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The police want me to talk about a crime they think I committed. Should I comply?

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin |

Absolutely not! No way! Don’t say a word to the police. Don’t answer any questions that the police ask you. You have a constitutional right to remain silent and you should always use it. Call a lawyer. Don’t talk to the police.

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The police want me to give them permission to search my house, car, computer, camera, etc. Should I give it to them?

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin |

No. Absolutely not. Never let the police search anything of yours without a warrant. They have no right to and you don’t want them to.

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My girlfriend and I got in a fight and I hit her. We made up and are back together. Can she just drop the charges?

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin |

That’s an interesting question. It really depends upon in Pennsylvania what county you’re in. In Philadelphia and the metropolitan areas, your girlfriend is going to be able to tell the prosecutor, “I don’t want to prosecute anymore. I’d like to drop the charges,” and she’s going to be allowed to do that. In some… Read More »

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If the police pull me over for a traffic offense in Pennsylvania, can they search my car and arrest me?

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin |

That depends upon the circumstances in every case. Every case is different. Generally, the answer is no. The police need probable cause to search your car. They need probable cause to arrest you. Or, they need a warrant to search your car. They need a warrant to arrest you. In Pennsylvania, it’s every case… Read More »

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Do I need to hire a lawyer if I am the victim of assault?

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin |

Absolutely, you do. The first thing you want to do after interacting with the police is hire a lawyer. The lawyer is going to help you communicate with the police department and the prosecutors. And more importantly, the lawyer is going to help you recover your damages as a result of the assault. That… Read More »

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Do I need an attorney for my criminal case in Pennsylvania?

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin |

Absolutely. If you’ve been arrested and you’re being prosecuted for a crime in Pennsylvania, you absolutely need an attorney. You need an attorney to protect you from zealous prosecution. You need at attorney to protect you from illegal arrest. You need an attorney to navigate you through the criminal process, whether you’re innocent or… Read More »

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Do I have to give consent to a law enforcement officer to search my car in Pennsylvania?

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin |

No way. Absolutely not. The police officers in Pennsylvania have no right to search your car unless they have a warrant. They can search your car without your permission but you don’t have to give them permission to search the car and I wouldn’t.

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Can the police legally stop me in Pennsylvania, even if I did nothing wrong?

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin |

No, of course not. The police have to have in Pennsylvania a reasonable suspicion to pull someone over. They then need to have probable cause to make an arrest. If you’re driving down the street, obeying the laws, they absolutely are not allowed to pull you over. If they try to, you’ve got to… Read More »

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Can social media or internet information be used to prove a case against me in court?

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin |

Of course. Absolutely. Anything that you put out there on the social media or out on the internet, is discoverable by anybody, including law enforcement and prosecutors. It is important that you always are mindful of and careful of what you put on social media whether it be Facebook, or Instagram, or Twitter. Anything… Read More »

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Can a person be guilty of drunk driving in Pennsylvania if they only had one drink?

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, and Levin |

Probably not. I guess it depends upon how big the drink was, but if you have one beer or you have one mixed drink, or you have a glass of wine, you’re likely, very likely not to be over the legal limit. In Pennsylvania, the legal limit for a blood alcohol content is .08…. Read More »

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