Q & A: If a traffic stop leads to the discovery of drugs, can they charge me weeks later?

In Pennsylvania misdemeanor charges are brought via the filing of a criminal complaint, not a citation. Also, if any traffic offenses are attached to a criminal charge, everything has to be filed at the same time. So if the officer was considering filing charges related to the drugs, he would not issue a traffic citation at the time of the …

Q & A: Can I be arrested for DUI while using a prescribed fentanyl patch?

There is a long-standing myth that you can’t be charged with DUI as a result of taking prescription medications as prescribed. That’s not completely true. For example, there are a number of medications that cause drowsiness and come with warning labels that the patient should not drive or operate heavy machinery. People taking such medications could still present a danger …

Q & A: Will I lose my right to vote or own a firearm if I’m convicted of possessing marijuana?

If you are convicted for simple possession of marijuana or possession of a small amount of marijuana, those are both misdemeanors. If either of those offenses are the sole offense on your record, you will not lose your right to vote. 25 Pa.C.S. sec. 1301(a) states that only those potential voters who have been incarcerated for a felony within the …

Q & A: Can the victim choose to drop criminal charges?

There is a long-standing myth that the victim in a criminal case can drop charges whenever they want. Not true. Once a report has been made to the police, the decision on whether to continue the case with a reluctant victim is solely up to the prosecutor. In some cases, a victim’s refusal to cooperate with the prosecution can completely …

Denied Disability? Maybe Not If You Have Help

For years lawyers have repeated the old axiom: “he who represents himself has a fool for a client.” There’s now statistical proof to support that adage, at least in the Social Security Disability context. A recent Government Accountability Office study showed that “claimants who had representatives, such as an attorney or family member, were allowed benefits at a rate nearly …

Common Sense Changes in Social Security

Although many of us receive our primary medical care from a nurse practitioner or physician assistant, the Social Security Administration (SSA) would not accept their opinions when reviewing their patients’ SSDI or SSI claims. So even though the PA or CRNP probably saw the patient more often than the doctor, a patient who filed for disability would have to seek …