If you are looking for a criminal defense lawyer in West Chester, PA, our firm can help you today. When you hire us, we collect evidence and testimony on your behalf to get the charges dismissed, negotiate for a lighter sentence, or fight for acquittal in court. Along the way, our attorney ensures that your rights are always protected.
Our office handles many types of criminal cases. These include drug crimes (like DUI), traffic crimes (like hit and runs), and cases that may qualify you for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program.
Types of Penalties You Can Receive for Criminal Charges in Pennsylvania
There are many factors that may influence the types of penalties you receive and how serious they are. For example:
- Per 18 Pa. C.S.A § 1101, you could be charged a fine as low as $300 (for a minor offense) or as high as $50,000 (for murder or attempted murder).
- In DUI cases, your sentence may depend on how high your blood alcohol content was. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the higher your BAC, the more severe the sentence.
- 18 Pa. C.S.A § 1103-1104 outlines possible prison sentences. These can range from as little as one year to as much as 20 years. Of course, it all depends on what you have been accused of, whether you have prior convictions, and other factors.
- If the crime is not serious enough to warrant a jail or prison sentence, you may instead be placed on probation, which restricts your freedom of movement and requires regular meetings with a probation officer.
- Other crime-specific penalties may be imposed. For example, traffic crimes may require the suspension of your driver’s license, and weapons charges may require you to give up your gun license temporarily or permanently.
- If someone was injured due to the crime, you might be ordered to pay restitution to help the victim cope with their injuries and/or losses.
The Long-Term Effects of Criminal Conviction
The penalties of conviction can affect your life in many different and negative ways, such as:
- Hampering your career: As unfair as it is, employers often do not want to hire individuals who have been convicted. Also, a lengthy prison sentence may cost you your job.
- Impacting your family: You could lose custody of or access to your children or be unable to support them financially. In some cases, other relatives may not want you associating with your children.
- Decimating your finances: The inability to work and the imposition of hefty fines and fees can drain your life savings or force you into debt.
- Harming your mental health: Prison time and the knowledge that many people consider you guilty can take a significant psychological toll.
- Affecting your reputation: Your friends, neighbors, and others may think differently about you if they believe you were rightfully convicted.
Our Attorney Defends Against Criminal Charges in West Chester
Our criminal defense law firm represents individuals who have been charged with various crimes, including but not limited to:
- Drug offenses, including those related to marijuana or cocaine
- Traffic offenses, including DUI
- Theft offenses, including armed robbery
- Federal offenses, including weapons charges
- White-collar crimes, including various kinds of fraud
No matter what criminal charges you face or how serious the possible penalties are, our team believes everyone deserves vigorous legal representation. The sooner you tell us about your case, the sooner we can put our skills to work for you.
What We Do for Defendants in Criminal Cases
Our team is ready and willing to do everything possible to help criminal defense clients in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and beyond. A criminal defense attorney from our office can perform all these tasks and more, depending on what is required in your situation:
- Consulting with potential clients for free: Anyone who has been accused of a crime is welcome to call at any time to find out what we can do for them.
- Collecting or reevaluating evidence: We can turn a fresh eye to evidence the prosecution is using against you, as well as gather new evidence that may exonerate you.
- Getting the charges reduced: We may be able to do this by negotiating a plea deal for a lighter sentence or by arguing that the prosecution does not have strong enough evidence to support the current charges.
- Getting the charges dismissed: If possible, we can use our evidence to convince a judge that you were wrongfully accused and that you should be released immediately without incurring further penalties.
- Being a courtroom advocate: We do not fear the courtroom. When a client’s case goes to trial, we can take care of all necessary preparations and present the case before a judge and jury.
- Filing appeals: If the trial results in a negative outcome, or if there is evidence that the prosecution acted illegally in any way, we can appeal your case and try to set a new trial.
In addition, we strive to be accessible to our clients. As soon as you retain us, you are welcome to call, text, or email at any time for answers, updates, and reassurance. We always respond to these communications as quickly and as efficiently as possible so that you have one less thing to worry about.
What Is the ARD Program in Pennsylvania?
Per the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Services, the ARD program is designed to make it easier for first-time offenders to “make a fresh start” and get on with their lives. Instead of going to jail or having a permanent criminal record, you may be allowed to attend a rehabilitation program and have your record expunged relatively easily.
We can let you know if you qualify for this program. If so, we would be happy to guide you through the process of applying and fulfilling all requirements for the program. This way, you do not have to face such harsh penalties for your alleged actions.
Contact a West Chester Criminal Defense Attorney for Help Today
If you are in West Chester, Pennsylvania, or the surrounding area, McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. wants to help you with your criminal case. A criminal defense lawyer from our office can get started on your case today. Call us at (610) 991-7219 for a free consultation any time, day, or night.