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Philadelphia Criminal Defense Law Blog

What the Supreme Court said about warrantless DUI body searches

The Fourth Amendment protects us from “unreasonable searches and seizures” of our property by the police. Ever since the Bill of Rights was made part of the law of the land in 1792, lawmakers, law enforcement and judges have grappled with the requirements of a search warrant -- and when exceptions to the rule apply.

Police searches typically involve a pat-down of our body and/or a search of our bags, car, home and workplace. But our bodies are our property too, and an increasingly controversial question of criminal law is, do we have a reasonable right to privacy over our insides?

What is a revocable trust, and how does it work?

Unless you have few possessions or assets, and just one or two heirs, it’s unlikely that a will would be sufficient for your estate plan. Your will is the foundation of your plan, but there are a number of other documents available to help you control your assets and keep your estate out of probate after you die.

For example, the revocable trust is one of the most useful tools available to you. It’s one of the most popular types of trusts used in estate planning because of its flexibility.

What to expect at an eviction hearing

For most people, going to court to resolve a legal dispute is a last resort. Landlords are the same way. Most experienced landlords agree that it’s sometimes necessary to go through the entire eviction process, it’s usually better to settle the matter out of court.

Still, as a landlord you need to know your rights and responsibilities in Pennsylvania, as well as the eviction process. In today’s post, we will discuss the central step in eviction law: the eviction hearing.

The alternative to a DUI conviction in Pennsylvania

Everybody makes mistakes, but some mistakes are more serious than others. Sometimes, the police get involved and you are arrested and charged with a crime like drinking and driving.

DUI is a crime in Pennsylvania, potentially punishable by jail time and the loss of your driver’s license. This is a scary prospect, especially if you have never been in trouble with the law before.

What are the remedies for breach of contract?

In business, you rely on contracts to get the things you need from your suppliers, distribute your goods or services to clients, and possibly hire and retain your employees. If your contracts are well-written, comprehensive and the result of a good-faith negotiations, your chances of having one of the parties breach are low.

Low, but not zero. As remote as the possibility might seem, there is always a chance that a company or individual you are doing business with will fail to hold up their end of the deal, potentially costing your business a lot of money.

Why Does A Landlord Need An Attorney To Evict A Tenant?

As a landlord, the last thing you need is a tenant who won’t pay the rent, who routinely pays late or does not pay in full. You know that once the tenant has violated the terms of the lease, you may have the right to evict them.

Of course, evicting an individual or business in Philadelphia is more complicated than simply changing the locks. But do you really need a lawyer to help you?

Philadelphia sues Wells Fargo over 'discriminatory' loan policy

Wells Fargo has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons, after it came to light that employees signed up customers for accounts without their knowledge and charged them for it. Now the bank is facing a federal lawsuit from the City of Philadelphia over its lending practices.

Bad loans for people of color?

Philadelphia is accusing Wells Fargo of violating the federal Fair Housing Act. In the lawsuit, summarized by CNBC, the bank is alleged to have pushed minority mortgage applicants into riskier loans with higher interest rates than white applicants. 

Why are DUI checkpoints legal in Pennsylvania?

You have probably heard of Philadelphia-area police setting up DUI checkpoints, especially during holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve. Perhaps you have even had to pass through a checkpoint and gotten arrested as a result.

Even if you haven’t, you may be wondering how these checkpoints can be legal. It’s a good question. After all, police officers are not supposed to pull over a driver unless they have a reasonable suspicion that a crime is taking place inside the vehicle. So why do police get to stop people at a DUI checkpoint regardless of evidence of drinking and driving?

Fewer teenagers may be experimenting with underage drinking

Over the Memorial Day weekend, many people in Philadelphia got together with friends and family for a barbecue, at the beach or one of the many other festivities that come with a three-day weekend. It is not unusual for alcohol to be served at such events. While it is legal for people age 21 or older to drink alcohol, this past weekend some teenagers may have had the opportunity to experiment with underage drinking. However, the number of teens doing so may not be as high as one thinks.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that the number of teenagers who engage in underage drinking has gone down since 1991. In 1991, just over 50 percent of teenagers reported consuming one or more alcoholic beverages a month. By 2015 this number dropped to just under 33 percent.

What is a 'firearm' under the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act?

One may think that a person has the unequivocal right to carry a firearm. However, this is not always the case. In fact, there are instances in which the possession of a firearm, even if it is not used while committing of a crime, is illegal.

Under the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act of 1995, there are certain instances in which a person who has been convicted of certain criminal offenses is not allowed to possess, carry or use a firearm. The violation of this law can result in serious penalties. Therefore, it is important to understand how Pennsylvania law defines the term "firearm."

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