Criminal Defense Attorneys in Pennsylvania
If you are charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, you may face a serious interruption to your life. Relationships with friends, family members, or business associates may become strained or come to an end for good based on little more than an allegation by state authorities. In the event that you are convicted of a criminal offense, you may spend many years or decades in custody. However, it’s important to remember that you have the right to due process and the right to hire counsel to help navigate the legal process.
Why You Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney
Perhaps the most important reason to have an attorney by your side is that it reduces the odds that you’ll incriminate yourself. It’s not uncommon for officers to say that you’ll be helping yourself by admitting to driving drunk or to taking items from a store.
However, the truth is that your words will only make it easier for the government to obtain a conviction. Authorities may also try to intimidate you into handing over a phone, computer, or other electronic device that they have no right to possess or inspect.
Your attorney may also provide insight into whether you should answer questions or how much information you should provide when doing so. If you are taken to trial, your counselor will likely provide insight into whether or not you should testify.
It’s also important to consider that your legal representative can help to counter any public narrative that the government tries to push against you. If necessary, it may also be possible to create a narrative that helps to humanize you or otherwise make you look sympathetic to people who may be part of the jury pool.
The Types of Cases We Handle
Our team can help you defend against almost any type of criminal offense that the government says you have committed. For instance, if you are charged with drunk or reckless driving, one of our attorneys can assist you during the legal process. If you are charged with assault or battery, we can likely help you in that scenario as well. Let’s take a closer look at some other common types of offenses that you may be charged with and what you should know about them.
Drug Possession or Trafficking
Pennsylvania state law prevents you from being in possession of any amount of most controlled substances. Examples of commonly used illicit substances include heroin, cocaine, and marijuana. If you are found to be in possession of large quantities of these or other prohibited substances, you may be charged with intent to distribute. The same may be true if you are discovered to be in possession of objects such as scales or baggies that are often used as part of the distribution process.
Crimes such as tax evasion or money laundering may be tried at the federal level depending on the facts of your case. Of course, if your actions only impacted people or entities within state boundaries, there is a good chance that state authorities will pursue the case during the early stages of the investigation. For example, if you cashed a bad check at the grocery store, it’s not certain that federal authorities would be interested in the matter. However, it’s worth noting that our team will likely be able to assist whether you’re charged at the state level, federal level, or both.
If you are accused of rape, sexual assault, or other sexual offenses, your life may be changed forever even if you are able to avoid jail or prison time. It’s possible that friends, family members, or others may hesitate to spend time with you or leave you alone with their children. There is also a possibility that your business will lose customers or otherwise take a hit if the public thinks that you have engaged in such misconduct.
Penalties Typically Imposed After a Conviction
If you are convicted of a crime, there are a number of sanctions that you may face depending on the type of offense you are convicted of. As a general rule, you will receive a harsher sentence if found guilty of a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor. Additionally, the presence of a prior criminal history may play a role in whether you are sentenced to jail or prison time or if you are allowed the possibility of parole in the future.
You May Be Sent to Jail or Prison
A conviction for a felony count of DUI or drug possession may result in a prison sentence of several years or decades. If you are convicted of murder, arson, or other serious crimes, you may be sentenced to spend the rest of your life in prison without the possibility of parole. Of course, it’s possible to spend time in jail or prison even if convicted of a misdemeanor charge of larceny or battery.
Probation May Be Appropriate In Your Case
Depending on the facts of the case, you may be sentenced to probation or a suspended sentence. While on probation, you may be prohibited from living in certain parts of town, from using a cellphone, or from staying out past a certain time of day. It may also be necessary to submit to drug or alcohol testing or meet other criteria imposed by a judge. It’s important to note that you may be given probation or a period of supervised release after reentering society.
Other Possible Penalties
A felony conviction may complicate your ability to own a gun or vote in an election. You may also be forced to give up professional licenses as part of your sentence or as part of a plea deal. You may also be forced to pay a fine, pay restitution to victims, or pay other costs related to your case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I Be Able to Bail Out of Jail?
It’s fairly common for defendants to be given an opportunity to post bail or bond. Doing so allows you to secure your release in exchange for a promise that you will appear in court as the legal process unfolds. The amount that you’ll need to pay will be based on your income, the severity of your crime, and other factors deemed relevant in your case. If you are accused of a relatively minor offense, you may be allowed to leave custody under your own recognizance.
What Type of Defense Strategies Do You Use?
There are a number of strategies that may be used depending on your goals and the facts in the case. For instance, if the evidence seems to suggest that you broke the law, we may try to have that evidence suppressed. We may also attempt to claim that you took actions in self-defense or were accused of a crime by someone who was lying in an effort to damage your reputation.
Who Will Represent Me?
Our firm is staffed with a number of representatives who have worked as federal trial lawyers or who have served within federal agencies. During the initial consultation, we will choose an attorney who has a background that is best suited to your needs. After someone has been assigned to your case, he or she will make contact with state authorities and start the process of defending your interests both inside and outside of the courtroom.
Will the Government Monitor My Movements?
It’s possible that the government will ask you to wear a monitoring bracelet or take other steps to keep tabs on you. This may include monitoring internet traffic on any devices that you own or actually wiretapping your phone. It’s worth noting that authorities generally need a warrant before they can take such actions. During an initial consultation, we will talk more about what you might expect as the legal process unfolds.
Should I Accept a Plea Deal?
Plea deals are typically offered by prosecutors when they don’t believe that they can win a conviction at trial. They may also offer plea deals as a way to prevent court dockets from becoming clogged and causing unnecessary delays. It is your decision as to whether to accept a deal, but you should know that doing so is the same as pleading guilty. Your attorney will likely review the terms of a deal and advise you as to the potential consequences of doing so.
What Happens If I'm Convicted of a Crime?
Our firm has a strong track record of delivering positive results for our clients. However, we cannot guarantee that you won’t be found guilty at trial. If you are convicted, you do have the right to appeal that conviction to a higher court. We will likely be able to prepare appeal documents or take other steps to help with the process of contesting the outcome of your trial.
Contact Us Today!
If you need a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, contact The Criminal Defense firm today. You can do so by calling the national hotline at 866-603-4540. You can also contact our law firm online.