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Federal Prosecutors Charging Protestors with Crimes Under Civil Rights-Era Law

Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia and other large cities around the country have revived a little-used criminal law from the 1960s civil rights era to charge protestors with obstructing law enforcement during the unrest that followed the killing of George Floyd. The Civil Disobedience Act of 1968 makes it a felony to “obstruct law enforcement in… Read More »

When Can Deadly Force Be Used in Defense of a Home or Other Place of Security?

One nightmare everyone dreads is being awakened by the sound of breaking glass or other unexpected noise coming from downstairs and encountering an intruder. In that scenario, what can you do to protect yourself, your family and your possessions? Pennsylvania follows the “castle doctrine,” a legal principle allowing you to use deadly force against someone… Read More »

Why Would the Police Pull You Over When You Didn’t Do Anything Wrong?

You are driving on a Pennsylvania highway and you notice a police car following you, even though you’re not speeding, driving erratically or otherwise violating traffic laws. Suddenly, the police car’s lights are flashing. As you’re pulling to the side of the road, you’re thinking, “What did I do wrong?” The answer may be nothing…. Read More »

What Types of Charges Can Get You on the Sex Offender Registry, and for How Long?

Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), popularly known as Megan’s Law, has been on the books since 1995. SORNA requires that certain designated adult and juvenile sex offenders register with the Pennsylvania State Police. People on the registry must report periodically to the State Police and provide information about changes in employment or… Read More »

Good People Make Bad Decisions: Why ARD Is Designed for You

A person who has gone their entire life without getting into legal trouble might one day get behind the wheel after too many drinks, use recreational marijuana or make another poor decision that leads to a low-level criminal charge. Fortunately, Pennsylvania has a specific remedy. The Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program offers people who make… Read More »

Guilt by Association in Drug Cases

If you’re like most people, hearing the phrase “drug possession” brings to mind someone caught with drugs in their hand, in their jacket pocket or even hidden in their shoes. It’s relatively easy to understand — the person had drugs on them when they were arrested. But did you know that a person can be… Read More »

Shut Up, Give Blood, Call a Lawyer: What To Do in a DUI Arrest

A charge of driving under the influence can negatively affect your life whether or not you’re convicted. If you are a first-time Pennsylvania DUI offender, the good news is you most likely won’t face felony charges. If you have a history of DUI, though, you could be looking at very heavy penalties. Whatever your history… Read More »

The Art of the Plea Deal: Why Real Court Isn’t Like CSI or Law and Order

Courtroom trial dramas on TV make for compelling entertainment, but they bear little resemblance to how the criminal court system actually works. Criminal cases work through the system in a variety of ways, but in the state of Pennsylvania, only 4 percent of those cases end up in an actual trial. That means that 96… Read More »

Complying with Corporate Annual Meeting Requirements during the COVID-19 Quarantine

How do you hold a corporate annual meeting when the entire country is in lockdown? On the surface, it might seem like a simple matter of using a favorite video conferencing tool and perhaps checking to see if it’s been hacked. Annual meetings for corporations are more than get-togethers. They are legally mandated proceedings that… Read More »

What are Considered Essential Businesses Under States’ COVID-19 Rules?

During the coronavirus pandemic, previously bustling locations from malls to urban downtowns have gone eerily quiet. But your local pizza place might still be open, along with restaurants that can survive on takeout and delivery orders and, of course, grocery stores. After all, keeping people fed during an epidemic is critical, and food delivery and… Read More »