Drivers with Multiple DUI Offenses in Pennsylvania

January 11th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Car Accidents, Criminal, Dram Shop Act

Drivers who repeatedly drive while intoxicated, even after getting multiple DUI convictions, put themselves and others at risk. Drunk driving is a major cause of car crashes that kill and maim people throughout Pennsylvania.  In 2017, the department of transportation (PennDOT) recorded 12,040 crashes where a driver was suspected of being impaired, a 2.1 percent increase from 2016. With the holiday drinking season in full swing, Pennsylvania lawmakers have voted to increase penalties for repeat DUI offenders. On December 23, 2018, a law went into effect that increases penalties for those with a third conviction of driving with at least twice the legal limit of alcohol in their system, and for anyone with fourth DUI convictions. In addition, mandatory jail time for repeat offenders is longer. If you or a loved one was injured or if someone has died in a crash involving drunk driving, you may have a claim for compensation for your losses. This includes medical, hospital and rehabilitation costs, lost past and future wages, loss of wage horizon, and other economic expenses.  Compensation may also include the even more significant concept of non-economic damages such as loss…

CRIMINAL-DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION-TIMELINESS

November 13th, 2018 by Rieders Travis in Criminal

Middaugh v. Commonwealth 2018 Pa Cmwlth LEXIS 614 (October 31, 2018) Ceisler, J. – In Gingrich v. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing, 134 A.3d 528 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2016) (en banc), we held, premised on arguments raising issues of due process and fairness, that a delay in reporting a licensee’s conviction for violating the Vehicle Code, even though not attributable to the Department of Transportation, could be the basis upon which a civil license suspension appeal may be sustained, if the licensee demonstrates three factors. Id., at 534-35. First, the licensee must demonstrate that there was an extraordinarily extended delay in the reporting of the licensee’s conviction. Second, the licensee must demonstrate that the licensee has no further violations of the Vehicle Code for an extended period. Third, the licensee must demonstrate that the licensee suffered prejudice as a result of the delay. Of these factors, the first, whether the non-Departmental delayed constitutes an extraordinarily extended period of time, has become the focus of many appeals based on Gingrich, including the one before us now. Applying the Gingerich factors, the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County (common pleas)…

MALICIOUS PROSECUTION-CRIMINAL CHARGES

November 16th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Criminal

Zimmerman v. Corbett, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20115 (3rd Cir. October 16, 2017) McKee, C.J. Appellants are current and former high ranking officials of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including a former Attorney General who subsequently became Governor. They appeal the District Court's partial denial of their motion for judgment on the pleadings in an action that John Zimmerman, a former employee of the state legislature, filed against them under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Zimmerman alleged that Appellants were all involved in bringing criminal charges against him and that those charges amounted to malicious prosecution in violation of both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Pennsylvania law. We conclude that there was probable cause to initiate those criminal proceedings and that Zimmerman can therefore not establish a prima facie case of malicious prosecution. We will therefore reverse the District Court's order insofar as it denied Appellants' motion for judgment on the pleadings.

Criminal Impersonation

October 6th, 2017 by Rieders Travis in Criminal

Golb v. The Attorney General of the State of New York No. 16-0452-pr, 16-0647-pr (2nd Cir. August 31, 2017) Jacobs, C.J.  In this case, Golb impersonated Schiffman and “admitted” plaguerism and misrepresentation.  The emails were clearly sent with intent to damage Schiffman’s reputation.  The district court denied habeas as to the convictions of criminal impersonation.  However, the court did grant habeas relief based upon an overbroad New York statute that was narrowed.  An email that is so mild and puerile that it might have been intended to embarrass somebody named Ehrman without actual injury, obviously is not going to be punishable. The court rejects the overbreadth challenge to the narrowed statute. The First Amendment does not protect impersonation.  Impersonation is not parody.  The overbreadth would be insufficient to invalidate the statute.  The statute criminalizes impersonation with the intent to harm another’s reputation.  The criminal impersonation statute is not unconstitutionally vague or overbroad.  Five of the forgery convictions were based on emails falsely attributed to Schiffman.  Those convictions survived because the evidence so clearly supports Golb’s intention to deceive and cause injury.  As to the other five forgery convictions, it is…

CRIMINAL LAW-EXPUNGEMENT-CRITERIA

October 19th, 2016 by Rieders Travis in Criminal

Commonwealth v. Giulian, 141 A.3d 1262 (Pa. 2016).  We get lots of phone calls for people who want to have criminal records expunged.  This is governed by a statute in Pennsylvania, 18 Pa. C.S. § 9122(b)(3).  The statute, in relevant part, permits expungement when the individual is free of arrest or prosecution for five (5) years following the conviction for that offence.  The Supreme Court case looks at whether it is an abuse of discretion for a court to refuse expungement.  The expungement may be granted only in very limited circumstances set forth in the statute.  Here, the lower court was reversed and the matter remanded for further proceedings.  Factors to consider in whether to expunge criminal records include:  (1) strength of Commonwealth’s case; (2) Commonwealth reasons for wishing to retain records; (3) petitioner’s age, criminal record, and employment history; (4) length of time between arrest and petition to expunge; and (5) adverse consequences resulting from denial.