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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3029
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I followed a merchant's truck from their only location to a

Customer Question

I followed a merchant's truck from their only location to a customer, another business, of theirs, I took photos of the truck at the customer loading dock. I followed this truck and took pictures of its final destination because I thought they were conducting wholesale distribution, and wholesale distribution for this merchant (nonconforming use) is a violation of a condition of a zoning hearing board decision. The zoning officer, when earlier told about the alleged violations, told me to "prove it." So I followed the truck in order to get photographic evidence of the alleged zoning violation. The driver of the truck noticed me following him, and his boss, the merchant had his employee charge me in a "private criminal complaint." In Pennsylvania, these charges are heard at a Magesterial District Judge. At that hearing, two of the three charges were dismissed. The one charge that stuck was "following in public" with intent to harass. I contend that I had a first amendment right to follow this truck, who I thought was complicit in an unlawful act and taking photographic evidence to provide to the zoning officer for possible enforcement of the zoning hearing board decision. I would like to get this overturned. What do you think?
JA: You're dealing with a tough issue. But don't worry -- you're in good hands. Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: Pennsylvania, Lehigh County
JA: Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes, I had a lawyer for the Magisterial District trial. I was Pro se at the Common Pleas appeal.
JA: What advice did they give you?
Customer: None
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Criminal Lawyer should know?
Customer: I need someone with first amendment experience versus this harassment conviction. Can you deal with this?
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Criminal Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

When you said the one charge "stuck" do you mean you were found guilty?

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