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Erie, Pennsylvania, Legal Blog

After bankruptcy, should you apply for new credit cards?

Credit cards can cause debt problems when people do not use them responsibly. This is especially true because the high interest rates can massively increase debt when it is not paid off on time. So, should you consider getting a new credit card if you just filed for bankruptcy?

It actually can be a very good idea. The key is to pay off everything on the card, every single month. Do not leave an unpaid balance and do not miss a payment. Remember, you will likely not be eligible for cards with low interest rates. The bankruptcy on your record means that you are viewed as a credit risk and, as a result, will get some of the highest rates. That does not matter if you pay the card off, but it is a significant problem if you don't.

Man claims he was sober during deadly wreck

A man in Pennsylvania was driving his car, with his girlfriend riding along, when he lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a tree. His girlfriend died in the wreck. Reports claim he may have been driving around 76 miles per hour.

The 41-year-old woman passed away at the crash site. The 50-year-old man was arrested. According to the Pennsylvania State Police, his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was over three times higher than the 0.08 legal limit in the state.

What is a power of attorney and why do I need one?

For many people, it is just as scary, if not scarier, to think about being powerless to make decisions on one's own as it is to think about no longer being around. No one wants to feel helpless and have others looking after them at all times.

But as important as it is to have a Last Will and Testament to oversee the distribution of your Estate after your death, a Power of Attorney designation to empower someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you cannot, is just as important. It is a vital part of your Estate plan that can give you peace of mind.

Do I have to a take a sobriety test?

Getting pulled over by the police is usually one of life’s most stressful moments. Even if it’s just for a broken taillight, seeing the flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror can still cause your adrenaline and heart rate to spike.

What about if the stop is due to the suspicion that you’re driving drunk? In that case, your mind can flood with questions: Am I going to jail? How much will this cost me? Am I going to lose my license? In the same situation and often motivated by fear, people decide to comply with every request police make of them. If you do the same, it could make your legal defense much more difficult, which could open you up to many of Pennsylvania’s stiff penalties for DUI.

Regaining Custody of Your Child in Pennsylvania

Going through the loss of the custody of your child is a heart-breaking process. As a parent, it can be traumatic because it is something that you probably felt powerless to prevent. Whatever the reason for you losing custody of your child, it is important to remember that situations change, and when they do, it is possible and very realistic to gain back custody.

Child custody courts across the United States always seek to make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the child in question. This means that if the situation changes in regard to the competence of a biological parent, it is quite possible that they will be able to reinstate his or her custody rights.

Four things you should not do while fighting for custody

Custody battles are hard. They are emotional. They are challenging. You need to know exactly what you should do every step of the way, especially if you are afraid of losing custody of your children.

On top of that, though, you need to know what not to do. One mistake could spell disaster. Here are four things you should not do:

  1. Tell your children what to say: Your children may be old enough to have a say in court, but do not coach them. The judge wants to hear your child's honest thoughts and opinions to make a decision with the child's best interests in mind. If it is obvious that you have been drilling the children on how to respond, it's problematic.
  2. Keep your questions to yourself: People sometimes assume they are supposed to know everything about the custody process, and they feel foolish asking questions. Do not keep silent. Always ask if you have a question so that you do not accidentally make a mistake or the wrong decision.
  3. Violate a court order: It may feel unfair to you. You may think you are acting in the best interests of your family. Even so, you should never violate any order. You will likely make things worse for yourself.
  4. Lie to the judge: Always be honest. Do not lie to make yourself look better or, as many people do, to make your spouse look worse. Getting caught in a lie can wreck your chances of getting the custody you are seeking. Do not take that risk. Stick to the truth and show why you deserve custody rights.

'Trump House' blamed for serious car accident

A home in Pennsylvania has been nicknamed the "Trump House" since the owner opted to make the house a shrine in honor of Donald Trump when he was running for president.

That owner is now facing a lawsuit. A woman was involved in a car accident near the house in October 2016. She claims that the home was a distraction and caused the wreck that involved another driver hitting her vehicle.

Make the right impression in your custody case

Are you and your ex locked in a bitter child custody battle? When you're fighting for your right to parent your child, few things will be as vital to win.

The following tips may be useful for presenting yourself in the best light possible to the Erie family courts.

  • Demonstrate your willingness to co-parent. Family court judges are not enamored of parents who show their obstinacy on matters relating to their children.
  • Exercise your parental rights. Even if right now all you have is visitation rights, take full advantage of those. Spend all the time you can with the kids, and when you are apart, check in with calls and texts.
  • Arrive on time and prepared. Don't be late for scheduled visitation or when you return the kids to their other parent. Make sure that your children have all they will need when spending time with you.
  • Remain engaged and involved. Attend parent-teacher conferences and as many games and practices as you can. Learn your children's teachers' names.
  • Dress for success. Dress for court the way you would for an interview for your dream job.
  • Always speak respectfully. This applies while answering in court, but also in your interactions with your child's other parent.
  • Document everything. If you plan on alleging your child's other parent is somehow unfit, have evidence to substantiate these claims, e.g., police reports, background checks, rap sheets, etc.
  • Quit your bad habits. If you've been known to overindulge in drinking or like to get high, now is a great time to kick the habit.

What's behind the increase in pedestrian deaths?

It's easy to take your safety for granted, but the truth is that accidents happen in the blink of an eye. While improved vehicle safety technology has led to a decrease in driver and passenger deaths across the country, pedestrians are still vulnerable, and more are dying in accidents than they have in decades.

According to a new report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the organization estimates that 5,984 pedestrians were killed across the country in 2017. While the numbers are essentially the same as 2016, these last two years represent a 25-year high in pedestrian fatalities.

5-car accident in Pennsylvania involves police car

A chain reaction crash in Pennsylvania sent multiple people to the hospital as a total of five vehicles crashed at once. The wreck happened on Thursday, March 22, and it occurred right around 5:45 p.m.

According to reports, the first cars to crash were a police cruiser and a car driven by a civilian. It appears that the police car had come to a red light and stopped. The driver of the car behind it had some type of medical emergency -- reports do not indicate exactly what happened -- and he slammed into the back end of the police car.