I Think I’m Being Watched on Computer by Police. What to Do?

Computer SurveillanceIn response to a congressional inquiry, mobile phone companies have been forced to disclose just how many times they’ve handed over users’ cellphone data to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. It has been estimated that cellphone companies responded to 1.3 million demands for subscribers’ information last year from law enforcement. Many of the records, such as location data, don’t require search warrants or much court oversight. Both police and cell service providers had long resisted releasing details on the scope of cellphone surveillance.

In practice, your rights to protect snooping on your computer are similar to your rights in real life. Still, knowing what, when, and how others can snoop on what you’re doing is important so you can protect your information the right way. There are a few steps you can take to limit access to others.

• Log off your email. If you check your email on a public computer, it is important to log off your online account. It will limit any snoopers that come to the portal after you.
• If you are using an employer’s computer then your employer has the right to monitor what you’re doing with it. Some employers will monitor all of your conversations on your computer, including installing a keylogger on your computer. In general, your rights don’t extend too far if you’re on an employer’s computer.

• Your personal computer is protected from police searches in the exact same way as your house and body. Police cannot search your computer without a warrant specifically stating that the computer is part of the search.

• Most web services snoop on your data and, in some instances, hand it over to authorities upon request. This means that when you sign a Terms of Service you are often giving a web service access to everything you are doing on their site. In turn, the government may file a subpoena with a web service to take a look at your files,

• Public and private posts on social networks may be used against you. If you’re doing something illegal you should not post about it in a public forum because the police may very well find it with just a little snooping.

If you believe your actions are being monitored by the government, it is important to immediately stop all activity and speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney that can protect your rights. If you would like to speak with attorneys Roger Laguna or Laura Reyes Maloney about the particulars of your case, we invite you to contact our firm and schedule a free initial consultation. We provide a free initial consultation. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 717-233-5292 for an appointment.

Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines in Pennsylvania

An Overview of Pennsylvania’s Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines

Criminal SentencingLike other states, Pennsylvania has implemented mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for a wide range of criminal offenses. When in place, these measures set a floor for the fines or jail time assessed for specific crimes. A judge may not impose a penalty of less than that set forth in the statutes, regardless of age, prior criminal record or other circumstances. Technically, the judge can reject a minimum sentence as unfair, but in practice it rarely, if ever, happens. The only party with any discretion to reduce potential sanctions is the district attorney, who can opt not to ask for adherence to minimum sentencing requirements.

Though Pennsylvania enforces the death penalty, the minimum sentencing guidelines never mandate that punishment. However, for many crimes of violence, the minimum penalty is either life imprisonment or the death penalty, at the discretion of the judge.

Some of the more notable minimum sentencing requirements include:

  • Two or Three Strikes — for violations that qualify under the state laws, the penalty for conviction of a second offense is a minimum of 10 years. For a third offense, the judge has the discretion to order life imprisonment or a minimum of 25 years
  • Drug crimes — Drug crimes in drug free school zones have minimum penalties of two to four years. Drug offenses committed with firearms require life imprisonment.
  • Sex crimes — Sex offenses generally carry a minimum sentence of five years or more. Rape carries a minimum 10 year sentence and repeat convictions for a Megan’s Law offense require 25 years or life imprisonment. Failure to register as a sex offender can lead to two to seven years mandatory, based on the level of the sexual offense.

Contact the Law Firm of Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP

At the Law Firm of Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we have more than 30 years of practice experience. Contact us online or call us at 717-233-5292 to set up an appointment. There is no charge for your initial consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings or weekends upon request.

What Do I Do If I’m Under Investigation?

Police investigationIf you have knowledge that you are under active investigation by the law enforcement community then you have certain inalienable rights afforded to you by the constitution, state, and local laws. You have the rights to leave any interview, have a lawyer present, to remain silent, and to have certain privacies.

No matter if a crime has been committed or not, if a law enforcement agency has a search or arrest warrant you must comply to avoid any charges. A signed and valid warrant gives the officer the right to arrest or search as specifically detailed in the document.

If the government agency cannot produce a valid warrant then you should not give verbal or written permission to any agent to search your person or property under any circumstances. For if the officer or agency does not have sufficient evidence to search then the only way they can search if with your permission. A “search” is not to be confused with a protective “pat down” for weapons that law enforcement officers are allowed under federal rulings.

In the event of any investigation, warrant, or arrest, your first step will be to contact a lawyer to ensure you are properly protected and represented and not to speak to anyone unless directed by your hired counsel.
Contact Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP
If you would like more information on our specific practice areas within criminal defense or would like to speak with attorneys Roger Laguna or Laura Reyes Maloney about the particulars of your case, we invite you to contact our firm and schedule a free initial consultation. We provide a free initial consultation. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 717-233-5292 for an appointment.

Quota-Driven Traffic Tickets — What are Your Options?

Do Police Officers Have Traffic Ticket Quotas?

It can often seem like police officers have either quotas or incentives related to the number of traffic tickets they issue. At certain times each month, they may set up traps in high traffic areas or zones where speeding is more likely. The question, of course, is so what? If you were speeding, does it matter whether the police officer had a quota?

Under Pennsylvania law, police departments (including the state police department) are prohibited from directly or indirectly ordering or encouraging officers to issue a given number of tickets. This includes setting “numbers” as part of a performance review, as well as offering bonuses or other rewards to those officers who issue the most traffic tickets.

And Pennsylvania police officers have a somewhat checkered history when it comes to the issue of quotas. A 2002 newspaper expose showed that state troopers were required to meet the “station average,” and could be subject to discipline for failing to do so. Officers told reporters that it was routine to be granted easy overtime pay if you met or exceeded unwritten quotas.

The unfortunate reality is that it will be extremely difficult to impossible to have a traffic ticket dismissed based solely on the argument that the officer was meeting a quota. Even those officers who admitted that they were forced to meet quotas still insisted that they only gave tickets to motorists who were in violation of the law. Nonetheless, the more tickets a police officer issues, the more times he or she will have to appear in court, should you decide to challenge the citation. One of the best ways to get your ticket dismissed is to request a hearing, as the officer who issued the ticket may not show up.

Contact the Law Firm of Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP

At the Law Firm of Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we have more than 30 years of practice experience. Contact us online or call us at 717-233-5292 to set up an appointment. There is no charge for your initial consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings or weekends upon request.

What Is the Three Strikes Law?

Three strikes laws are statutes enacted by state governments which mandate state courts to impose harsher sentences on habitual offenders who are convicted of three or more serious criminal offenses. Twenty-four states have some form of habitual offender law. Pennsylvania enacted a three strikes law in 1995.

Three strikes laws in Pennsylvania mandate courts to impose harsher sentences on habitual offenders who are convicted of three (3) or more serious criminal offenses. Depending on the seriousness of the current and the prior crimes committed by the offender, the sentence can range from a minimum of 25 years to a maximum of life imprisonment. Pennsylvania’s three strikes rule is set forth in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9714.

If you would like to take advantage of our experience, knowledge, and creative approach to criminal defense, contact Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP today and schedule a free initial consultation. We provide a free initial consultation. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 717-233-5292 for an appointment.

What Does Mandatory Minimum Mean?

If you are facing criminal charges, you may have heard of the term mandatory minimum. Mandatory minimum sentencing means a person convicted of a crime must be imprisoned for a minimum term, as opposed to leaving the length of punishment up to judges. Pennsylvania has many different mandatory minimum sentences on its books. In such a circumstance the Judge has no discretion to consider mitigating factors such as age, remorse, character witnesses, no prior record, etc.

Mandatory minimum sentencing laws force judges to deliver fixed sentences to individuals convicted of a crime, regardless of culpability or other mitigating factors. Those that oppose mandatory sentencing argue that this policy has contributed to prison overcrowding and has resulted in racial disparities in convictions. Under Pennsylvania law, mandatory minimum sentences are controlled by the District Attorney. If the District Attorney chooses not to impose the mandatory then it need not be imposed. This frequently occurs where a defendant cooperates with law enforcement or in plea-bargaining.

At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we are experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys who have extensive trial experience. Our lead attorney, Roger Laguna, is a former policeman who knows what to expect from law enforcement officers and prosecutors. We are relentless in our efforts to protect the rights of people charged with serious crimes. Let us protect your constitutional rights.

Just What Is the Difference Between Probation and Parole?

Probation allows the offender to avoid incarceration by placing the adult offender on supervision with a probation agency while in the community. Some locations can split a short-term incarceration sentence immediately followed by probation. Probation can relate to active supervision, inactive monitoring, and/or financial conditions.

Parole refers to defendants who are provisionally released from a detention center to serve the outstanding segment of their verdict in the public. Prisoners can be unconfined to parole either by a Parole Board or due to mandatory provisions of a statute. Just like probation, parolees can be assigned active supervision, inactive monitoring, and/or financial conditions with their release. A significant difference is that parolees can be eligible to receive a reduction in supervision due to compliance or meeting all required conditions before the sentence concludes.

For both probation and parolees, offenders must meet conditions of their supervision and all rules of conducted while on probation. Failure to abide by any of the court requirements can end with incarceration.

At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we are experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys who have extensive trial experience. Our lead attorney, Roger Laguna, is a former policeman who knows what to expect from law enforcement officers and prosecutors. We are relentless in our efforts to protect the rights of people charged with serious crimes. Let us protect your constitutional rights. We provide a free initial consultation. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 717-233-5292 for an appointment.

How to Tell the Family of My Drug Arrest

Drug charges may be more common in this day and age, but they can pose serious effects on you and your family. No matter your age, gender, or ethnicity, a drug charge can cause long lasting damage to a once clean reputation. You may believe that a small drug charge can be handled by yourself, without your family ever knowing you are facing these charges, however, all drug charges, whether small or large, are very serious.

If you are facing drug charges, the chances of your name appearing in a public record for these charges are very high. You may want to hide these charges from your family, however, it is often best that your family finds out about these charges from you, and not a third party. It is helpful to fully understand your charges and your options before you disclose the details of your recent arrest to your family. Many individuals facing drug charges opt to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney so that they can fully understand the rules and regulations of drug related law and what they are up against before talking with their family. Once you understand the charges against you, and the prospective outcome if convicted, you will want to sit down with your family and explain your situation. The chances of your family having a lot of questions about your situation are high. You will feel less overwhelmed if you are able to answer their questions in a clear and concise manner.

If you are charged with a drug related crime, you cannot hide from it. It is important to understand your options under the law. At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we are experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys who have extensive trial experience. Our lead attorney, Roger Laguna, is a former policeman who knows what to expect from law enforcement officers and prosecutors. We are relentless in our efforts to protect the rights of people charged with serious crimes. Let us protect your constitutional rights. We provide a free initial consultation. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 717-233-5292 for an appointment.

Dealing With the Shame of a Drug Bust

With a drug bust comes lots of attention from the media. Once your face has been plastered on the local news, your neighbors, acquaintances, friends and family will know of your legal woes. It is especially difficult because the legal process is slow and it may take months to resolve the charges against you. In the meantime, it is natural to feel isolated and alone.
Charges associated with a drug bust vary in severity depending on the drug and the amount in possession. If the charge involves 30 grams or less of Marijuana, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced up to 30 days in jail and $500 in fines. However, if this is your first offense, it’s quite possible to get probation without a verdict, avoiding the possibility of a permanent criminal record. If you are caught with more than 30 grams of marijuana, you will face up to one year in jail and $5,000 in fines. Other controlled substances carry more serious penalties if convicted. This applies to drugs like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, prescriptions, ecstasy, and LSD. If it is your first offense, penalties include up to one year in jail and $5,000 in fines. For a second offense, up to 2 years in prison and fines. For a third offense, up to 3 years in prison and fines.

Being accused of a crime is not the same as being convicted—you do have options.

If you have been arrested for drug charges, whether you believe you have been lawfully arrested or unlawfully arrested, you are entitled to legal representation. Discussing your case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is the best way to determine what defense options are available to you, and to best preserve your freedom and your rights under the law.

At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we are experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys who have extensive trial experience. Our lead attorney, Roger Laguna, is a former policeman who knows what to expect from law enforcement officers and prosecutors. We are relentless in our efforts to protect the rights of people charged with serious crimes. Let us protect your constitutional rights. We provide a free initial consultation. Contact our office by e-mail or call us at 717-233-5292 for an appointment.

Medical Marijuana: Arrested for Growing Dope Unlawfully?

While it is unlawful to grow marijuana for medical use under current Pennsylvania law, for the first time in Pennsylvania’s history, there is a medical marijuana bill has been drafted with bipartisan support in the Senate. Two state senators, one a Republican and the other a Democrat, plan to introduce a bill to legalize a certain form of marijuana for medicinal use in Pennsylvania. Senators Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, and Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, said their bill would help ensure Pennsylvanians can get medical benefits from cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound found in marijuana that is credited with various medical applications without providing a high. Under the bill, Pennsylvania doctors would be limited to prescribing medicine derived from marijuana that has a higher amount of CBD than marijuana’s psychoactive chemical, known as THC, Leach said. Read more: full article.

If you have questions regarding the current law on growing marijuana for medical use, please contact the Harrisburg, PA, law firm of Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP. We offer a free case evaluation with Roger Laguna or Laura Reyes Maloney: 717-233-5292. You may also contact us online.

© 2019 Laguna Reyes. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Sitemap

Concept, Design & Hosting by GetLegal.com's Practice Builder Team

ATTORNEY ADVERTISING