As part of the restoration of driving privileges, Pennsylvania and New Jersey may require anyone who receives a DUI to install the ignition interlock in their vehicle. Whether or not you will be required to install the device depends upon the circumstance, but it is important to understand it may come with your conviction.
The drinking habits of Americans has increased dramatically in the last 10 years, according to recent research published in JAMA Psychiatry. According to the authors of the study, one in every eight Americans can be classified as an alcoholic. All forms of alcohol consumption have increased in the last decade. The increase in alcohol use and alcohol use disorder plays a part in traffic fatalities, which have risen over the last two consecutive years. About 30 percent of all traffic fatalities involve drunk driving.
Often times, shoplifting cases involve an individual being stopped by a loss prevention agent before actually leaving the store property with the unpaid merchandise. What most people don't realize is that you can still be charged, and convicted, of shoplifting even if you never make it through the exit.
Expungement, or "setting aside a criminal conviction," effectively erases an individual's criminal record to the public. When a record is expunged, information regarding arrests or convictions is not available in background checks. If you successfully expunge your record, when you apply for a loan, an apartment, or a job, the offense does not legally have to be disclosed.
Although 7 States and the District of Columbia have approved marijuana for recreational use, New Jersey is not one of them. Many people do not realize that in New Jersey, possessing a small amount of marijuana (under 50 grams) is still a crime that carries serious penalties. Not only will a conviction for this offense show up on your criminal record, but there is also a mandatory minimum license suspension of 6 months to 2 years, as well as a $500.00 drug enforcement and demand reduction penalty, that come with it.
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there are very few circumstances in which you are eligible to have convictions expunged from your criminal record. In fact, only summary offenses are eligible for expungement, and you must wait five (5) years from the date of conviction before you can make the request. Misdemeanors and felonies can never be expunged. However, there are two exceptions to this rule. First, individuals who are over the age of seventy (70), and have been free of arrest or prosecution for ten (10) years following release from confinement or supervision, can be granted an expungement of their record. Second, in most circumstances, those who successfully complete an A.R.D. (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) program can have their charges expunged.
In June of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Birchfield v. North Dakota which affects every driver who is stopped by the police on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This ruling will cause states to reevaluate how they process suspected intoxicated drivers. However, Birchfield also held that refusal to submit to a breathalyzer cannot be criminalized. While a driver who refuses a breath test to determine blood alcohol concentration will suffer serious civil consequences, he cannot be a convicted criminal.
Drug possession charges need to be taken very seriously, and when it comes to college students, they should not be taken for granted. Drug charges can lead to major fines, jail time, community service, and other serious penalties. In addition, the circumstances of the drug possession charge can lead to expulsion or other major punishments from the university that a student is attending, potentially altering the course of that student's academic career and adult life.