Whether you have been arrested for traffic crimes, white collar crimes, federal crimes, a DUI, theft, or drug-related crime in Falls Township, PA, David McKenzie can help you fight the consequences of your arrest. Most defendants that are charged with crimes are represented by an attorney because the stakes are high in criminal trials.
You may be looking at significant jail time, costly penalties, and the destruction of your name and reputation in the community. Representing yourself in a criminal court proceeding, whether you have knowledge about criminal law and the legal system, may not be in your best interests.
How Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You
Defending yourself, also known as being in pro per, in a criminal proceeding can be difficult, even if you have the training and education. Criminal attorneys do much more than cross-examine witnesses on the stand. They also:
- Negotiate with prosecutors to try and get your charges reduced or dismissed and your sentence shortened.
- Know how to work with defendants who are frightened or anxious and are having a difficult time adjusting to an uncertain future.
- Are familiar with the protocol and procedures operating in a criminal court proceeding and can explain the options available to defendants, such as plea bargains and plea deals.
- Understand the customs of the criminal court where the hearing is taking place, the nature of the judge presiding in your case, and which prosecutor has the most power with the judge.
- Use their time to defend you to the best of their ability while you get back to your daily routine. They will gather and examine evidence, do intensive legal research, and depose witnesses. Attorneys have resources at their disposal, such as expert witnesses and private investigators, to help you fight the charges against you.
- Understand the importance of clearing your name and preserving your reputation during and after the trial.
- Are responsible for responding in a timely manner to deadlines and statutes of limitation. For felony arrests, the statute of limitations under Pennsylvania law can be anywhere from two to five years.
- Communicate with opposing attorneys, prosecutors, and other parties involved in your case.
- Build a strategic and effective case to help defend you from the charges that have been brought against you.
Finding an Attorney in Your State
Every state has their own laws, statutes, and regulations regarding criminal cases and differs from other states with respect to their DUI laws, gun control laws, drug possession laws, and others. If you are facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania, call a criminal defense lawyer in Falls Township, PA from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. (610) 680-7842 today.
Criminal Charges in Pennsylvania
A crime is an action that is against the law or ignoring an action that is required by law. The penalties can be incarceration, fines, or both. Crimes are generally divided into three major categories: misdemeanors, felonies, and summary offenses.
Summary offenses include traffic violations, disorderly conduct, and shoplifting. The process begins with a citation from a police officer or a summons from a judge. If you want a hearing in the matter, it is held by a district judge. In Pennsylvania, you can request an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) hearing. An ARD hearing is unique to Pennsylvania and is a program for first-time offenders who have no criminal convictions and have not participated in an ARD hearing before. After the hearing, the defendant can request the court to expunge their record.
Misdemeanor crimes are more serious and include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, assault, and theft.
Felony charges are the most serious charges. Some felonies include rape, murder, burglary, and robbery.
Your Rights When You Are Charged with a Crime
The two most important rights you have are the right to remain silent and the right to have a lawyer present at every stage of the process. When you are arrested, be respectful and courteous to the police and make arrangements to secure your bail as soon as possible. Do not give up your right to have a preliminary hearing. Follow your lawyer’s advice and don’t discuss your case with anyone.
Even the least serious crimes can have a negative effect on your life and reputation and stop you from getting specific licenses and certifications. A charge can be used against you in the future if you are arrested again, and the outcome may be more jail time and increased fines and penalties.
Legal Assistance from a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Falls Township, PA
If you have been arrested and charged with a crime in Falls Township, Pennsylvania, an attorney can fight on your behalf. McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. has been helping clients face criminal charges for many years and are standing by to assist you. Call (610) 680-7842 to get started today.