Go to main navigation
202 East Union Street, Somerset, Pennsylvania 15501
FREE CONSULTATION 814-483-7075 814-483-7075

Author Archives: Matthew R. Zatko

Understanding Adoption and Guardianship: Who Steps In When Birth Parents Cannot Care for Children?

When birth parents are unable to take care of their children, a qualified individual can be appointed as legal guardian or adoptive parent. Under Pennsylvania law, there are major differences between guardianship and adoption, mainly to do with permanency and the rights of a guardian and the child under their care. The child’s health and… Read More »

How Does a Criminal Record Affect Your Future?

Arrests and criminal charges, even if they did not result in a sentencing or jail time, can lead to unpleasant repercussions. Your job prospects, housing and even child custody can be negatively affected if you have a criminal record. That’s why it is critical to have an experienced defense attorney to represent you if you’re… Read More »

The Importance of Wills and Advance Directives

Your will gives you the chance to specify how your assets will be distributed, and to whom, following your death. But wills aren’t the only important element in a comprehensive estate plan. Advance directives such as living wills and powers of attorney can also give you control over medical and financial decisions during your lifetime… Read More »

What Infractions Can Lead to Commercial Driver’s License Suspension?

If your job requires you to drive a school bus, an eighteen-wheeler, hazardous material transport, or any vehicle or combination of vehicles that total 26,001 pounds or more, you are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). CDLs are required for many jobs, so suspension of a CDL — whether temporary or permanent —… Read More »

Understanding Pennsylvania’s Marijuana Laws

Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program was signed into law in 2016. That means certain people can legally purchase and consume marijuana for medicinal use, but it is still illegal for recreational use, while driving and for purchase or sale outside of an approved dispensary. When is marijuana legal under Pennsylvania law? The Medical Marijuana Program allows… Read More »

What Happens If You Violate Your Probation?

In Pennsylvania, judges have wide latitude in setting the terms of probation, a period of correctional supervision that serves as an alternative to incarceration. It is similar to parole, which is supervision after release from jail or prison. In both cases, violation of the terms and conditions can land the individual in jail. This happens… Read More »

Why Hire a Local Criminal Defense Attorney?

When you are facing criminal charges, you are best served by a criminal defense attorney familiar with the local court system and its judges and procedures. Local attorneys not only have valuable inside knowledge but are also known to police, prosecutors and judges in the vicinity. They also are members of your community with reputations… Read More »

What Happens if You Refuse a Breath or Blood Test at a DUI Stop?

In Pennsylvania, drivers are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above. The legal limits are even lower for commercial drivers (.04 percent) and for drivers under 21 years of age (.02 percent). If you’re stopped by police on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI),… Read More »

If You Provide Drugs to a Person Who Dies, You Face Homicide Charges

Under Pennsylvania law, “Drug Delivery Resulting in Death” (DDRD) is considered a homicide, carrying a potential prison sentence of 40 years — and higher if the victim is under 13. While the statute was aimed at drug dealers, anyone who provides another person with drugs — whether or not for profit — can be charged… Read More »

What Happens When a Night Out on the Town Turns into a Night in Jail?

Here’s a common scenario. You go out for a night of fun with your friends. One drink turns into three and three drinks turn into six. Before you know it, you are in an argument with someone at the bar. Push leads to shove, the police are called and the next thing you know you’re… Read More »