You must be proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt to be convicted of a crime, serve time, or face other penalties for breaking the law. Fortunately, you have the legal right to defend yourself, and there are many ways criminal charges can be lowered or potentially dismissed. For example, if the evidence obtained against you was illegally gathered, if you were wrongfully identified or confused with someone else, or if there were no legal grounds for you to be arrested, you may be able to overcome the charges you face.
Doing this requires an intricate understanding of the law, the legal procedures that police and the courts follow, and the kinds of evidence needed to convict an individual. If you were implicated in any way in a crime, we are here to help. Call McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. today at (610) 991-7219. We stand by our clients and have helped countless individuals with a wide range of charges. Our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer can assist you with your case.
Laws and Crimes
Title 18 of the 2019 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes contains the provisions and definitions used with crimes and offenses. These statutes are very detailed and cover a wide range of crimes and offenses, from homicide and kidnapping to crimes involving computers, sports, or public office.
Depending on the type of crime you are charged with, many forms of evidence are typically needed, and many steps must be completed before you can be convicted. The examples below illustrate how difficult it can be for the prosecution to build a case against you–and how you can potentially defend yourself against the charges you face.
Drug and Controlled Substance Crimes
Drug and controlled substance crimes are based on the type, weight, volume, and circumstances in which illegal or controlled substances are used, sold, or transported. The accused’s age also comes into play, as does whether the accused had knowledge that he or she was using, selling, or transporting illegal or controlled substances and whether the accused had control over the substances in question.
You can potentially fight an illegal drug or controlled substance charge by proving that you did not own, control, or have possession of the illegal or controlled substances in question. You can even argue that the substances in question did not meet the weight or volume classifications needed to constitute a crime or that the substances in question are not even yours, or that law enforcement agents illegally obtained proof against you.
You can purchase legal firearms, but it is against the law to purchase stolen or otherwise illegal weapons. There are certain circumstances under which it may be illegal to carry an otherwise legal firearm. Still, if you can prove that you did not intend or could not use or obtain a firearm in a manner that could be interpreted as dangerous or illegal, you may be able to fight the weapons charges you face.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Some categories of motor vehicle accidents are classified as crimes, such as a traffic fatality caused by reckless driving or an accident caused while committing a crime of evading the police. Your driving record, the circumstances under which the accident occurred, and the actions of other drivers at the time of the accident–as well as the arguments of an attorney–can potentially be used to lessen or even dismiss the charges against you.
Financial crimes such as fraud, tax evasion, stock fraud, embezzlement, and forgery are all illegal. However, the evidentiary requirements to prove that you committed a crime are painstakingly detailed. You may be able to lessen any charges you face by cooperating with the prosecution and showing that you did not intentionally, for example, undervalue assets to avoid taxes or that you were unaware that certain funds you sent or received were illegally obtained or used.
Sexual assault, blackmail, sending or distributing illegal pornographic material, stalking, soliciting a minor, and clergy abuse are all examples of sex crimes. Many of these crimes can be fought by arguing the willing consent of other parties involved, and many sex crimes come down to a case of “my word against yours.” Although the U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) clearly outlines the penalties for various sex crimes, you may be able to overcome the charges you face by reaching a settlement or proving consent.
Crimes are usually either a felony or a misdemeanor. Felonies are serious and come with serious penalties and jail time. Misdemeanors are less serious and can sometimes be dismissed with low-level fines or community service.
- The most serious felonies–Level One felonies–are crimes that cause significant harm, such as murder, rape, arson, and kidnapping.
- Level Two felonies are serious but carry lower fines and penalties. Examples include manslaughter and aggravated assault.
- Certain sex crimes are classified as Level Three felonies. Depending on the harm caused by the actions in question, there is a fine line between Level Two felonies, Level Three felonies, and certain misdemeanors.
One strategy for fighting the charges you face is to reclassify those charges from a higher to a lower crime. For example, being charged with either theft, burglary, or armed robbery can hinge on the evidence against you, when and how the crime in question was purported to have occurred, and whether any actions on your part such as cooperating with the prosecution will likely help with the court. Properly navigating the specifics of your case can be the difference between higher level and lower level charges.
Doing this right requires careful analysis of your case’s specifics, and McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. is here to help. Contact us at (610) 991-7219. Our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer can review your case and, depending on the evidence against you and the charges you face, we may be able to take on your case.
How We Can Assist You
We can potentially help you in the following ways:
- Determining whether the evidence against you was obtained legally or whether your arrest was founded on just cause
- Demonstrating that the charges you face are too harsh for the crimes in question
- Working with the prosecution and any victims to reach a settlement or an understanding can lower the charges you face
Call us today to learn more at (610) 991-7219. At McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer may be able to help, so call a team member today for a case evaluation to determine if we can take on your case.