Lehigh County Judge Rules Police Search Prompted By Weed Odor Illegal After Man Presents Medical Marijuana Card

Lehigh County Court of Common Please Judge Maria L. Dantos ruled that a warrantless police search prompted by the smell of marijuana was illegal once the passenger showed his medical marijuana card. On August 2, 2019, Judge Dantos issued an opinion stating that Pennsylvania State Troopers overstepped the law when they searched a vehicle that … Continue reading Lehigh County Judge Rules Police Search Prompted By Weed Odor Illegal After Man Presents Medical Marijuana Card

Supreme Court holds that probable cause can defeat a First Amendment retaliatory-arrest claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

On May 29, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the matter of Nieves v. Bartlett, Docket no. 19-1174. The central question was whether probable cause defeats a First Amendment retaliatory-arrest claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In a 6-3 decision, the Court held that because police officers had probable cause to arrest Russell Bartlett, his … Continue reading Supreme Court holds that probable cause can defeat a First Amendment retaliatory-arrest claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Pennsylvania makes habitual DUI violations a felony.

On October 24, 2018,  Act 153 of 2018 was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf increasing penalties for habitual offenders of Pennsylvania’s DUI Laws. The new law went into effect just before the Holiday Season, on December 23, 2018. Multiple convictions for driving under the influence in Pennsylvania is now a felony under the … Continue reading Pennsylvania makes habitual DUI violations a felony.

Marijuana wins the midterms!

With the resignation/firing of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions as well as the legalization of marijuana in three states, the clear cut winner of the 2018 midterm elections is the marijuana industry. As everyone is aware by now former AG Jeff Sessions resigned at the President’s request on November 7, 2018. While it is not … Continue reading Marijuana wins the midterms!

Some lesser know violations of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code.

In keeping with some of my previous blogs concerning lesser-known violations of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code, here are several more violations most people are not aware of. Pennsylvania's "Unattended Motor Vehicle" law limits where a vehicle can be left running and unattended. Under § 3701, no person driving or in charge of a motor … Continue reading Some lesser know violations of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code.

What exactly is a “debt collector” under the FDCPA.

It is quite common for a debtor to receive a call from a 3rd party he or she does not recognize concerning a delinquent debt. Often, the calls are at inconvenient times and are quite confusing since the debtor does not recall ever borrowing money from or having a credit account with the 3rd party. … Continue reading What exactly is a “debt collector” under the FDCPA.

HOW DOES ACCEPTANCE INTO THE ARD PROGRAM AFFECT POTENTIAL 1983 CIVIL RIGHTS CLAIMS

When an individual has been arrested and in the process his civil rights have been violated, he has the dilemma of navigating pending criminal charges and preserving any potential civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 478, 114 S.Ct. 2364, 129 L.Ed.2d 383 (1994), the Supreme Court … Continue reading HOW DOES ACCEPTANCE INTO THE ARD PROGRAM AFFECT POTENTIAL 1983 CIVIL RIGHTS CLAIMS

More Pennsylvania Cities Decriminalize Marijuana Despite State Law.

With the noted exception of the current Attorney General, there is a growing acceptance of legalize use of marijuana in the United States. Thirty of the fifty states have legalized marijuana for either medical and/or recreational use. As the laws with regards to marijuana use continue to change state by state, the states which have … Continue reading More Pennsylvania Cities Decriminalize Marijuana Despite State Law.

The Supreme Court recognizes privacy right to cell phone location history.

On May 22, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision extending the Fourth Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure into the digital age. In Thomas Ivory Carpenter v. United States, the Court sided with the privacy rights of cellphone users over law enforcement using private tracking data compiled and saved by cell … Continue reading The Supreme Court recognizes privacy right to cell phone location history.

Supreme Court declines to extend automobile exception to Fourth Amendment to vehicles parked in driveways or curtilage of home.

In yet another victory for Fourth Amendment advocates, the Supreme Court on May 29, 2018 ruled against a warrantless search and examination of motorcycle under a tarp in the driveway of a home.   In the matter of Ryan Austin Collins vs. Virginia, No. 16-1027, the Court in a 8-1 decision reversed the lower court’s decision … Continue reading Supreme Court declines to extend automobile exception to Fourth Amendment to vehicles parked in driveways or curtilage of home.