There are several things that can happen after an arraignment in Pennsylvania. These depend on your circumstances:
- Whether you were charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
- The nature of your plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest).
- If you were in custody at the time of the arraignment, whether bail was set or denied, or if you were released with the promise that you would appear for trial.
Likely Course of Events for Misdemeanor Clients Who Plead Not Guilty
You may have a defense attorney appear on your behalf for arraignment on most misdemeanor criminal charges (except in domestic violence cases). Legal proceedings and courtrooms are intimidating for most people. It is not only your right to have a defense attorney, it is highly recommended. We have helped many clients obtain a favorable outcome in this pretrial phase. Our firm’s principal, David McKenzie, is a former prosecutor, so he knows how the other side approaches this stage of the process.
What to Expect Next
- Discovery phase: The prosecution shares evidence with your defense lawyer who may challenge evidence (for example, if the evidence was obtained illegally.)
- Change of plea: You can change your plea but consult with your attorney first.
- Plea bargain: Your lawyer will work for the most favorable settlement or plea bargain for you.
- Trial by jury: If you do not accept a plea bargain, your case moves to trial.
Likely Course of Events if You Plead Not Guilty to a Felony
Depending on the seriousness of your charge and your status as an offender (first-time or repeat), you may be in custody after an arraignment. You do not want to hurt your case at this crucial stage. You should have the criminal defense lawyer of your choice at your side. Your future, freedom, and family are at stake. McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. will protect your rights and promote the best possible outcome.
Some Felony Cases Are Successfully Resolved at the Preliminary Hearing
You and your attorney will appear before a judge, without a jury, in a preliminary hearing. The judge will examine the evidence against you. This is a crucial phase of your case and it is vital to have a criminal defense lawyer speak on your behalf. Our firm has successfully resolved felony cases at this stage and will work to do the same for you if possible.
Here is why the preliminary hearing is important:
- Dismissal of charges: The judge may dismiss the case entirely. The charges against you will be dropped and there will be no further punitive action.
- Reduce the charges: The prosecutor can drop one or more felony charges to lesser misdemeanor charges.
- Proceed to trial: The third possible outcome of a preliminary trial is the judge ordering your case to continue to trial.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Will Fight for Your Rights in a Preliminary Hearing and After
Facing a judge in a preliminary hearing is not something you should do alone. You probably do not have the experience or legal knowledge to give yourself the best defense. McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. will present your case in the most favorable manner. Obviously, our primary goal is to persuade the judge to dismiss your case or reduce the charge(s).
A criminal defense lawyer can help you during this preliminary with these actions:
- Cross examine witnesses for discrepancies, falsehoods, or other reasons to discredit their statement against you.
- Scrutinize the prosecution’s evidence so there are no unpleasant surprises if the case goes to trial.
- Look for relevant legal precedent.
- Ensure proper procedure.
You Deserve a Criminal Defense Lawyer Who Cares About You
At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we know that people make mistakes. We also know that a careful case evaluation and a custom defense may protect you from fines and incarceration. Whether you are accused of theft, drug possession, driving under the influence (DUI), or other criminal charges, our firm has the experience and the resources to protect your rights.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Treats Our Clients with Respect and Care
We understand that you may be anxious about your case. You may rest assured that as our client you will always receive:
- Representation at all stages of your case
- 24/7 availability
- Consistent case updates
- Promptly returned phone calls and emails
- Clear explanation of legal options
- Vigorous pursuit to dismiss or reduce charges
Please call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. at 610-680-7842 anytime day or night.