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Lancaster Legal Blog

Am I completely barred from using noncompetes now?

One of the many tools that small businesses owners use to protect their business is noncompete clauses and contracts to protect their business secrets. However, in a pivotal decision, the Federal Trade Commission has voted to prohibit for-profit United States employers from enforcing noncompete clauses in employment contracts. This potentially...

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Talking to your parents about estate planning

Talking about estate planning can be uncomfortable. After all, you are discussing death, whether it is your own death or the death of someone you love. This conversation can be especially difficult if it involves talking with your aging parents, whether they have an estate plan set up or not....

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Will a DUI affect my professional license?

If you are charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, your initial concerns may revolve around the loss of your freedom through a jail sentence, paying high fines or losing your driving privileges. While these are some examples of the serious penalties that come with a DUI conviction, a conviction can also...

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What is an ignition interlock device?

If you have been convicted of drunk driving in Pennsylvania, the penalties you will face depend on the exact circumstances of your case. These penalties get more severe with certain aggravating factors For instance, a first-time offender with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of under 0.10% may face six months...

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Does Pennsylvania allow child custody modifications?

Both during a divorce and after it, for many couples, the most contentious part of the divorce is child custody arraignments. And, once the child custody order is issued, one may think that it is set in stone. However, child custody arrangements can become outdated as circumstances change. When this...

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How can I get my license reinstated after a DUI conviction?

The penalties associated with a drunk driving conviction can be significant. Depending on the facts of your case, you can face jail time, fines, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, license suspension or revocation, and damage to your reputation. Even when you think you’ve paid your debt to society,...

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Child custody and parental relocation

Child custody and parenting time can be contentious issues long after a divorce has been finalized. For Lancaster parents, one of the most difficult issues in child custody concerns a custodial parent who wants to relocate with the child. There are laws regarding relocation and parents need to know their...

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Three ways to engage in Medicaid planning

Are you worried about the costs of your potential long-term care needs? If not, you probably should be. After all, these costs can quickly skyrocket, eating through your savings in short order. That means that by the time all is said and done, your estate may be left with far...

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DUI stop leads to many other charges

Many people who assume the risk of driving while intoxicated do not always realize the risk of being charged with several serious crimes if they are stopped for a possible DUI. A recent arrest in Akron Borough demonstrates how these additional charges may quickly pile up. The incident According to...

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A parenting plan is a key part of a child custody order

Divorce be a difficult transition for everyone involved. This is particularly true for children. A significant part of the case will be dedicated to addressing the child’s needs and serving their best interests. That includes child custody, child support and parenting time. Regarding parenting time, there is a direct link...

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Is an expungement like a pardon?

If you have been convicted of a crime, there may be two options available to you to address it so you can move forward with your life. A pardon is an official forgiveness granted by the governor and an expungement of your criminal record means that it is removed from...

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Can I change the executor of my will?

One of the most important steps in setting up your will is selecting your executor. An executor, sometimes called a personal representative, is someone who distributes your property to your beneficiaries according to the terms of your will. Your executive should be someone who you trust to take on the...

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What happens at custody conciliation?

The custody process in Pennsylvania can be confusing and overwhelming. Learning how to effectively co-parent takes time, patience and compromise and sometimes you and your co-parent are just not there yet. When that happens, you find yourself in custody court. The custody process begins when one parent files a custody...

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How to stay emotionally safe during difficult co-parenting

Are you struggling to successfully navigate your co-parenting relationship with your child’s other parent? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Many parents in Pennsylvania find themselves facing tension and conflict as they work out scheduling and time-sharing arrangements. But when the friction intensifies, it can negatively impact your child, harming...

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Professional drivers must avoid even a first DUI

The criminal penalties even for one DUI in Pennsylvania are steep. While a first-time DUI with no aggravating circumstances will not require jail time, it is still a criminal conviction. Furthermore, any prior DUIs will make the punishments harsher. Pennsylvania also punishes those with higher BAC levels, over .10 and...

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Divorce, child custody and holiday schedules

With holiday season in full swing, it is difficult to not see the importance these holidays have for individuals and families. For most parents, they cannot imagine celebrating the holidays without their children. However, for divorced parents, this is often a challenge. Creating a custody plan can be a difficult...

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Avoiding a DUI over the holidays

We are all busier during the holidays, which are filled with parties, family gatherings and other social events. Many of these events involve alcohol and you may find yourself having a few drinks more often than usual. Police officers know this, which is why there are often more cops on...

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What happens to a family business in divorce?

Dividing property frequently comes to the forefront in a Pennsylvania divorce. People will understandably view that from the perspective of items they have accrued as a couple. That includes a marital home, joint bank accounts, investments, automobiles and collectibles. However, some people have a business that could be a major...

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How will your children perceive your divorce?

Anyone in Pennsylvania who is going through a divorce is sure to feel, at times, anger and frustration. However, when the divorce involves issues dealing with minor children as well, those feelings can be multiplied and, in fact, can be combined with other feelings such as uncertainty and helplessness. The...

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Understanding child custody denials

When parents divorce and they have children in common, they must address child custody. Sometimes, parents can come to a mutually acceptable agreement about custody but often the court must decide instead. The court’s primary concern is the best interest of the child. This means that in some situations, it...

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Reasons to avoid social media during your divorce

Divorce is an emotionally draining time for anyone going through it, and it is normal for divorcing parties to seek an outlet for their feelings and frustrations during the divorce process. For many people, social media is where they often vent and unwind. However, during a divorce, having an online...

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Traffic stop yields evidence of several crimes

Being pulled over for a traffic violation is serious enough, but a traffic stop that appears to be routine may yield evidence of several other, more serious crimes. A recent traffic stop in the borough of Lititz demonstrates this effect very convincingly. The incident On July 9, a Lititz borough...

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Modifying a child custody order in Pennsylvania

If you and your ex are fighting for custody of your children, you and your ex may be required by the court to submit a parenting plan specifying a childcare schedule and other details. The court will review the plans and develop a final plan best suited to serve the...

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Can I take photos or videos of the police?

Interactions with police officers usually make people nervous. Whether you are pulled over while driving, have a police officer show up at your door or are stopped by a police officer while in public, you are likely to feel anxious. You may also have questions about what your rights are...

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Decision-making and co-parenting in Pennsylvania

When working out a child custody plan, parents often develop elaborate schedules that cover who will get the kids on what dates, who will pick them up from school or drive them to events, who will spend holidays with them and many more details. These are all important matters, but...

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Understanding small business tax credits

Whether you are just starting your small business in Lancaster or have been in business for a while, it is important to know about potential tax credits that might be available to you. Feeling anxious or stressed during tax season is normal, but knowing you are using the available small...

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DUI suspect arrested and charged with other crimes

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drug that impairs a person’s thought and reaction times often leads to other criminal charges that far outweigh drunk driving. A recent arrest in Reading illustrates the point. The arrest According to news reports, police stopped the suspect’s car because they noticed...

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Do divorce and child custody always have to be scary?

If you are a young married person who is facing a Pennsylvania divorce and child custody dispute, you feel overwhelmed and anxious about your future. You are worried about how the divorce will affect your children, your finances and your emotional well-being. You may also wonder what options you have...

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Co-parenting tips during after-school sports season

Divorced or separated parents know that co-parenting is not always easy. You and your co-parent might agree on a custody schedule, but as your child gets older, changing circumstances can bring new challenges. One of these common challenges involves how to handle custody time when your child is involved in...

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International child abduction

For those dealing with child custody issues, you know that there are a million issues to resolve. However, for those dealing with international child custody issues, they know that there are actually a million other issues to worry about as well. If one parent should abscond with your child, there...

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How co-parents can make the best of school sports season

Navigating a coparenting relationship can be difficult, to say the least. You and your child’s other parent may have conflicting ideas about how to raise your child, which may make decisions about everything from schooling to discipline and even religious upbringing challenging and conflictual. But even if your co-parenting relationship...

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Ways to co-parent at the child’s big game

There are countless benefits for children who participate in afterschool sports. Children learn teamwork, discipline and perseverance, and nothing makes a child happier than seeing their parents in the stands or on the sidelines, cheering them on. And, most parents want to be involved in their child’s extracurricular activities, even...

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Can my ex just take our kid overseas?

These days, you cannot turn on the television without seeing images of international travel. It is incorporated into almost every show, scripted and reality alike. This has led many to seek international employment or try moving internationally to find their roots. This can be a wonderful journey, but not so...

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Maternal gatekeeping is a real problem

Maternal gatekeeping may sound like a mother blocking the entrance to a theme park, but the reality is much darker. Maternal gatekeeping can destroy the father-child bond. What is it? Maternal gatekeeping refers to situations where the mother of the child controls access to the child. This includes outside parties,...

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Possible ways to challenge a breath test

Getting charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania is a serious event that affects many areas of your life. You face high fines, loss of your driver’s license and potential jail time. A DUI conviction could also affect your career or reputation among family and friends. Although there are potential defenses...

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Four common property division mistakes to avoid

Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state. This means that your divorce is going to result in the division of assets that is deemed by you and your spouse, or the judge, if an agreement can’t be reached, to be fair. This doesn’t, however, mean that the division of assets is...

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Preparing for your custody trial

Pennsylvania law allows you the chance to resolve your custody dispute without having to enter a courtroom. As part of the custody process in Pennsylvania, you are required to attend a conciliation and potentially a mediation, all before you get to a custody trial. Conciliation and mediation A conciliation is...

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How long are drivers’ licenses suspended after DUI?

There are many different laws and penalties regarding DUIs in Pennsylvania. People may understand that they could be sent to jail, have to pay fines, lose their drivers’ licenses and other penalties. However, which penalties people will face for a particular DUI offense depends on their blood alcohol concentration (BAC)...

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Parallel parenting when co-parenting simply does not work

A lot of attention is placed on co-parenting as the gold standard for shared custody. While successful co-parenting can benefit your child in many ways, sometimes you and your child’s other parent simply cannot cooperate well enough to make co-parenting work. If you gave co-parenting your best shot and it...

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Can I get a DUI while parked in my driveway?

You may be returning home after a night out and be shocked to find a police car driving up behind you as you pull into your driveway. If the police officer asks if you’ve been drinking that night, you may be surprised, assuming that since you are home safe, you...

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Getting caught up in a drug bust

Sometimes a Pennsylvania resident will end up facing drug-related charges after a nearly random encounter with police, such as a traffic stop. The police may pull over the person for a minor traffic infraction and, while talking to the person, see drug paraphernalia in their car. This gives them probable...

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Four reasons why you shouldn’t talk to the police

A lot of criminal convictions are obtained on the very words spoken by an accused individual, especially when interacting with the police. These admissions are powerful for the prosecution in court, and they’re extremely hard, if not impossible, for you to walk back. Therefore, if you’re being investigated for criminal...

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Handling custody challenges during the holiday season

The holiday season is coming up soon, and often means extra stress for Pennsylvania parents who are sharing custody of their children. Hopefully, you have a custody order in place through a court that includes a holiday schedule, but even that does not completely prevent disputes. If you do not...

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Can the TSA arrest me for being drunk?

For anyone who has flown recently, you know it can be stressful, especially when you are stuck on a long layover or coming back to the airport after your original flight was cancelled. As such, you can hardly be blamed for having a drink or two during your layover or...

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So, you want to create an estate plan

So, you’ve finally decided to create an estate plan. Maybe you just graduated college, got married, had a child, went through a divorce, received a large inheritance or maybe you simply just want a plan in place. No matter the reason, creating an estate plan is an important step to...

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Arguing self-defense in your domestic violence case

It doesn’t take long for a verbal altercation to get heated. Sometimes, these matters even turn physical. When this happens, people can be left injured, the police can be called, and allegations of criminal wrongdoing can fly. If you’re on the receiving end of these accusations, then you face the...

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What is a field sobriety test?

Being stopped for suspicion of drunk driving is intimidating. Before making an arrest; however, the police officer may try to have motorists submit to a battery of tests that evaluate the driver’s balance, coordination and ability to divide their attention to multiple tasks. Field sobriety tests The field sobriety test...

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Mental illness: a significant consideration in child custody

Child custody analysis requires courts to weigh numerous and often conflicting factors to determine to whom they should grant physical and/or legal custody. Mental illness represents perhaps the best example of how courts balance these interests. Parents retain a right, though not unrestricted, to bear and raise their children; however,...

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What will happen to my property if I leave no will?

If a Pennsylvania resident dies without a will, then their property will be passed to their heirs through a process called intestate succession. One can think of intestate succession as a default estate plan put together by Pennsylvania’s lawmakers. The idea behind it is to pass a deceased person’s property...

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Are same-sex divorces the same as traditional divorces?

We all know that marriage equality is the law of the land, and by that same law, so is divorce equality. However, many same-sex couples thinking about divorce wonder if their divorce process will actually be the same as so-called, “traditional” divorces. Stigmas The LGBTQIA+ community fought for the better...

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Drafting your LLC operating agreement

Once you’ve decided to form your limited liability corporation (LLC), there are many things you need to do as part of the startup process. One of your main tasks is drafting an operating agreement. What is an operating agreement? An LLC operating agreement is a written document that states the...

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Six key DUI defense strategies

A DUI conviction can leave your future in jeopardy. It can threaten your license, your job, and even your freedom. With a significant risk of harsh penalties, it’s crucial that you know how to build an aggressive criminal defense that protects your interests as fully as possible. But what defense...

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How to prepare for child custody negotiations

Child custody can be a delicate issue for both parents and for the child. Parents can help prepare for the child custody process by being familiar with what is used to determine child custody and what is taken into account when deciding what child custody arrangement will be best for...

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What happens if I refuse a Breathalyzer test?

Imagine you are driving along the road and are pulled over by a police officer. At some point during the traffic stop, the officer may reasonably suspect that you have been drinking alcohol and ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content, or BAC....

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How can parents successfully co-parent?

One of the biggest fears divorcing parents have is the effect their divorce will have on their children. However, successful co-parenting can lessen that effect on Lancaster kids. Communication is key The backbone of a successful co-parenting relationship is communication. Indeed, many marriages fail because of a lack of communication...

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Businesses of all sizes need ongoing legal support

While Lancaster and the surrounding areas have their share of large employers, many if not most people in the area earn their living by working for or owning small or mid-sized businesses. Many of these smaller businesses will either have no full-time in-house attorneys or a very limited staff. Even...

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How can I build a child custody modification case?

Your child custody dispute may have been settled a while ago, but there’s a strong chance that you may end up having to revisit your custody arrangement as circumstances change. If you think that a change is necessary to protect your child’s best interests, then you’ll want to file a...

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When is an ignition interlock required?

A DUI conviction can seriously disrupt many things in your life and carries major penalties. In addition to the high fines, loss of driving privileges and potential jail time, you may be required to use an ignition interlock device, which is a device installed in your vehicle that you must...

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How does an allegation of domestic violence affect custody?

Like other states, Pennsylvania recognizes that there are some situations in which parents might not be able either to share decision-making or to split the time with the children about equally. One of these situations is when one parent has abused the other. Sadly, domestic violence does happen too often...

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Expunging a criminal record in Pennsylvania

It should come as no surprise to most Pennsylvania residents that a criminal record can have many ramifications. One bad night or one mistake can result in a criminal conviction, and even one misdemeanor charge on a record can have permanent consequences in almost all areas of life. People with...

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Choosing a guardian for a minor child

It can be difficult for a parent to think about a situation where he or she is no longer able to care for their child. However, it can be helpful to designate a guardian who can step in and make decisions for the child if needed. There are some factors...

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Why should I update my estate plan?

For those of us that have taken the time to make an estate plan, we know how good completing that task makes us feel. It is like having insurance. Not only is it a sound financial decision, but also provides piece of mind for the inevitable. What many may not...

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What are the grounds for divorce under Pennsylvania law?

Divorce is never an easy proposition. For people in Pennsylvania who have reached the end of the line in their marriage, taking that next step and moving forward with a divorce proceeding is complicated and emotionally wrenching. Given the inordinate challenges that people across the nation have faced in the...

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Taking care of insurance coverage during a divorce

Getting ready for divorce involves not only the working through of intense emotional issues that are bound to come up, but also the more pragmatic considerations of property division and, where there are children, custody and parenting time. These strong emotions can cloud details that both sides must consider as...

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Deciding on the right type of business structure

When a person wants to start a business, he or she may want to understand what type of business structure is the right one to use. In Pennsylvania, there are four main types of business structures, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Each business structure has its own registration...

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Horse and buggy struck in Franklin County crash

A Chambersburg man has admitted to consuming alcohol and using controlled substances prior to hitting a horse and buggy in Southampton Township, Franklin County. The crash occurred at 8:30 a.m. when the suspect’s pickup truck collided with the buggy in the 3100 block of Orrstown Road. Three people were in...

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Navigating child custody in Pennsylvania

Navigating child custody can be stressful for many parents during their divorce. It is helpful for divorcing parents to be familiar with the family law process and how child custody is determined as they work through their own child custody concerns. Child custody factors considered in Pennsylvania Pennsylvania, as most...

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The potential penalties and consequences of DUI charges

The ramifications of drunk driving charges can be significant for accused drivers facing DUI charges. Accused drivers may face the threat of significant negative impacts to their personal and professional lives as a result of DUI charges which is why they should understand criminal defense options that may be available...

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Drugged driving: What to know

Driving under the influence of alcohol – also known as DUI – is exceedingly dangerous. Equally dangerous is a less-known activity that can still lead to serious injuries and criminal charges: driving under the influence of controlled substances. Pennsylvania has very strict laws about operating a vehicle while using drugs,...

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A closer look at incentive trusts

Many individuals who engage in estate planning worry that the assets that they worked hard to accumulate will be squandered away or otherwise taken advantage of by their loved ones. This is an understandable fear. After all, you want what’s best for your loved ones. But one of the great...

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Here are some ways to defend against DUI charges

If you’re facing drunk driving charges for the first time, then you’re probably worried about how such allegations may affect your future. It’s true that drunk driving charges can cause a lot of upheaval in your life, especially if they end up leading to conviction. You might have your license...

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What options do unmarried fathers have?

When it comes to a divorced couple in Pennsylvania, each parent’s roles and rights are usually clear, and thus, either party can provide documentation in the event of a dispute. However, it can be difficult for a father to understand his rights and duties when he isn’t married to the...

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What happens after a first DUI offense?

A DUI conviction can drastically change your manner of living. In Pennsylvania, the most extreme multiple offenses can result in fines as much as $10,000, up to five years in prison, and loss of license for up to 18 months. More than 20,000 DUI arrests occur every year in Pennsylvania,...

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5 essential items to include in your estate plan

While most people understand many benefits result from creating a will to distribute their property after they die, only about four out of every 10 Americans have created an estate plan. Wills and trusts are key parts, but a comprehensive estate plan contains many other documents to protect you and...

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Implied consent and DUI charges

When you’re issued a driver’s license, it’s expected that you will obey the rules of the road. This includes heeding traffic signals and never driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Because the expectation is that you will follow the law when you’re behind the wheel, the expectation...

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Will you receive alimony in your Pennsylvania divorce?

Your spouse may have earned most or all your household’s income during your marriage. If you depended on their support for your lifestyle or survival, you will likely worry about meeting your expenses after you two divorce. Furthermore, since divorcees in Pennsylvania are not entitled to alimony, you may fear...

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Understanding potential DUI penalties in Pennsylvania

All DUI charges are serious. The potential consequences for even a first-time offender can be severe. It’s important to understand how DUIs are charged in Pennsylvania, the possible penalties, and the importance of protecting your rights when you’ve been accused of a crime. Three tiers of DUI charges Pennsylvania categorizes...

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Pennsylvania guidelines for child support

Divorce presents a major shift in every aspect of life. When a couple who has children decides to separate, it only adds another wrinkle. Children, especially younger ones, are like a sponge. They fully internalize what they see. Each decision you make, how your act, react and what you say...

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Is there forgiveness for first-time DUI offenders?

Your slight miscalculation has led to a serious citation — after a night of drinks to celebrate a friend’s job promotion you received a DUI charge. You were under the impression that you waited long enough to sober up and drive yourself, otherwise you would have used a rideshare app...

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The Practice of Law and COVID-19

Many of us are wondering if life will ever be the same again after COVID-19? I know I am. Although I do not pretend to know the answer to this question, I am confident in saying, YES…but it will be different. All of us lost something we miss – job,...

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Pros and Cons of business partnerships

Business ownership can lead to long hours and hard work, but if you put in the time and effort, the feeling of success, security and freedom and worth it. You have had a business idea for a while but aren’t sure where to get started. What if you brought in...

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What is a Motion to Suppress Evidence?

A motion to suppress is a written request to prevent the government/prosecutor from using certain evidence against you in a criminal trial and would be decided by a judge – it is not decided by a jury. For example, the police search your car or your home illegally and find...

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You have been charged with a crime? Now what?

Have you or a loved one recently been charged with a criminal offense in Pennsylvania? If so, this article is intended to explain what you may generally expect moving forward. The initial shock of a criminal charge is equal parts humiliating and scary. Will my picture be on social media?...

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Will you lose your license after a DUI?

A drunk driving arrest is a stressful event. You may wonder how your family will react or whether you’ll lose your job. There is certainly a lot to consider as you’re riding in the back of the squad car, but there’s one thing that should be at the front of...

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What is a Post Nuptial Agreement in Divorce?

A Post Nuptial Agreement (“PNA”) is an agreement between two spouses that spells out how their property and debts are to be divided in a divorce action. Additionally, this agreement may also include terms for spousal support, alimony and even child custody and is typical in situations where spouses separate...

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How to prepare for a divorce

Whether you intend to file for divorce or whether your spouse files first, the thought of a divorce is often times overwhelming. This article is intended to give you some initial advice on what steps you should take first in the events a divorce. Our firm has been handling complex...

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Can I name my LLC whatever I want?

You’ve decided to finally take the leap and start your own limited liability company (LLC). Congratulations. This is an exciting decision to make. One of the first things you figure out after the purpose of your business is what you’re going to call it. Although this is one of the...

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What is a Preliminary Hearing? Do I need a lawyer?

When you are charged with a criminal offense a preliminary hearing is the initial court hearing normally held the magistrate’s office where the offense occurred. In Lancaster County certain preliminary hearings are held downtown at the courthouse (DUI’s and domestic violence cases). The arresting officer will file the criminal charges....

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Should you hire an attorney after your first DUI

You may think that you do not need an attorney after your first DUI arrest. Many times, people believe they do not have options and take whatever sentence is handed to them. However, besides assistance in defending your case, an attorney can assist in several situations you will be faced...

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