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September 2014 Archives

Philly Homeowners Sue District Attorney to Stop Forfeitures

Many people are not aware that the government can seek forfeiture of people's property if the property is somehow believed to be involved in criminal activity. I believe that most people would not have a problem with the government seizing the proceeds of illegal activity or property and things that were purchased with such proceeds. For example, if a person were a large scale drug dealer, the dealer may have money in the bank, cash in a safe in the house, cars, motorcycles, and  even a vacation home. In such cases, I suspect that no one would have a problem with the government seizing such items as a criminal should not be able to benefit from the illegal activity.

Steelers Running Back Charged With Drug-DUI Eventhough Not High When Driving

A Pittsburgh area police officer recently stopped a vehicle after smelling marijuana coming from the car. Imagine the officer's surprise when he discovered that two of the three occupants in the car were Pittsburgh Steelers running backs. I am sure that the officer would have preferred to see the Steelers star players at Heinz Field as opposed to being part of a marijuana possession investigation. Because the one  player was behind the wheel at the time, he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. Both players were charged with Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana under 35 P.S. § 780-113(a)(31), an ungraded misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $500.00 fine, and a suspension of Pennsylvania driving privileges. One player was also charged with Driving Under Influence under 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3802(d)(2), which is also an ungraded misdemeanor. If this were a first offense of DUI, the maximum sentence for this charge would be 6 months incarceration, a $5,000.00 fine, and a 12-month suspension of Pennsylvania driving privileges.

Man Facing DUI Charges After Splashing Police Car With Mud Puddle

Who hasn't seen a video on TV or on YouTube in which a driver hits a mud puddle after a recent storm and splashes a person walking nearby? I do not believe that I have ever done such a thing, but I am sure that I have been tempted when the situation arose. In a recent Lancaster County DUI case, a man drove through a puddle of water, and the water splashed through the open window of a police car. The officer was not in the car at the time but was instead putting flares around the high water area to alert drivers of the danger. According to the online article, the driver ignored the officer's motions to him to stop and continued through the  restricted zone. The article states that the officer "tried to light several flares," but it does not state that any flares were actually lit or that any signs regarding the driving hazard had been put in place.

Pittsburgh Firm Negotiates $1.5 Million Settlement, Client Skips Out on Bill

Edgar Snyder made the phrase "no fee unless we get money for you" known throughout the state of Pennsylvania.  Many personal injury lawyers charge contingency fees, meaning that the attorney does not charge the client any money up front and only gets paid a portion of any settlement or verdict upon conclusion of a trial. If the lawyer doesn't win, the lawyer doesn't get paid. If the lawyer wins, then the lawyer often gets paid 30% to 40% of any award plus  expenses.