if your alibi is weak, though? Will it be hard to overcome?

What am I allowed to spend child support on?

Like many custodial parents in Pennsylvania, you rely on child support to help you raise your children. You might have heard conflicting but well-meaning advice from your friends and family members about how you are allowed to spend your child support. Your ex-spouse may criticize your spending and threaten to report you to family law court if he or she disagrees on where the money is going. Understandably, this could have you worried about the consequences of misspending child support or whether your spending will be monitored.

Fortunately, you can stop worrying. According to FindLaw, the courts intend child support to benefit your children, but you have a wide range of freedom in how you can spend the funds. The following examples show how you might spend your child support check:

  • Housing and utility expenses, including rent, mortgage, electrical, water and gas
  • Education-related fees and expenses, including tuition, books, extracurricular activities, school uniforms, musical instrument rental and internet
  • Clothing, shoes and necessities, such as toothpaste and hygienic products
  • Health care co-pays and medicine
  • Food and drinks
  • Movie tickets, restaurant meals, Christmas presents, a family vacation and other entertainment expenses

Your professional license and criminal charges or conviction

Professionals who require a license to work, such as doctors, nurses and real estate agents, could risk losing their license if charged with a crime. It is important to understand the effects of criminal charges on a professional license.

If you are facing criminal charges and must maintain a professional license to work, you should understand your rights and responsibilities under the law and with your profession's governing board. Each situation is unique, so make sure you are clear about how your particular professional licensing board views criminal charges and convictions.

Alimony Changes in 2018

The newly-enacted Tax Cut and Jobs Act ("TCJA") made changes to the tax treatment of alimony that will take effect for divorces and legal separations after January 1, 2018. Alimony-payer deductions and payee's income inclusion for post-2018 divorces and separations will end.

PA Plans to Pass a New Megan's Law (Megan's Law V)

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's denial of certiorari to the Commonwealth of PA in Commonwealth v Muniz on January 22, 2018, the Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting to consider HB 1952. Senator Greenleaf expresses concern over the legislation's breadth. 

Paperwork you need to file for divorce in Pennsylvania

Are you ready for a divorce but are unsure where to start? The complexity and length of the divorce process can make it intimidating to tackle. With the help of a family law attorney, it can be manageable.

The first step is to gather and complete all the necessary paperwork for your divorce. Which documents you need to file may vary depending on your circumstances, but the most common ones are as follows.

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