Blog Archives

MAKING NEW LAW IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY: Expunging Charges That Were Dropped In Exchange For A Plea

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The Law Offices of James W. Flood, P.C. recently won a great victory for those seeking to expunge their records in Montgomery County. Our client had been previously arrested and charged with very serious felony offenses. After a full investigation and a vigorous defense, the serious charges were nolle prossed (dropped) and the client pled guilty to a minor offense. We petitioned to expunge the serious charges that had been dropped. However, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office opposed our request.

After a hearing, the Honorable Senior Judge William T. Nicholas granted the petition and ordered the expungement of the charges that had been nolle prossed at the time of the plea. …Read more

PROPOSED: Major Change to Pennsylvania Divorce Law

Divorce Marriage Process and the Ugly Truth

In Pennsylvania, a no-fault divorce will be granted only when a marriage is “irretrievably broken.” Sometimes both parties agree that the marriage is over. But when they don’t, the Divorce Code requires them to live separate and apart for two (2) continuous years before the law says the marriage is irretrievably broken. With dual income households being the norm, it is often not feasible for one party to simply vacate the home. This means that families are required to live separate lives under the same roof for two (2) years while the economic issues linger. This creates an untenable situation; not only for the parties, but often forces the children to live in a cauldron of arguments, tension, and stress. In the life of a child, two years is an eternity. …Read more

Public Drunkenness: When One More is Too Much

bottles with alcoholA person can be convicted of public drunkenness if he appears “in any public place manifestly under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance…to the degree that he may endanger himself or other persons or property, or annoy persons in his vicinity.”

Unlike the charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI), there is no defined blood-alcohol limit for intoxicants before someone can be cited for public drunkenness.  That is because there is no requirement in the law that police perform chemical analysis or other tests to determine whether a person is objectively under the influence of drugs or alcohol.   …Read more

Recent Changes to PA DUI Laws

DUI Law UpdateThe Pennsylvania DUI laws have recently undergone several revisions intended to close perceived loopholes in the statutes.

AMENDMENT CHANGES:

  • The first change amended the language that controls the maximum punishment for a second-offense DUI where the driver refuses to submit to chemical testing.  Until the recent amendment, the statute provided a maximum period of incarceration of six (6) months, although the crime was graded as a Misdemeanor of the First Degree, which typically carries a maximum period of incarceration of five (5) years.  The law was changed to bring this Misdemeanor of the First Degree into line with others, and now provides a five (5) year exposure.

…Read more

6 Legal Tips For Pet Owners

legal pet tipsFor many people, a pet is as much a part of the family as a sibling, parent, or child.  It only makes sense then, that a pet can bring legal issues to your family as much as any family member can. There’s nothing we can do about the stains on your rug, but we can offer several suggestions to keep your pets from creating legal issues.  With this beautiful summer weather, our pets have more interaction with friends and neighbors. …Read more

Do Grandparents Have Custody Rights to their Grandchildren?

a back pack with a teddy bear - the luggage of a child with divorced parentsThe Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognizes the special bond formed between grandparents and their grandchildren, and that this relationship is susceptible to strain and disruption if the child’s parents separate or divorce.

Can a grandparent file for custody rights, visitation rights or full custody of their grandchild and/or grandchildren in the state of Pennsylvania? …Read more

7 Legal Tips for 2014

Dotted iAs you enter 2014, here are 7 Legal Tips you should not overlook, dot your i’s and cross your t’s when it comes to protecting yourself, your family and your business.

7 Legal Tips for 2014

1. Know before you go! Are you aware of the laws in your hometown? What about when you travel out of state or out of the country? A great example is the hands-free driving when you enter city limits or a new state.

2. Educate your Children It sounds simple enough, but is often …Read more

7 Legal Tips for Summer Travel

Travel TipsImportant legal issues are often forgotten during the frenzy of summer travel plans. Whether you are driving, flying or taking a cruise these tips can help you be prepared for the unexpected.

1. Read the fine print in any contract or agreement you sign. Package tours, vacation home leases, auto rental agreements and travel insurance documents all require you to sign a complex legal document. The fine print often limits the liability of the other party and selects a jurisdiction should legal action become necessary. Some travel packages or rental agreements may involve large sums of money and non-refundable deposits. Contact our office for any assistance in understanding these types of documents; we would be happy to review them with you. …Read more

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test Admissibility

Field Sobriety TestingIn an effort to keep you up to date with the latest developments in the law, we wish to advise you that on December 1, 2014, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided the case of Commonwealth v. Weaver, which upheld a police officer’s use of the “horizontal gaze nystagmus” (HGN) test in establishing probable cause to make a DUI arrest.

The HGN test is a common component of “field sobriety tests,” which are the roadside checks that police do before bringing someone in for a blood draw or breathalyzer. In an HGN test, …Read more

It’s A New Year for Giving Back

Law Offices of James FloodDuring this new year many people will look for ways to give back to their community and local organizations. Many non-profits, communities and organizations rely on the support of people, volunteers and the actual donations of goods in addition to a monetary donation. Here are ideas for 4 alternative ways to give back in lieu of a cash donation.

TIME

So many non-profit organizations rely on the help of volunteers to keep their doors open each year. If there is an organization you are passionate about …Read more