Law Office of Justin P. Miller
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May 2013 Archives

Actual Innocence May Actually Mean Something After All

Score one for the good guys. In a 5-4 decision, the US Supreme Court has ruled that, in cases where a defendant can make "a convincing showing of actual innocence," Congress's 1996 rule that a one-year time limit applies to state inmate appeals in Federal court is invalid. Actual innocence, per Justice Ginsberg, is defined as evidence that is strong enough to persuade a judge that "no juror, acting reasonably, would have voted to find him guilty" at his trial had the jury known of it.

Collateral Consequences Of A Drug Conviction

A story in this local newspaper story mentions that a man and woman charged with drug offenses lived on "Beaver Farm Lane." Locals will know that this is one of the housing assistance complexes - sometimes called "Section 8 Housing," although not all of them are covered by Section 8 - maintained by the county. Half a pound, or roughly 227 grams, is well over the 30 grams, or 1 ounce, limit for personal use. Even assuming two people could combine their personal stash - a prospect not supported (or discounted) by any Superior Court case I've come across, but a novel theory nonetheless and that I'd love to try to argue one day - the presence of items "used in the sale of illegal substances" made it a foregone conclusion that they'd both be charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver (PWID), an ungraded Felony offense.

Firearms Disability And You

Guns, gun safety, and gun rights have been very much in the news of late. You might not realize how limited some people's Right to Bear Arms already are.

From Zero To DUI A Lot Faster

CNN reports that the National Transportation Safety Board wants the states to lower the legal blood-alcohol limit for a DUI from 0.08 to 0.05. A decade ago, it was lowered from 0.10 to 0.08, a de facto mandate from the US Congress tied to transportation funding.

Those AP Phone Records

I'm trying to be shocked by the story that the Department of Justice obtained several months worth of phone records from several Associated Press offices, including five reporters and an editor.

High-Conflict Custody Cases Losing Parenting Coordinator Option

Pennsylvania's experiment with Parenting Coordination for high-conflict custody disputes is over. The PA Supreme Court has declared all Parenting Coordination orders and programs vacated, effective May 23, 2013. Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1915.11-1 was adopted April 23, 2013, effective May 23, 2013. The language of the new rule is as follows:


Law Office of Justin P. Miller
817 East Bishop Street
Bellefonte, PA 16823

Phone: 814-359-7268
Fax: 814-690-1556
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