Areas of Practice

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Areas of Practice

The following are a list of areas in which we practice.
  • Divorce

    Pennsylvania is a No Fault divorce State. If you are contemplating Divorce or have been served with a Divorce Complaint, it is important to know your rights before you make any decisions about what you want to do with your divorce. Divorce actions will effect not only your state of marriage but will have repercussions with regard to the custody of your children, potential payment of support or alimony, and the division of your marital property. You should not make any decisions without being completely informed as the Divorce Laws in this state.

  • Custody

    If you are served with or are thinking of filing a custody action it is important for you to know your rights. Specifically, the old laws that provided mothers with more control in custody actions are no longer controlling. Today Fathers have more, if not equal rights in custody actions. However, seperated parties can establish a status quo if rights are not asserted at the outset of a case.

  • Support

    If you are facing an upcoming support hearing or are pursuing support against a parent you need to know the factors that are used to determine your support to assure that you are receiving and/or paying the correct amount. Contact us today to meet and discuss what factors will be considered so that you can be fully prepared for any hearing.

  • Adoption

    Adoption is really the only means that a private party can terminate a parents rights to their child.

    When you are planning on adopting a child, it is always best to know the requirements that you will need to meet in advance. If you are not aware of the law this can be an expensive endeavor without result if you are not informed.

  • Juvenile Court

    If your child is arrested or charged with a criminal offense, you will need the best possible representation for your child. The rules and penalties are different for juveniles charged with a criminal offense than they are for adults. Also, depending on the nature of the criminal charges and your child's prior involvement with the police, there may be an opportunity to get your child into a program that would result in all charges being dismissed. As with any criminal offense, the quicker you contact Mr. Harbison the more time he will have to investigate the criminal charges and discuss possible resolutions with you and your child.

  • DUI

    Drunk driving charges are serious charges which can result in mandatory incarceration, fines and license suspension. The length of incarceration and amount of fines will depend on the level of alcohol or drugs found in one's blood as well as the number of prior convictions for DUI. If you have been arrested for DUI it is important that you call Mr. Harbison as soon as possible to discuss your legal defenses which include a discussion of the constitutionality of the police stop, the certification and calibration of the breathalyzer, the length of time between the stop and the application of the breathalyzer or blood test, statements made to the police, witnesses, and video evidence taken from police car video cameras.

    If this is your first arrest for DUI and you have no prior criminal record, you may qualify for a program for first time offenders called ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition). If you qualify for ARD, you will be placed on probation for a period of time, often one year, and be able to avoid the mandatory incarceration and reduce the length of the mandatory license suspension. If you successfully complete the ARD program, the charges against you will be dismissed and you can have your criminal arrest/record expunged.

    If you do not qualify for a program such as ARD, he can assist in attempting to minimize the impact of any mandatory incarceration which includes securing approval for work release, seeking approval to allow you to serve your sentence on weekends, obtaining credit for inpatient treatment and, if applicable, asking that the court permit you to serve your sentence on house arrest.

  • Traffic Offenses

    Traffic citations are not only annoying, a traffic citation may result in points, license suspensions, license revocation, incarceration and insurance rate increases. People often make the mistake of paying the ticket not realizing that by paying the ticket you are pleading guilty. You only have a short period of time after receiving the ticket to decide whether to plead guilty or not. If you fail to respond to the citation, your drivers' license will be suspended until you respond to the ticket. If you had a hearing before the local district justice regarding your ticket and you were found guilty, you have thirty days in which to file an appeal and obtain another hearing before another judge at the county courthouse. It is important that you contact Mr. Harbison immediately upon receiving a traffic citation or getting convicted before a district justice so that we can discuss the implications of the traffic citation, the possible defenses to the ticket and the need for an appeal.

  • Drivers' License Suspension

    If you have received a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation notifying you that your license has been suspended, it is important that you contact Mr. Harbison immediately as there is a time limit of thirty days in which to file a civil appeal in the courts. Often, the filing of an appeal will allow you to keep your drivers' license until the court makes a decision in your appeal. If your drivers' license is already suspended, contact Mr. Harbison so that we can discuss whether you can qualify for a work license or a probationary license.

  • Pardons and Expungments

    Is your criminal record keeping you from getting a job or getting into school? If so, you may be able to have your criminal record expunged. If you have successfully completed the terms and conditions of a first time offender program such as ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition) or Section 17 Disposition, which is a program for first time drug offenses, then you qualify to file to have your criminal record expunged. If you were convicted of violating section 18 Pa.C.S.A. 6308 (relating to purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages), also known as underage drinking, and you are now 21 years or older, then you qualify to have that conviction expunged. If you have been charged with a criminal offense and were found "not guilty" of the criminal offense, or if the criminal offense was withdrawn by the prosecutor, then you may qualify to file to have your criminal record expunged. If your criminal offense is not able to be expunged by a petition to the court, then you may file for a pardon from the Pennsylvania Governor. Mr. Harbison recently obtained a pardon from the Pennsylvania Governor for a client who had a drug conviction in his past. Contact Mr. Harbison to discuss your expungement and pardon options.

  • Drug Offenses

    Mr. Harbison represents clients charged with felony and misdemeanor drug charges including possession of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession with the intent to deliver drugs. Not only may a drug conviction lead to possible incarceration, many drug offenses will result in a drivers' license suspension even if you were not operating a motor vehicle at the time of the arrest. Most drug arrests are the result of a search and seizure by the police. If you have been charged with a drug offense, it is important that you contact Mr. Harbison so that we may discuss the specifics of the search and seizure to determine if the police officer violated your constitutional rights. If the police officer violated your constitutional rights, any evidence obtained as a result of the illegal search and seizure may be inadmissible in court.

    There are alternatives to jail. If you are a first time offender, you may qualify for a first time offender program that will result in an expungement of your criminal record if you successfully complete the program. Also, many county courts have a "drug court" which is focused on rehabilitation of low level offenders. Successful completion of a "drug court" program may result in a reduction of criminal charges or penalties.

  • Personal Injury

    Mr. Harbison aggressively represents individuals who have been injured as a result of the negligence of others. This includes those who have been injured as a result of motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, tractor trailer accidents, construction site accidents, dog bites, and assaults. If you have been injured due to the negligence of others, it is important that you contact us immediately so that we can investigate and evaluate your case. If you are unable to come to our offices we will visit you in your home or hospital, if necessary. Our representation is done on a contingent fee basis, so there is no cost to you unless we settle your case or obtain a verdict. If we are unable to settle your case, we will take your case to trial. Mr. Harbison has tried numerous personal injury cases before judges, juries and arbitration panels and he is committed to obtaining the best result possible for you.

  • Real Estate

    Buying or selling a home can be a stressful time and obtaining legal representation can help reduce the stress by knowing that you have someone looking out for your best interests. Your rights and obligations are often determined by the contracts you sign. Therefore, it is important that you contact Mr. Harbison prior to signing any contract, including the agreement you sign to hire a Realtor. Mr. Harbison often get calls from individuals who no longer would like their Realtor to represent them and they would like to hire a new Realtor. However, often the agreement with the original Realtor states that the original Realtor gets a commission even if the property is sold after the original Realtor is discharged. Therefore, it is important to have the document reviewed before you sign it. It is equally important to have the Agreement of Sale reviewed before you sign it. Mr. Harbison can provide legal services from reviewing documents through representation at the closing.