The war on drugs has been raging across the U.S. for a number of decades now. The only difference is that the drugs receiving the most attention now and those accused of violating the state's drug laws are different than they were in the 1980s and 90s. Today, the focus has significantly shifted away from street drugs and toward common painkillers, including opiates. Those who are accused of violating drug laws in Pennsylvania can be up against some serious potential penalties, which is why they need to consider how best to present their criminal defense.
Some criminal offense may seem relatively minor to Pittsburgh residents. Some may not even seem like crimes at all. This is particularly true when young adults vandalize the property of another. It can be easy to write these instances off as young people making mistakes, but Pennsylvania law views it as a punishable offense. This means that individuals can find themselves facing the possibility of much harsher penalties than they ever envisioned.
With the opioid epidemic seeming to take the country by storm, local law enforcement agencies are cracking down hard on both those they believe are selling illegal narcotics as well as those who use them. The penalties for even the most minor drug conviction can leave individuals in a difficult position. They may be facing jail or prison time, excessive fines and damage to their record and reputation that can have a ripple effect across almost every aspect of their lives.
Being charged with a criminal offense can be frightening. Prosecutors who are convinced of your guilt can threaten to put you behind bars for longer than you ever imagined. This can rip you away from your job, your family and everything else you have worked hard for in your life. In addition to losing your freedom, a criminal conviction can cause irreparable damage to your reputation and devastate you financially when you are forced to pay large fines. With so much at stake, you owe it to yourself to build the best criminal defense strategy possible under the circumstances.
Regardless of what you may have heard about states relaxing their drug laws, the fact of the matter is that the war on drugs rages on. Local law enforcement and prosecutors are aggressive in their investigation and prosecution of those they feel have broken the state's drug laws. Those on the receiving end of a criminal charge may find themselves fearful, and for good reason. After all, a criminal conviction can result in the imposition of serious penalties, including prison, fines and a damaged reputation. So, when allegations of criminal wrongdoing are levied, Pennsylvanians need to build the best criminal defense they can under the circumstances.
There are a number of sex-related criminal offenses recognized by Pennsylvania law. One subsect of these offenses are those crimes related to prostitution. Those who are accused of prostitution or solicitation can find themselves embarrassed, but there is often much more at stake than just their feelings. And if convicted, an individual could face a wide variety of life-impacting consequences, such as fines, prison time and other penalties.
Previously, this blog discussed how Pennsylvania law defines the criminal offense of theft. Knowing how the law defines these offenses is critical, as oftentimes the statutory language can give rise to criminal defense options. For example, with many kinds of theft, prosecutors must show some sort of intent before a conviction can be obtained. Proving one's mental state at the time of an alleged crime can be difficult to prove, giving a defendant the opportunity to put forth evidence that contradicts the claims made by prosecutors.
As drunk driving accidents continue to be prevalent in today's society, the authorities are always looking for a reason to stop drivers. Once a stop occurs, police officers rely on a multitude of tests in order to determine, in their opinion, whether a motorist is intoxicated. The results of these tests are then handed off to prosecutors who will use them as evidence to buttress their DUI cases. Therefore, knowing about and fully understanding these tests is critical to those who have been accused of driving under the influence, as there may be ways to attack their validity.
When property goes missing, many individuals are quick point the finger and blame others for their loss. Although sometimes others are responsible for missing property, other times allegations are falsely made or falsely levied against an individual. Yet, when accusations are made, a Pennsylvania resident can wind up facing criminal charges for stealing. In order to avoid the harsh penalties that can accompany a conviction, defendants need to know the law, understand it and comprehend how to utilize it to their advantage as, regardless of the circumstances, criminal defense options may be available to them.
Law enforcement officers and prosecutors are constantly looking for ways to build cases that leave them well positioned to obtain a conviction against an individual they believe has committed a crime. Although the law tries to strike a balance between protecting personal liberty and public safety, far too often overzealous police officers infringe on an individual's rights. When this happens, individuals can be wrongly accused and even wrongfully convicted, leaving them subjected to serious penalties.