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    How Serving In the Military Can Help Someone Obtain Citizenship

    Last updated 4 months ago

    Current holders of green cards may be able to accelerate the process of becoming a naturalized citizen by serving in the U.S. military. This process is authorized by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which includes provisions for both current U.S. military service members and those who have been recently discharged. However, should qualifying U.S. service members later be dishonorably discharged from service, citizenship will be revoked.

    Hear more about these provisions by watching this video. This news clip explains recent White House policy shifts with regard to undocumented immigrants serving in the U.S. Army. It also explores the gray area of death benefits when a non-citizen is killed while serving.

    The immigration lawyers of Kelly, Parker & Cohen LLP understand that immigration law can often be confusing to prospective U.S. citizens. Call our office at (717) 412-1564 to set up an appointment with a Harrisburg immigration lawyer and we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step.

    "I am absolutely satisfied with Mr. Cohen's skills..."

    Last updated 5 months ago

    • on Avvo Client Testimonial
    • Mr. Cohen recently represented me in a case and I was so nervous before. He took the time to explain to me everything I should expect to happen on the day of court and really took time to get to know who I was outside of this case. It was good to know he was on my side because on the day of court Mr. Cohen was able to negotiate to have the... More


    What You Need to Know if You Are Arrested

    Last updated 5 months ago

    If police officers suspect you of being involved with a crime, you could be detained or held for questioning for a brief period. If you’re arrested, you’ll be read your rights and you’ll be taken into custody. At this time, you will not have the right to leave of your own accord. However, you can and should call a criminal defense lawyer. Your lawyer can ensure that your rights are upheld, and he or she can advise you as to the bail process.

    When to Call a Criminal Lawyer

    It’s important to contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest. Your lawyer can let you know what you should and shouldn’t say to the police officers. A criminal defense lawyer will also represent you at your bail hearing to help arrange for your release.

    What Your Rights Are

    Police officers are required to inform you of your Miranda rights when you are taken into custody. They are not legally allowed to question you before this occurs. According to the Miranda guidelines, you have the right to remain silent, and the right to consult a lawyer before and during the interrogation. Should you choose to say anything, that information could be used to pursue your conviction. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you have the right to have a lawyer appointed to you. While you await your lawyer’s arrival, it is highly advisable to avoid answering the questions of the police officers or volunteering information. However, you may inform the officers of your name and your address, and you may show the officers your identification upon request.

    What You Can Expect

    Once you’re in custody, you can expect your personal property to be taken from you. During processing, you’ll be held in a cell. You’ll be allowed to make three phone calls. If you choose to proceed with the questioning without having a lawyer present, you can change your mind at any time. As soon as you request a lawyer, the police officers must stop questioning you.

    The criminal defense lawyers of Kelly, Parker & Cohen LLP can help you navigate the justice system and recommend practical solutions for your unique situation. For more information on our legal services, call (717) 412-1564. Our criminal defense law firm is conveniently located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

    Understanding Pennsylvania's Texting While Driving Laws

    Last updated 5 months ago

    The Pennsylvania legislature has recognized the hazardous nature of the use of electronic devices while driving and has enacted a law banning their use. According to the law, drivers in Pennsylvania may not use any Interactive Wireless Communication Device (IWCD) to read, transmit, or compose any type of text-based communication. This ban is effective so long as the vehicle is in motion. An IWCD includes wireless phones, smart phones, portable computers, personal digital assistants, and similar devices. The law does not include GPS devices.

    Furthermore, the law notes that a text-based communication is not solely limited to standard text messages. Drivers are also prohibited from composing, reading, or transmitting emails, instant messages, and any other form of written communication. This state law supersedes local ordinances. Non-commercial drivers found in violation of this law will not be subject to points and the violation will not appear on their records; however, they are subject to a $50 fine plus any additional fees and court costs. Violations of this nature will be recorded on the records of commercial drivers.

    If you received a ticket for texting while driving, you can enlist the help of a lawyer. Contact the criminal defense lawyers of Kelly, Parker & Cohen LLP at (717) 412-1564 promptly for legal assistance.

    Preparing for a Jury Trial

    Last updated 5 months ago

    Successfully arguing a case before a jury takes extensive preparation, knowledge, and skills, which is why it’s always best to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side rather than to try to represent yourself. You’ll work closely with your lawyer to prepare your case, make key decisions, and get ready to testify, if you choose to take the stand in your defense.

    Requesting a Jury Trial

    Before your trial date can be set, your criminal defense lawyer will submit a request for a jury trial. Missing this deadline waives your right to a jury trial, which is one reason why it’s important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible once you land in legal trouble. Along with the request for a jury trial, you or your lawyer will post jury fees.

    Questioning the Jury

    On your first day of trial, a group of prospective jurors is randomly selected and called into court. For a standard jury of 12 men and women, about 30 prospective jurors are usually called. The judge will ask each prospective juror basic questions about his or her background. Then, your criminal defense lawyer and the prosecutor will question them further. This questioning process is known as voir dire, a French term, and its purpose is to present your case before a partial jury.

    Using Juror Challenges

    If your lawyer detects a potential bias in one or more prospective jurors, he or she can issue challenges. Each party is given a set number of preemptive challenges for the purpose of excusing prospective jurors. Preemptive challenges may be used freely, without having to explain the reason for the challenge. On the other hand, a challenge for cause may be used as many times as desired. This type of challenge is issued because the prospective juror’s response to a question may indicate a bias.

    There’s no need to face the justice system alone; develop a partnership with Kelly, Parker & Cohen LLP, a team of expert criminal defense lawyers. We have the experience and resources necessary to guide you through legal proceedings and help you achieve a favorable outcome. You can connect with a criminal defense lawyer today by calling (717) 412-1564.

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