If you are stopped at a DUI checkpoint or by law enforcement, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities. Many laypeople try to understand the complex DUI laws and give advice, but you should go back to the criminal code and information you get from the Department of Motor Vehicles. In 2002, one person was charged with DUI, even though he was just sitting in the driver's seat. Here are some of the common myths of DUIs that you should know before you drink and drive.
Traffic cops really hope you'll talk to them when you're pulled over. It's not that they're lonely; they're hoping you'll divulge something incriminating. It's a routine tactic among traffic cops to drag out traffic stops in an effort to pressure you into confessing something.
The authorities claim that a man from Allentown, Pennsylvania, was in charge of a sex trafficking and prostitution ring that was known as "the program." He has now been arrested and charged for allegedly running it from back in 2009 to May of last year. The police say that the ring was all over Pennsylvania, but that it also reached outside of the state, to cities in New York, New Jersey and Maryland.
If you've been charged with a crime under Pennsylvania law, you could face an additional charge if the crime you're accused of involved a computer, smartphone or tablet. The charge is called "criminal use of a communications facility," and a prosecutor can add it to any of a wide variety of criminal offenses, including:
With state after state legalizing marijuana possession for at least some purposes, it can feel like partaking in a little weed isn't a big deal anymore. Even though Pennsylvania hasn't legalized pot for any purpose, possession of a small amount of marijuana -- defined as 30 grams, or just over an ounce -- is often charged as a misdemeanor with very limited penalties.
The Medical Cannabis Act -- currently Senate Bill 3 -- is back in the news. The bill, which was co-sponsored by Delaware County Sen. Daylin Leach, represents a renewed attempt to legalize medical marijuana after last year's effort passed overwhelmingly in the Senate but died in the House. While it unanimously passed out of one committee yesterday, Leach realizes that some House members are likely to have questions and concerns, so additional discussions or possible amendments may be needed.
This week, six former officers from the Philadelphia Police Department's undercover drug unit are being tried on a 26-count federal racketeering indictment. The star witness is former unit member Jeffrey Walker, who pled guilty in 2013 and is now testifying for the prosecution. Walker's plea led to as many as 160 drug convictions being overturned. In addition, numerous civil rights lawsuits have been filed by people mistreated by the drug unit.
The Internet and social media have opened up many new options for getting in touch with people. Unfortunately, they've also made it easier for people to act -- sometimes anonymously -- without thinking things through.