Many social observers say that criminal penalties for minor crimes have been too high for too long. The sentences for many petty offenses, especially ones connected to violence or drug use, can include years in prison. In addition, convictions or even charges alone can limit people's professional and financial options.
Pennsylvania drivers who have had multiple DUIs and/or caused a DUI-related death are now facing harsher criminal penalties thanks to a new law that went into effect just before Christmas.
Pennsylvania drivers will see new, stiffer penalties for drunk driving - just in time for New Year's celebrations. The future consequences will focus on "high-risk offenders" who continuously drive impaired or drive with a DUI-related suspended license.
Something that a lot of people do not realize is that the police are on the lookout for any vehicle with a driver that could be under the influence. Winter is an especially dangerous time not just because of the holidays in the earlier months in the season, but because drunk motorists would have an especially tough time navigating excessive snow and ice covering the streets.
Violence is never a recommended way to solve a problem, but it can be the only way out of a dangerous situation under Pennsylvania law. Nearly every jurisdiction recognizes a person's right to self-defense, while the Keystone State also features a clause that can keep criminal charges away from certain people who felt the need to use violence.
All states make allowances in the law for using force -- even potentially deadly force -- against another person if it's believed necessary to prevent serious harm to themselves or other people, and even to protect property. These are generally referred to as self-defense laws. Let's take a look at Pennsylvania's self-defense laws.
If we want our roads and sidewalks to be safe, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is always a bad idea. A drunk driver is far more likely to be involved in an accident and, for that matter, injure himself or herself than a sober driver. For this reason, police aggressively seek to identify, arrest and charge alleged drunk drivers -- while enforcing Pennsylvania drunk driving laws. Nevertheless, just because a police officer accused you of drunk driving doesn't mean that you were actually guilty of the offense.
The laws governing the possession and use of marijuana are always changing. These changes can cause many drivers to believe that is legal to use this substance behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. However, it is illegal to consume intoxicating substances and drive a vehicle, even in states that have legalized cannabis for medical or recreational use.
It may surprise you to learn that many Pennsylvania residents accused of criminal domestic assault or violence do little to mount a criminal defense. Occasionally, this might happen because the defendant did commit the crime and feels guilty. Other times, no unlawful activity occurred, but the defendant still feels as if they don't deserve a defense.
Every state has their own specific laws when it comes to legally owning a gun. The law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is relatively strict, being ranked as the 10th strictest state by the Brady Center.