Partner With Your Legal Ally 717.268.4287
    • Contempt Proceedings in Custody Matters

      The Penalties and ramifications for non-compliance with a lawful custody order are severe. Further, disobedience may lead to an alteration of the custodial schedule. By Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle, ...

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    • Enforcement of Custody Orders- Contempt Proceedings

      I've had numerous clients that have gone through extensive litigation to get a final custody order. But is it really ever 'final?' In PA and every other state, custody orders are never final . That is ...

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    • Tractor Trailer Accidents- Common Causes

      Tractor-Trailers (often referred to as semi-trucks) are practically a lifeline to our economy and way of life. Large trucks are responsible for transporting a majority of our goods in the United ...

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    • Common injuries caused by Rollover Accidents

      Rollovers are one of the most dangerous types of accidents on the road. Rollover's account for only 2.1% of all accidents but 35% of all deaths caused by roadway accidents. Apart from fatalities ...

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    • Pennsylvania Legislation Attempts to Close Megan's Law Loopholes

      New reporting requirements and stricter penalties enhance Megan's Law to comply with Federal Adam Walsh Act By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Megan's Law Attorney, Harrisburg, PA Senate Bill 1183 ...

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    • SORNA Registration Requirements Held Non-Retroactive

      Defendant's obligation to register under SORNA did not derive from the Act itself but from the administrative rule promulgated by the Attorney General. In a recent decision by the Federal Third ...

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    • A Defense to SORNA- Ohio Provides the Template

      The Separation of Powers Doctrine may provide relief to some SORNA/AWA registrants. In July 2007, Ohio passed its version of SORNA (Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act) or the Adam Walsh ...

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    • Can Foster Parents Automatically Adopt A Child Placed in Their Care

      Foster parents have no legal standing to pursue the adoption of children placed in their care without the consent of the child welfare agency that has legal custody of the foster child, or unless they ...

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    • Grandparent's Rights Through Adoption

      A grandparent now includes those who become grandparents through adoption in addition to biological grandparents. Historically, grandparents have not been viewed by courts as having rights independent ...

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    • Same Sex Marriage is Prohibited by Law in PA- How Does This Affect Same-Sex Adoptions?

      Despite statutory language to the contrary that all same-sex marriages are prohibited in PA, same-sex couples may adopt . Same-sex marriages are void by statute in PA since 1996. However, they are ...

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    • Recent Supreme Court Case Affects "Career Offender" Designation

      A simple assault charge cannot be a predicate offense for a "career criminal" designation in Federal system . In Descamps v. United States, ___ U.S. ___, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (June 20, 2013) , the U.S. ...

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    • What's a 'Simple Assault' in PA?

      Simple Assault involving domestic violence is a frequently charged misdemeanor offense in Pennsylvania 'Simple Assault' is generally a misdemeanor 2 offense in PA, punishable by up to 2 years in jail ...

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    • "Road Rage," Criminal Assault and Homicide

      Road Rage becomes an epidemic Every time you pick up a paper or watch the news, there seems to be yet another story of criminal acts inflicted by one driver on another. So many have occurred that ...

      Read More
    • The Meaning of 'Search and Seizure'

      The meaning of 'search and seizure' requires a closer examination. I have blogged many times about different types of searches or seizures, however, I have not examined the root. WHAT IS A "SEARCH?" ...

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    • Searches In or Around the Home

      Persons that have a legitimate expectation of privacy in their homes are protected against searches by state actors, absent consent or exigent circumstances. The right of the people to be secure in ...

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    • "Standing" Needed to Challenge an Illegal Search and Seizure

      In order to challenge the constitutionality of a police search, one must have "standing." In its simplest form, "standing" is the personal right to exercise a constitutional challenge. The law ...

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    • PA House Passes Bill to Increase Child Abuse Vigilance in Wake of Sandusky

      Alleged perpetrator must be interviewed or attempts made under Bill. Under the PA House Bill, efforts are to be made to interview the alleged suspect of a child abuse. These efforts, while laudable, ...

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    • What is Aggravated Indecent Assault?

      Aggravated indecent assault requires only penetration "however slight." Under Crimes Code § 3125(a) , enacted in 1990 and as amended in 1995 and amended twice and relettered in 2002, it is provided ...

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    • Differences in Pennsylvania juvenile and adult defense

      If your child has been charged with an offense and is destined for a trip through the juvenile justice system, one of your concerns may be whether he or she will be treated the same as an adult. The ...

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    • Sexual Abuse of Children in PA - What Is It?

      Despite the title of the offense in the PA Crimes Code, 'Sexual Abuse' need not be any type of actual touching, offensive use of objects, or what one would normally think of as rape or molestation. ...

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    • Texts Messages from One Spouse to Another Admitted in Child Abuse Prosecution

      The Spousal Privilege that protects confidential communications between spouses is outweighed in child sexual and physical abuse prosecutions . Text messages from one spouse to another were admissible ...

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    • Hearings Before the Department of Public Welfare to Expunge an Abuse Finding

      The alleged perpetrator of abuse against a child faces a collateral proceeding, not typically dealt with in a criminal matter; the fight to have their record expunged of the alleged abuse. Unlike ...

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    • Possession of Child Pornography- the Curious Case of Jared Fogle "the Subway guy"

      A person is guilty of possession of child pornography for the mere knowing control of the item in Pennsylvania. As recently reported on July 8, 2015, by Mark O'Mara reporting for CNN - Jared Fogle, ...

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    • Sexual Abuse of Children and the Intent Necessary to Convict

      The Supreme Court of PA held that accessing and viewing child pornography over the internet constituted "control" of such pornography under applicable Pennsylvania statute . www.outsidethebeltway.com ...

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    • Use of a Computer Forensic Expert in Child Pornography Cases

      Should we or shouldn't we retain an expert? One of the first things that I discuss with a client is whether or not we should retain our own computer expert. The prosecution certainly has theirs. The ...

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    • 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 ...

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    • Child Support Reductions and Increases

      In Pennslvania, an obligor (the party paying child support ) may begin receiving a reduction once they've obtained at least 40% of the overnights in a given year (365 days) or 146 days. Thirty percent ...

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    • Changing A Child's Name On Their Birth Certificate

      One of the more common questions I receive about child custody is changing the child's name. In normal circumstances, there is no issue as to the child's first and last name. Both natural parents are ...

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    • Pennsylvania no longer has Common Law Marriage- there's a good reason

      GARY COLEMAN'S EX-WIFE IS AT IT AGAIN! 6/10/2010 Jessica Lynch Price fights for common law status Gary Coleman's ex-wife, Shannon Price, 24, wishes to be legally recognized as Coleman's common law ...

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    • Sexting/Cyberbullying Penalties May Be Decreased

      2011 PA H.B. 815 (NS) would reduce penalties for teens caught "sexting" sexually explicit material to others House Bill 815 would reduce the penalties for teens caught transmitting sexually explicit ...

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    • Child Pornography and File Sharing

      The sentencing differential between possession of child pornography and distribution can be as many as 15 to 20 years File sharing software as a "default setting" stores numerous files, images, videos ...

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    • Proposed Rule Changes for Sexual Assault Victims

      New Rule Would Allow an Expert to "Explain" Victim's Behavior By Attorney Elisabeth Pasqualini, Criminal Law Division Leader, Harrisburg, PA The House Judiciary Committee recently approved House Bill ...

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    • Collateral Consequences for Professionals with Criminal Convictions

      A criminal conviction may have severe repercussions for a professional career and licensing Certain state or federal convictions may make a person ineligible for many state, federal and municipal ...

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    • Custody Trials- What to Expect

      A custody trial occurs when conciliation or mediation has failed and the parties go to the next step; allowing the court to determine their fate. In prior articles, I have discussed how to begin the ...

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    • Unlawful Entry onto a School Bus

      Perry County mother charged with unlawfully entering school bus to help a son she thought was ill Reviewed by Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle, Esq ., Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC Published: Saturday, ...

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    • Child Victim Credibility and Sex Crimes

      Child victim credibility is difficult for the prosecution to establish at times, that is why the defense must be tactical and methodical in dealing with the child victim. A child victim is often times ...

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    • What's the Deal with "Window Tint?" Is it Legal or Not?

      Window tinting is legal, even if it isn't factory, as long as a person can see through it to the inside. But, that won't stop you from getting pulled over. I recently wrote a blog article about ...

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    • The Federal Pardon Process

      The Federal pardon process applies only the federal convictions, convictions in the District of Columbia Superior Court, military court-martials . There is a difference between a pardon and an ...

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    • "Protective Sweeps" an Exception to the Warrant Requirement

      Recently, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in Commonwealth v. Tuggles , 58 A.3d 840 (December 20, 2012) held that it was appropriate for an officer to conduct a protective sweep of the interior ...

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    • I've Been Acquitted of Criminal Charges- Now What?

      There's a quote that fits..."so where can I go to get my good name back?" By Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle , Managing partner I recently represented an individual that was wrongfully accused of a crime ( ...

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    • Child Custody- New Statute Affects Older Cases

      The New Child Custody Law became effective on January 24, 2011 and equally applies to cases old and new. The often asked question when a new law passes is "which law applies to my case...the new one ...

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    • Contempt Proceedings in Custody Matters

      The Penalties and ramifications for non-compliance with a lawful custody order are severe. Further, disobedience may lead to an alteration of the custodial schedule. By Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle, ...

      Read More
    • PA Paternity- How is it determined? By Presumption

      An examination of the Presumption of Paternity There are various ways of determining paternity. We have previously examined some of those ways, such as blood testing . However, did you know that you ...

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    • What is Deportation?

      Deportation is formal removal from the United States, which should not be confused with inadmissibility. WHAT IS DEPORTATION? Deportation is the formal removal of an alien from the United States ...

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    • U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Application of Padilla v. Kentucky in Deportations

      Padilla does not apply retroactively to cases already final on direct review. In CHAIDEZ v. UNITED STATES , No. 11-820. Argued November 1, 2012-Decided February 20, 2013, the United States Supreme ...

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    • Deportable Offenses and the Attorney's Role in Light of Padilla v. Kentucky

      A noncitizen convicted of violating a Pennsylvania state criminal statute is subject to a variety of harsh immigration penalties including deportation from the United States. A noncitizen convicted of ...

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    • 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 ...

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    • 3 tips for managing your emotions during a high-conflict divorce

      It's a sad reality that some divorces unravel into nasty and bitter battles. Even if you are a strong and resilient person, the toxicity and negativity can overwhelm you. If you are heading towards or ...

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    • Changing A Child's Name On Their Birth Certificate

      One of the more common questions I receive about child custody is changing the child's name. In normal circumstances, there is no issue as to the child's first and last name. Both natural parents are ...

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    • Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Delay in Notification of Suspension

      PADOT's delay in notification of a license suspension can excuse the suspension where undue prejudice is shown. In Gringrich v. Department of Transportation , ___ A.3d ___ (March 30, 2016), the ...

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    • Log Book Violations and Commercial Trucking

      The commercial trucking industry is a "highly-regulated industry" and provides an exception to the warrant requirement. In a Supreme Court decision, a police officer's warrantless search of a cab to ...

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    • License Suspensions - Seeking Administrative Time Credit

      The Administrative process before a PADOT hearing examiner: The appropriate method of obtaining review for a resident or non-resident PA license suspension is by applying for an administrative time ...

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    • How Can the Police Prove I was Possessing with the Intent to Deliver?

      Possession with the intent to deliver may be inferred from the circumstances. However, it still must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has made clear that a defendant ...

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    • Odor of Marijuana Sufficient to Arrest for DUI

      There is probable cause to arrest driver for DUI when officer detects strong odor of marijuana emanating from vehicle There are several types of driving under the influence ("DUI") offenses in ...

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    • Roadside Detention for Drug Dog Sniff Unconstitutional in Certain Circumstances

      Drug dog sniffs that prolong a routine traffic stop are unconstitutional as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court On April 15, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ("SCOTUS"- S upreme C ourt of t he U nited S ...

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    • Are you carrying someone else's prescription drugs?

      There are strict rules governing the use of prescription drugs. In large part, the strictness stems from the potential of abuse. After all, many prescription drugs are in demand and/or addictive . In ...

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    • Pennsylvania's drug offenders need treatment, not incarceration

      If you are among those who have spent time behind bars in Pennsylvania, then you probably know that many of those currently calling the state’s jails and prisons home are there because they committed ...

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    • Probable Cause is Required to Conduct a Canine Sniff of a Person In Pennsylvania

      A DRUG DOG SNIFF OF PERSON REQUIRES PROBABLE CAUSE, MORE THAN JUST REASONABLE SUSPICION. A canine sniff test by a trained drug detection dog does not constitute a search under the Fourth Amendment, ...

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  • DUI
    • Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About Field Sobriety Tests

      Field Sobriety Tests provide the officer with probable cause for an arrest for DUI if done properly By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini , DUI Defense Attorney, Harrisburg, PA Standard field sobriety ...

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    • DUI Checkpoints are Legal, but Avoidable

      Summer time is a prime time for DUI roadblocks and random stops or checkpoints for intoxicated drivers. Often times we see these on highly-travelled areas to and from beaches, bars, restaurants, ...

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    • Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing

      The Commonwealth Court of PA in Boseman v. DOT, No. 746 C.D. 2016 (March 17, 2017) held that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Birchfield v. North Dakota , is not applicable to a civil license ...

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    • Military Retirement as a Marital Asset Subject to Equitable Distribution

      Pennsylvania has opted to treat military pensions as marital property . However, The provision in the Divorce Code permitting equitable distribution of veteran's compensation where the veteran has ...

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    • Proposed PA Legislation Set To Establish New Parameters for the PA Divorce Code and Military Pensions

      The proposed amendments introduced on May 21, 2012 in the PA House would amend Title 23 Pa.C.S. Section 3502(a.1) regarding military pay, to establish PA Courts with authority allowable under the U.S. ...

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    • Valuation of Assets in Divorce; Part II- Retirement/Pension Plans

      The two basic types of retirement plans, defined benefit and defined contribution plans, are valued in accordance with the characteristics peculiar to the type of plan. THE TWO TYPES OF RETIREMENT ...

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    • Miranda Warning and Its Application to Juveniles

      WHAT ARE A CHILD'S RIGHTS WHEN QUESTIONED BY POLICE IN SCHOOL? By Beth Hawkins | Published Fri, Jun 17 2011 10:06 am Reviewed by Attorney Elisabeth Pasqualini, Criminal Law Division Leader, ...

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    • How Can the Police Prove I was Possessing with the Intent to Deliver?

      Possession with the intent to deliver may be inferred from the circumstances. However, it still must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has made clear that a defendant ...

      Read More
    • Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About Field Sobriety Tests

      Field Sobriety Tests provide the officer with probable cause for an arrest for DUI if done properly By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini , DUI Defense Attorney, Harrisburg, PA Standard field sobriety ...

      Read More
    • The Federal Pardon Process

      The Federal pardon process applies only the federal convictions, convictions in the District of Columbia Superior Court, military court-martials . There is a difference between a pardon and an ...

      Read More
    • I've Been Acquitted of Criminal Charges- Now What?

      There's a quote that fits..."so where can I go to get my good name back?" By Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle , Managing partner I recently represented an individual that was wrongfully accused of a crime ( ...

      Read More
    • Determinations of Child Abuse- Founded, Indicated or Unfounded

      Local children and youth agencies in the Commonwealth are also entrusted with the responsibility for investigating allegations of child abuse , and determining whether reports are "founded," ...

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    • Same Sex Marriage is "Marriage"

      The implications of the Whitewood/Obergefell decisions have been widespread, yet some issues still remain unresolved. In Whitewood , the U.S. Middle District Court ruled that the statutory ban on ...

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    • Pennsylvania's New Child Protection Law and Its Interplay with Custody

      A few changes in 2013 and 2014 to the Child Protective Services Law ("CPSL") have two major changes involving child custody. The newly-enacted law focused on enhancing child protection emerged after ...

      Read More
    • U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Application of Padilla v. Kentucky in Deportations

      Padilla does not apply retroactively to cases already final on direct review. In CHAIDEZ v. UNITED STATES , No. 11-820. Argued November 1, 2012-Decided February 20, 2013, the United States Supreme ...

      Read More
    • Cell Data Being Used As A Way to "Track" Suspects

      The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held the "pinging" technology or the mining of cell data was not in violation of the Warrant Clause of the 4th Amendment. In States v. Skinner , 09-6497, 2012 WL ...

      Read More
    • Mandatory Sentences for Sex Offenders

      The Pennsylvania Superior Court reviews Megan's Law mandatory sentences for sex offenders or the "three strikes law" for sex offenders in a case decided in September 2012 The Pennsylvania Superior ...

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    • Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About Field Sobriety Tests

      Field Sobriety Tests provide the officer with probable cause for an arrest for DUI if done properly By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini , DUI Defense Attorney, Harrisburg, PA Standard field sobriety ...

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    • Factors to Consider for Gun Crimes- Part I

      There are several factors to consider that will impact culpability and sentencing for gun crimes. This article discusses culpability (guilt) for possession. There are several factors that we've ...

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    • Factors to Consider for Gun Crimes- Part II

      There are several factors to consider that will impact culpability and sentencing for gun crimes. This article discusses sentencing issues. There are several factors to consider when assessing ...

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    • "Road Rage," Criminal Assault and Homicide

      Road Rage becomes an epidemic Every time you pick up a paper or watch the news, there seems to be yet another story of criminal acts inflicted by one driver on another. So many have occurred that ...

      Read More
    • "Road Rage," Criminal Assault and Homicide

      Road Rage becomes an epidemic Every time you pick up a paper or watch the news, there seems to be yet another story of criminal acts inflicted by one driver on another. So many have occurred that ...

      Read More
    • What is Deportation?

      Deportation is formal removal from the United States, which should not be confused with inadmissibility. WHAT IS DEPORTATION? Deportation is the formal removal of an alien from the United States ...

      Read More
    • Miranda Warning and Its Application to Juveniles

      WHAT ARE A CHILD'S RIGHTS WHEN QUESTIONED BY POLICE IN SCHOOL? By Beth Hawkins | Published Fri, Jun 17 2011 10:06 am Reviewed by Attorney Elisabeth Pasqualini, Criminal Law Division Leader, ...

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    • Reasons to get a juvenile's record expunged

      Many parents make the mistake of assuming that a juvenile's arrest record is automatically sealed once he or she turns 18. That is not the case. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and ...

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    • Underage Drinking; Several Things You Need to Know

      Aside from a hefty fine, there are several important things to know about the crime of underage drinking. The crime of underage drinking found in 18 Pa.C.S. Section 6308 is defined as follows: "A ...

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    • Child Support Provisions in a Marital Settlement Agreement

      Marital settlement provisions that establish child support at a set number are subject to modification and may not be binding. I have met with numerous divorce clients that come to me after they have ...

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    • PA’s SORNA/SORNA II Declared Unconstitutional by One County Judge

      Judge Carpenter in Montgomery County issues decision that indicates retroactive provisions of Act 10 of 2018 (new Megan’s Law) violates Constitution. On June 22, 2018, Judge William Carpenter issued a ...

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    • SORNA and SORNA II- A History of Megan's Law

      As of February 21, 2018, Pennsylvania passed a replacement statute to SORNA or "Megan's Law IV," which was partially declared unconstitutional by the Muniz decision. By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. ...

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    • Mandatory Sentences for Sex Offenders

      The Pennsylvania Superior Court reviews Megan's Law mandatory sentences for sex offenders or the "three strikes law" for sex offenders in a case decided in September 2012 The Pennsylvania Superior ...

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    • Parole Searches in Pennsylvania Revisited

      Parolees/Probationers have constitutional rights against unlawful searches and seizures. The Fourth Amendment prohibits the warrantless search of probationers' or parolees' residences without the ...

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    • PA Supreme Court Clarifies Parole Searches

      "Sentencing courts are not empowered to direct that a probation officer may conduct warrantless, suspicionless searches of a probationer as a condition of probation." In Commonwealth v. Wilson, 2013 ...

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    • Parole Searches in PA

      Parolees have a reduced expectation of privacy in PA. Probationers and parolees have limited protections against warrantless or suspicionless searches. A probationer's home can be searched by a ...

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    • Standard Special Conditions for Sex Offenders- Probation and Parole May Provide Additional Conditions

      PA Supreme Court weighs in; special conditions for sex offenders may be imposed by probation and parole pursuant to Megan's Law provisions so long as they interpret conditions imposed by the trial ...

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    • PA Paternity- How is it determined? By Presumption

      An examination of the Presumption of Paternity There are various ways of determining paternity. We have previously examined some of those ways, such as blood testing . However, did you know that you ...

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    • Design Defects and Notice

      A design defect in a product or place may be cause for not only compensatory damages but for punitive damages. Under appropriate circumstances, evidence of prior accidents involving a product is ...

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    • Unrepresented Motorist Falls Prey to PADOT's Use of Evidentiary Rules on Appeal

      License suspension appeal for failure to maintain financial responsiblity may be won by PADOT independent of "not guilty" verdict on underlying offense. In Pangallo v. DOT, Bureau of Driver Licensing, ...

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    • Common injuries caused by Rollover Accidents

      Rollovers are one of the most dangerous types of accidents on the road. Rollover's account for only 2.1% of all accidents but 35% of all deaths caused by roadway accidents. Apart from fatalities ...

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    • Jeffrey B. Engle Has Been Nominated and Accepted as Two Years AIOFLA’S 10 Best in Pennsylvania For Client Satisfaction

      The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of Pennsylvania's Family Law Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle as Two Years 10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client ...

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    • Auto Accident Investigations- What Should I Be Getting?

      At the scene of an auto accident, take a moment to breathe and remember to gather specific information if possible. Investigation of the serious vehicle accident depends largely on the type of ...

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    • Rear End Collisions

      The mere happening of a rear end collision is not enough to show negligence. The driver of a motor vehicle is prohibited from following another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, ...

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    • The Meaning of 'Search and Seizure'

      The meaning of 'search and seizure' requires a closer examination. I have blogged many times about different types of searches or seizures, however, I have not examined the root. WHAT IS A "SEARCH?" ...

      Read More
    • Possible Changes Coming to the Way the Courts Deal with Family Law Cases

      A new Bill introduced by the PA House on March 27, 2012 would substantially alter the manner in which courts are to deal with family law cases, such as divorce, custody, support, paternity and abuse. ...

      Read More
    • PA House Passes Bill to Increase Child Abuse Vigilance in Wake of Sandusky

      Alleged perpetrator must be interviewed or attempts made under Bill. Under the PA House Bill, efforts are to be made to interview the alleged suspect of a child abuse. These efforts, while laudable, ...

      Read More
    • Indirect Criminal Contempt Under the Protection From Abuse Act

      A person subjected to an arrest for an indirect criminal contempt of a PFA has certain rights. According to Pennsylvania Code Title 23: Where the police, sheriff, or the plaintiff have filed charges ...

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    • Pennsylvania's New Child Protection Law and Its Interplay with Custody

      A few changes in 2013 and 2014 to the Child Protective Services Law ("CPSL") have two major changes involving child custody. The newly-enacted law focused on enhancing child protection emerged after ...

      Read More
    • What is Meant by "Deviate" Sexual Intercourse?

      In Pennsylvania, there are crimes based upon whether the acts occurred were "deviate." But, what does that mean? There is often confusion when one of my clients is charged or investigated for a crime ...

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    • A look at Pennsylvania's revenge porn law and its limitations

      In Pennsylvania, posting revenge porn is a misdemeanor punishable with fines and imprisonment, but the terms of this law allow many potential defenses. Over the past few years, several states, ...

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    • "Road Rage," Criminal Assault and Homicide

      Road Rage becomes an epidemic Every time you pick up a paper or watch the news, there seems to be yet another story of criminal acts inflicted by one driver on another. So many have occurred that ...

      Read More
    • Post Conviction Relief- A Witness Recants

      Recantation of a witness' statements from trial can provide relief. True "after-discovered evidence," which can provide the basis for obtaining post conviction relief after the time for filing a Post ...

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    • Alleyne Held Not to Apply Retroactively

      The determination that mandatory minimum sentencing schemes in PA were unconstitutional has been held not to apply retroactively The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently held that the mandatory ...

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    • Sentencing and the County Intermediate Punishment Sentence

      A mandatory sentence under the State Sentencing Code is what it says... "mandatory." On February 17, 2015, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Commonwealth v. Stotelmyer, No. 73 MAP 2013, J-36-2014 ...

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    • PA House Passes Bill to Increase Child Abuse Vigilance in Wake of Sandusky

      Alleged perpetrator must be interviewed or attempts made under Bill. Under the PA House Bill, efforts are to be made to interview the alleged suspect of a child abuse. These efforts, while laudable, ...

      Read More
    • 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 ...

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    • SORNA Sex Offender Registration Unconstitutional in Pennsylvania- Muniz Decision

      In Commonwealth v. Muniz, ___ Pa. ____, ____ A.3d ___ (July 19, 2017) , the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently determined in a majority decision that the Sexual Offender Registration and Notification ...

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    • A Defense to SORNA- Ohio Provides the Template

      The Separation of Powers Doctrine may provide relief to some SORNA/AWA registrants. In July 2007, Ohio passed its version of SORNA (Sexual Offender Registration and Notification Act) or the Adam Walsh ...

      Read More
    • Internet Posting of Convicted Megan's Law Lifetime Registrants

      Provision of Megan's Law requiring internet posting of photographs and information regarding lifetime registrants was not punitive and did not violate ex post facto provisions. The Pennsylvania ...

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    • Enhancements to Registration Requirements Under Megan's Law or the Adam Walsh Act

      Hope exists for sexual offenders who were given bad advice at the time of their guilty plea. I have fielded numerous calls from clients regarding their active registration requirements under Megan's ...

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    • Speeding on a Junior Driver's License

      Excessive speeding on a junior driver's license will subject the junior licensee to a suspension period from 90 to 120 days. Some folks call it a "Cinderella License." It's the one you got before you ...

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    • Child Support Provisions in a Marital Settlement Agreement

      Marital settlement provisions that establish child support at a set number are subject to modification and may not be binding. I have met with numerous divorce clients that come to me after they have ...

      Read More
    • Possible Changes Coming to the Way the Courts Deal with Family Law Cases

      A new Bill introduced by the PA House on March 27, 2012 would substantially alter the manner in which courts are to deal with family law cases, such as divorce, custody, support, paternity and abuse. ...

      Read More
    • pre-textual Stops and the New Ban on Cell Phones in PA

      Police have a new weapon in the war on drugs, drunk driving...distracted driving Police will undoubtedly be citing folks for texting while driving, which will take effect in March 2012. This is a ...

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    • Cell Data Being Used As A Way to "Track" Suspects

      The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held the "pinging" technology or the mining of cell data was not in violation of the Warrant Clause of the 4th Amendment. In States v. Skinner , 09-6497, 2012 WL ...

      Read More
    • Defending the Arrest Made Using a Drug Dog

      Drug dog sniffs are not automatically a reliable means to establish probable cause. As pointed out in a prior article about canine searches during roadside stops for traffic tickets, drug dogs or ...

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    • Synthetic Drugs and the Problem with Police Identification

      There currently exist no field test protocols for synthetic drugs. By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini , Drug Defense Attorney, Harrisburg, PA A recent amendment to the PA Drug, Device and Cosmetic ...

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    • Termination of Parental Rights- Part II; Voluntary Termination

      A voluntary relinquishment of parental rights must be given intelligent, voluntarily and deliberately. As pointed out in Part I ( involuntary termination ), there are two distinct types of termination ...

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    • Adoptions- Things to Consider

      Adoptions- Things to Consider Overview Welcoming an adopted infant or child into your life can bring tremendous joy. And rest assured, though there is a small but significant risk that your child's ...

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    • Cops Commit Crimes Too!

      PA. COP IN CLASSROOM JAILED FOR UNTAUGHT CLASSES PA State Wire Published: Mar 18, 2011 WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - A northeastern Pennsylvania police officer who was fired after it was learned he never ...

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    • pre-textual Stops and the New Ban on Cell Phones in PA

      Police have a new weapon in the war on drugs, drunk driving...distracted driving Police will undoubtedly be citing folks for texting while driving, which will take effect in March 2012. This is a ...

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    • Can I Be Cited in PA for Not Speaking 'Sufficient' English

      Most states provide driver's license testing in other languages, such as FL . Under 49 CFR 391.11(b)(2), General qualifications of drivers, there is a prohibition that a person shall not drive a CMV ...

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    • Warrantless Search of Auto in PA Now Permitted

      The Pennsylvania Supreme Court determines that an auto search no longer requires probable cause and warrant or exigent circumstances. Only probable cause is needed. On April 29, 2013, the Pennsylvania ...

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    • False Identification by Minors, "Faking Your Way Through It"

      Carrying a false ID is a crime that could land you in jail and cost you your driver's license . I started thinking about minors who use fake IDs when I wrote a blog post a few days ago about a woman ...

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    • Hershey Summer Concert Series 2012- Underage Drinking and the PBT

      A person commits a summary offense if he or she, being less than 21 years of age, attempts to purchase, purchases, consumes, possesses, or knowingly and intentionally transports any liquor or malt or ...

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    • Underage Drinking on College Campuses

      AN UNDERAGE DRINKING OFFENSE CAN HAVE MONUMENTAL IMPACT ON A YOUNG PERSON'S LIFE Most college students that I advise, think little if anything about an "Underage Drinking", 18 Pa.C.S. Section 6308 , ...

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    • Child Custody and Unwed Parents

      Unmarried or Unwed parents have no less rights to legal and physical custody of the child than do married parents. I often receive many inquiries from clients as to which parent possesses the 'most ...

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    • Custody Proceedings with Unwed Parents

      It's not a bad idea to make sure your current relationship is stable before take your "ex" back for a custody hearing I often counsel one parent that is seeking to have a custody order entered to ...

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