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Warrant required? Cellphone owners may not be protected in these situations.

When ringing in the New Year, you may have resolved to limit time you devoted to surfing or texting on your cellphone. If you're like many Americans, however, the urge to grab the phone to respond to whatever message has been sent your way may override any well-meaning goals proposed in the early hours of January 1. The desire to use this device to document all aspects of daily life, maintain a database of contacts and stream shows may have elevated the status of your smartphone in your eyes. Some people may claim they can't live without their cellphone; you may find yourself entering that camp of cellphone adherents.

Why it's important never to talk to a cop

Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) made a landmark ruling in the case Miranda vs. Arizona. You have no doubt heard the words they mandated in that ruling over and over again: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you.

DUI in Pennsylvania - You Need a Good Lawyer

Pennsylvania has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. As a result, honest people who would never knowingly violate the law sometimes unknowingly violate Pennsylvania's DUI laws. When that happens, people occasionally question whether they need to hire a lawyer to help them navigate the criminal justice system. The answer is simple: Yes.

Marijuana can make you a criminal for DUI and drugged driving in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of a number of states that criminalizes a driver for DUI who has any amount of marijuana in their system.  The "per se" law  is set forth in 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3802 (d)(1).  If you are stopped for any reason and subjected to a blood test which reveals even trace amounts of marijuana, you could be charged with DUI or "drugged" driving, subjecting you to a loss of your license and even jail time.  You don't have to be impaired at the time you are stopped, or even driving poorly.  For instance, you could be stopped at a red light and rear ended.  If the police decide to test for drunk or drugged driving, even though you were without fault, if you have any amount of marijuana in your blood, you can be charged.  You may have not even smoked the marijuana, but in a room where others have and you ingested the second hand smoke.  Marijuana stays in your system for as long as thirty days.  A person legally using marijuana for medicinal purposes is still subject to this law.  So marijuana users, beware.  I believe this law may untimately be challenged and overturned, but until then you are at risk of being arrested, tried and convicted.

Smashing incident leads to arrests

YouTube has spawned a new generation (and new styles) of pranks. Many across Pennsylvania have seen stories about "flashrobs", a take on the term "flash mob" where a large group of people run into a store for a mass-shoplifting prank. The teens then post the act on YouTube for their friends to see.

Can silence be used by prosecutors? Supreme Court to decide

Miranda warnings are a critical aspect of the criminal process. Based on the landmark Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, the warning is essentially a reminder that law enforcement is authorized to use statements and information provided by the accused against him or her in court. It is also a warning that the accused has no obligation to answer questions against their will, and that they have a constitutional right to remain silent (so that they do not incriminate themselves) if they are in custody.

The trouble with texting while driving

Texting while driving in Pennsylvania is against the law. Drivers caught sending (or reading) messages while behind the wheel are subject to a $50 fine. Subsequent violations will result in higher fines. The impetus behind the law was to make roads safer, as distracted driving accidents (crashes where one or both drivers were focused on a mobile device) have become so severe that they spawned a national campaign against texting while driving.

When "truths" are exposed as lies

Social media and text messages have provided a new avenue of evidence for prosecutors and defense attorneys alike to find information to support their cases. In many instances, Facebook posts, Twitter rants and text messages are seen as genuine because they are often made spontaneously. Also, investigators can find the exact time the statements were made, and there is little ambiguity about what is said.

Former Philly Traffic Court judges admit to "fixing" tickets

The old adage "membership has it is privileges" is probably best remembered as an advertising jingle for regular Americans to purchase big ticket items or engage in the spoils that only the ultra rich can enjoy. In reality, it could also mean that you could take advantage of certain perks of the high life: courtside seats at an NBA game, standing reservations at the best steakhouse, and getting traffic tickets fixed.

Breathalyzer tests temporary suspended by PA state police

This week we wanted to follow up on a prior post where a Dauphin County judge dismissed several DUI cases due to concerns over the breathalyzer machine used to measure a driver's blood alcohol levels. Essentially, the Intoxilyzer 5000EN, the machine used in the cases, had not been independently tested to ensure accuracy.

Gregory R. Gifford
  • RGS&G Firm News

    "Matthew Taylor Wilkov, Esquire, Graduates from U.S. Army War College"
    LANSDALE – Gregory Gifford, managing partner of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford, P.C. says the firm is honored to have a U.S. Army War College graduate among its ranks.Read more...

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Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford has been a member of the local Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce (previously known as North Penn Suburban Chamber of Commerce) for more than 25 years.

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