Minor Offenses Can Have Major Consequences

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Sep 01, 2020 | 0 Comments

In today's world, everything lives on forever on the internet. Even if something is taken down, or found to be false, there's always the Wayback Machine. If it's not saved there, people may have taken screenshots. News releases, arrest notices, mug shots. It all lives on. Even when deleted, there's no way to know for sure that it's 100% gone. Subsequently, if you're arrested for alleged minor offenses, your life could still be severely impacted, even if the charges are later dropped.

Minor Offenses with Major Impact

Medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania, according to S.B. 3, which Governor Wolf signed on April 6, 2016. However, recreational marijuana remains illegal. In July, the York Daily Record wrote an article about three men who'd all been arrested for possession of weed in Pennsylvania.

Justin Stineman, Kolton James, and Josh Janes are all from different towns in Pennsylvania, and they all hold one thing in common: minor drug charges with a life-changing impact. Police arrested each of the men, and then issued a news release. Issuing a news release has become a fairly standard process for many law enforcement agencies. Often these news releases include mugshots. Speaking to the York Daily Record, one police chief, Todd Graeff, “stated that the department posts about everyone who gets arrested, citation and above, on its Crimewatch page. “It's a transparency of what's going on, and it's what the people want, at least the majority,” he added.”

More than two years after his arrest (and the case being dropped), Stineman's picture and the news release remain online. He told the newspaper that it has affected his ability to find a job. Kolton James shared that he lost customers at the jewelry store where he worked, and now works at a warehouse. Josh Janes eventually moved to Florida, where he was able to get a job—something he'd been unable to do in his town in PA after his arrest. All of these men experienced collateral consequences.

Collateral Consequences

Collateral consequences are the effects of a conviction or charge even after you've paid associated fines or served a sentence. For example, although possession of under 30 grams of marijuana only carries a penalty of up to $500 fine or up to 30 days in jail, a conviction follows you. Applying for a job or renting a home can be more challenging due to criminal background checks and questions on applications. Some colleges or schools can be more difficult to get into, and minor criminal charges can potentially impact financial aid. Additionally, if you are charged with one crime (even if it's a minor offense), later charges can carry more severe penalties.

Don't let a minor offense impact your future. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the challenge and will best understand how to protect your rights. Joseph D. Lento brings many years of experience to the clients he works with and a passion for defense of their rights. If you or a loved one is facing a minor offense, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888.535.3686 or contact us online and we can answer any questions.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact Us Today!

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.