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Williamsport Legal Blog

Could elderly drivers benefit most from driverless technology?

If you were hoping to see self-driving cars on the busy streets of Williamsport before anywhere else, you should be prepared to be disappointed. In fact, in order to see fleets of self-driving cars in action, you may need to visit a retirement community.

Recently, for instance, the largest retirement community in the country announced that it has plans to introduce a fleet of automated taxis. The vehicles, which are technically not fully self-driving because they will have a "safety driver" just in case, could help tackle some of the most troubling factors facing senior drivers.

DUI charges affect minors severely in Pennsylvania

As a parent of a child who has made a serious mistake, the only thing you want to know is that your child won't be unfairly penalized. If your child has been caught drinking and driving, he or she may face serious allegations and charges. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make sure your child is treated fairly and that he or she receives the help needed.

Pennsylvania has zero-tolerance laws for those under the age of 21. That means that your child may not possess, purchase or drink alcohol while under the age of 21 except for in very few situations. For instance, your child may partake in alcohol if it's part of a religious ceremony or if it's at home with a parent or guardian present. If your child faces charges for a DUI following a religious event or other approved activity, then he or she may have a good defense against the charges.

Is my prenuptial agreement valid?

It is becoming increasingly common for couples to sign prenuptial agreements today. While there has historically been a sense of mystery and exclusivity that accompanied these legal tools, couples today recognize the value of protecting themselves with a prenup, even if they aren't celebrities and don't have millions of dollars.

If you are among this group of people who signed a prenuptial agreement, then you may or may not be happy you did if you are thinking about getting divorced. In order to understand how your prenup could affect your future, you will first want to determine whether it is enforceable or not.

Sessions changes federal policy on marijuana enforcement

Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded a previous policy that allowed people in states where it is legal to purchase, sell and use marijuana largely without worrying about federal prosecution.

The Obama-era policy discouraged federal prosecutors from pursuing charges in states that had legalized marijuana unless certain aggravating factors were in place. The recent announcement, however, leaves the decision in the hands of federal prosecutors. While marijuana possession, use and distribution are all still illegal on the state level in Pennsylvania, the recent announcement is still worth discussing in every state for a few important reasons.

Key differences between federal and state criminal court

Even if they've had the misfortune of being charged with a crime previously, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, residents who are facing charges in federal criminal court for the first time need to be aware of some important differences in the way that system works.

The key point is that going to federal court is not just like going to a state criminal and just having a different judge and different attorneys. The differences between the two courts can profoundly affect a person's case:

What is racketeering as defined under federal law?

Many Pennsylvanians both in Williamsport and other parts of the state have probably heard of racketeering but do not have a precise idea of what sort of behavior racketeering entails.

Traditionally, racketeering described the practice of organizing and running a business dedicated to illegal activity. One can think of bootleggers during the Prohibition Era, or, in more modern times, those who run drug rings or work together to counterfeit money.

Rear-end collisions and the extensive damage they cause

Imagine you are driving home from work, ready to start the weekend. The traffic is getting heavier and the traffic ahead slows significantly. You slow down and are thinking about your plans tonight when suddenly, someone smashes into the back of your car. Instead of going to dinner, you end up going to the hospital.

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence. In fact, as noted in this Slate article, rear-end crashes account for as many as 30 percent of all accidents on the road. And for too many victims, they have devastating consequences. 

Meeting with a personal injury lawyer? Do this to prepare

Imagine driving through Williamsport. It's Monday morning and you are running a bit early for work. Early enough that you have time to stop by your favorite cafe and pick up a coffee and bagel. You slow down and turn your blinker on to make the right turn into the cafe's parking lot that is about a block away.

Just as you are about to make the turn, a car plows into the back of your vehicle. Instead of getting coffee, you now have to make a police report, watch as a tow truck drives off with your vehicle and go get a medical evaluation. If you were going to have to take a personal day, this is not how you would have preferred to do it.

Heading for divorce? Here are 3 ways to value the house

There is no way around it, divorce is complicated. This is especially true when you have high-value complex assets. It might take weeks or months to assess certain property to assign it an appropriate value. For example, if you own certain antiques, it might take time to find an appraiser who specializes in the particular types that are part of your marital property. However, some items might be easier to assess.

In general, there are three main ways that you can value your house in Williamsport. Inform yourself about these three methods.

Complications can arise when categorizing assets

Dividing assets in a divorce can spark contentious battles between spouses. Both people want what they feel they deserve, and both want to ensure they will be financially stable after the divorce. 

In this environment, it is not unusual for parties to disagree about specific property and what should or should not be eligible for distribution. This difficulty to categorize assets can stem from misinformation and miscommunication, so it is important to have a basic understanding of how property is categorized in Pennsylvania.

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