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Butler Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Blog

What if you are arrested for allegations of criminal mischief?

In Pennsylvania, there are certain legal terms that are obvious and easy to understand when a person is arrested and faces a criminal charge. For example, if a person is arrested for theft, the charge is relatively self-explanatory. However, other charges can be more confusing as to what it specifically entails. An example of this is "criminal mischief." There are many acts that will lead to criminal mischief charges and those who are facing these allegations must know what they are since this is a vital part of formulating a strong defense and potentially avoiding the penalties for a conviction.

The following will lead to a charge of criminal mischief: if there is damage to another person's tangible property and it is done on purpose, via recklessness or negligence by using explosives, fire or in other dangerous ways; there is tampering with another's tangible property and it endangers the person or the property and it is done in an intentional or reckless way; if there is an intentional or reckless attempt to lead to another suffering financial loss by issuing a threat or deceiving them; if tangible property is defaced or damaged by putting graffiti on it; if there is intentional damage to real or personal property; or if there is an intentional defacing of property by using a paintball gun.

Local politician faces DWI offenses after passing out in traffic

In Pennsylvania, anyone can be charged with driving under the influence regardless of their position in society. Independent of their individual situation, the charges, penalties and potential problems that can result from a conviction will be vast. For those who have been charged more than once, the penalties will be worse. Before doing anything else, it is crucial to contact a law firm that has defended many clients who are dealing with DWI offenses.

A local city councilman was placed under arrest and charged with DUI offenses. This was the fourth such charge he has faced. The man, 42, was found near an intersection as he sat in his vehicle in the early afternoon not long after 1 p.m. He was in a blue Honda and it was on the side of the road, blocking traffic. Officers saw a small, empty bottle of alcohol on the floor of the compartment. When officers requested the man's driver's license, he gave them a credit card. The officer stated the man seemed to be confused and did not comply when asked to exit the vehicle. Eventually, he did.

Woman faces several drug charges for heroin

When there is an arrest for drug-related crimes in Pennsylvania, it is often categorized as involving people who are distributing, trafficking and selling drugs. These can be "street" drugs, like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, or it can be prescription drugs. Selling drugs can result in an arrest and serious consequences. What should be understood is that people who are arrested for drug possession when they are apparently using the drugs themselves can also face charges. There can also be a combination. This can impact them in many negative ways with fines, jail time and family problems.

According to a recent report, a 29-year-old woman was arrested for numerous charges related to heroin. The incident began after police were called to a store at approximately 9 p.m. when the woman said her son was missing. According to the store's video recordings, the son was not with her when she arrived at the store. Law enforcement went to her residence and found the child. He was allegedly surrounded by heroin packaged in various ways. The woman also allegedly had heroin in her vehicle. The child reportedly told police that it was his mother's medicine.

How long will a person be on the National Sex Offender Registry?

When charged with sex-based crimes, Pennsylvania residents should be cognizant of the litany of penalties they will face if they are convicted. Since these acts are considered so heinous, legislators in the state and across the nation have implemented harsh long-term consequences. Part of that is the National Sex Offender Registry. If a person is arrested on these charges, it is imperative to understand the possible penalties.

If convicted of a sexual offense, there will be a time period for which the person will be required to be on the National Sex Offender Registry. The duration will depend on the level of sexual offense. A Tier I sexual offense includes abuse of children, institutional sexual assault, video voyeurism and online crimes. The registration will be for 15 years. A Tier II offense includes statutory sexual assault, human trafficking and prostitution. It will be for 25 years. A Tier III sexual offense includes kidnapping, rape, aggravated indecent assault, incest and sexual abuse. The person will need to register for life.

Man charged with DWI offenses after separate crashes

Drunk driving and drugged driving are understandably major concerns in Butler and throughout Pennsylvania. Law enforcement officials are aggressive in trying to catch drivers who might be under the influence. In some cases, there is an accident and law enforcement officials are called after the fact. Once they have investigated, they may determine that the driver was under the influence and make an arrest. With the various penalties that can be assessed for a DWI conviction, it is imperative to formulate a viable defense.

According to recent reports, a man was arrested for DWI after two crashes. The first incident involved hitting a parked vehicle. The second came when the suspect hit a tree. As law enforcement officials investigated, the man reportedly stated that he was simply parking his vehicle. The accidents happened starting at around 10:30 p.m. The vehicles were completely totaled. No one was hurt. Law enforcement officials posted the details of the arrest on its Facebook page and entreated people not to drive after drinking. The investigation is ongoing.

What is the law regarding assault charges on a sports official?

Any assault charge in Pennsylvania will be problematic for the individual who is confronted with the allegations and potential penalties. In any case in which there are assault charges, the circumstances are critical. For some situations, the charges will be enhanced and the penalties will rise commensurately. This is true when there is a charge of assault on a sports official. For people who are facing these allegations, having a strong legal defense is imperative to attempt to avoid the long-term consequences of a conviction.

Pennsylvania residents are passionate about sports whether they are participants, their children are taking part or they are simply members of the audience watching the competition. This can sometimes result in taking things too far and getting into a disagreement with an official. In a worst-case scenario, it will turn physical and people will end up being accused of assault. Assault on a sports official has the same criteria as simple assault. This includes attempting to injure another person with intentional, knowing or reckless behavior; negligently causing injury with a deadly weapon; or attempting to menace another person and put them in fear of injury.

What you need to know about field sobriety tests

Police officers in Pennsylvania are always on the lookout for drunk or otherwise impaired drivers. Police may pull over anyone suspected of driving under the influence and ask them to participate in field sobriety testing. What exactly does that mean?

Field sobriety tests require you to walk through various physical actions so that law enforcement can check for signs of impairment. Three field sobriety tests are what many consider the gold standard. The problem with them all is that none of them are as accurate as certain professionals proclaim them to be. All are prone to human error, which results in false positives. This means that you could end up charged with DUI even if you are not drunk or otherwise intoxicated.

Man faces multiple DWI offenses and more after police chase

Many arrests for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania occur when there is a traffic stop, testing and the driver is placed under arrest if the blood-alcohol concentration surpasses the legal limit. It is unusual for there to be a high-speed chase and other offenses that exponentially worsen the alleged DUI or DWI offenses. In some cases, however, the driver might flee or there could be accusations that criminal violations were committed in conjunction with DUI.

According to recent reports, a man is facing multiple charges, including receiving stolen property, DUI and fleeing law enforcement, after a police chase ended with the vehicle crashing into a residence. The incident occurred at approximately 2 a.m. Officers sought to stop a new GNC Sierra Denali. It did not have a license plate. As the stop was attempted, the driver allegedly drove away. A chase went on for around a mile before the man crashed into a fence, hit a porch of one home and then hit another porch. The man subsequently got out of the vehicle and law enforcement used a stun gun to subdue him. He was then arrested. The driver was brought to the hospital for treatment, but no one else was hurt.

What constitutes kidnapping in Pennsylvania?

There are certain criminal allegations that Pennsylvania residents will immediately associate with the worst possible acts that a person can commit. Sex-based offenses fall into that category, as do any abusive or violent acts toward children. Another crime that will have negative connotations and severe penalties is kidnapping. It is imperative to separate the emotional reaction and reality. Understanding the law related to kidnapping and formulating a defense is key in a kidnapping case.

If a person takes another person a substantial distance from where that individual was found or confines a person for a substantial period with that person being isolated, it is possible for a charge of kidnapping to be filed. The following must be in place regarding intent: the kidnapped person was being held to secure a ransom or reward or as a hostage or shield; the person was used to commit a felony and for the accused to flee after that felony; the intent was to cause bodily injury or to terrorize the victim or another person; or the goal was to interfere with public officials performing their legal function. Kidnapping a minor is when a person who is younger than 18 is subject to the above-listed behaviors.

Men arrested on drug charges after fentanyl found in vehicle

With drug arrests, most people might automatically think of street drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Prescription drugs are a growing problem that can lead to serious consequences as well. A relatively new drug that is regarded as increasingly dangerous and deadly is fentanyl. Those who are dealing with charges related to fentanyl should be cognizant of how prosecutors and law enforcement officials are taking this drug seriously and pursuing those accused of distributing and selling it. For example, two men were recently arrested on the Pennsylvania Turnpike with massive amounts of fentanyl allegedly in their possession.

According to law enforcement officials, the arrest involved people who were allegedly involved in a large fentanyl operation from the Dominican Republic. The men, ages 41 and 40 and from New York, were stopped at around 8 a.m. They were in a 2019 Dodge Durango. The initial reason for the stop was that the vehicle did not move to the side for an emergency vehicle. The men allowed troopers to conduct a vehicle search and the fentanyl was reportedly found. It was allegedly in a bag hidden in a secret location behind the radio. It is believed that the amount found - three pounds, sixounces - is the most ever found in the area.

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