Whether facing a felony or misdemeanor charge, you may want a criminal defense lawyer for your Pennsylvania criminal case. However, not all criminal defense attorneys are created equal – it is essential to find a firm with experience handling your type of criminal charges.
Different Defense Firms Handle Different Types of Criminal Cases
In your search for a criminal defense attorney, you will likely notice that some law firms specialize in particular types of cases. For example, certain firms may devote their attention to white-collar crimes like tax fraud, while others primarily handle DUI and other drug cases.
When deciding what kind of lawyer you need, take note of the types of cases they handle and select firms with a broad range of experience. For example, our team has handled diverse criminal cases including:
- Sex crimes
- Drug crimes (including DUI)
- Involuntary and voluntary manslaughter
- Identity theft or fraud
- Robbery, theft, and burglary
We Can Help With Your Case
Our firm knows how to defend clients against many types of criminal charges. We can do so by:
- Being truthful: We are honest with clients about their options and their chances of winning the case.
- Keeping you informed: Our team can explain the law to you and help you make decisions whenever there is a change in your case.
- Offering objectivity: We know how hard it is to remain impartial when it is your future on the line. We’ll keep a cool head under pressure.
With lawyers like ours on your side, you can rest easy knowing that professionals will handle all aspects of your criminal case.
For a free legal consultation, call 215.515.3360
The Job of a Criminal Defense Lawyer
A criminal defense lawyer from our firm can fight for your rights and present your case in front of a judge and jury. We can refute the prosecution’s assertion that you are guilty and deserve punishment.
As part of our duties, we may perform any of the following tasks.
Investigate the Allegations
To decide on the best defense for your case, we must have a thorough understanding of what charges you face and why. We can gather this information by:
- Going to the scene of the alleged crime
- Requesting police reports, surveillance footage, and other available evidence
- Speaking with witnesses to the alleged crime or with people who can confirm that you were not at the scene of the crime
- Examining evidence already collected by the prosecution, including any witness interviews or tests they have conducted
- Looking into any potential errors or misconduct that occurred
Bargain For a Better Deal
Not all criminal cases go through a criminal trial, and our defense lawyers will explore all possible options. The prosecutor may be open to a deal involving:
- A plea: In this scenario, you would agree to plead guilty to a less serious charge – for example, a third-degree misdemeanor instead of a first-degree misdemeanor. This arrangement allows you to avoid the more severe penalties associated with the initial charge.
- A charge reduction: Like a plea, we would convince the prosecutor to reduce the charges – and the penalties – against you. However, instead of automatically pleading guilty, you would still have a chance to argue your innocence in court.
- Dropping the charges: Sometimes, our investigation succeeds in completely undermining the prosecution’s case. Prosecutors seldom want to pursue a case if they know they are likely to lose, so they might drop all charges when confronted with clear and convincing evidence from us.
Present and Argue Your Case in Court
If negotiating a plea or getting the charges dropped is not possible in your case, then we can represent you at trial. Trials can be long and complicated, and you may feel more confident knowing that you have a lawyer who has extensive courtroom experience standing beside you.
Before and during a trial, we can:
- Submit evidence (trial exhibits) and other paperwork to the court on time
- Engage in fact-finding (discovery) with the prosecution
- Select individuals to sit on the jury
- Present opening and closing remarks
- Prepare witnesses to testify and question them on the stand
- Cross-examine witnesses brought by the prosecution
- Raise objections if the prosecution attempts to circumvent the rules
- File an appeal and take your case to a higher court if the jury does not find in your favor
Possible Consequences of a Criminal Conviction
The penalties for many types of crimes are outlined at 18 Pa. C.S.A § 106 and Chapter 11. They include:
- Imprisonment: You could spend months, years, or even decades behind bars. Your sentence will likely be longer if you have a previous conviction on your record.
- Fines: A summary offense – the least severe type of offense – carries a maximum fine of $300. By contrast, a first- or second-degree felony conviction could saddle you with a $25,000 fine. As with prison terms, your fine may increase with each conviction.
- Probation or parole: In some cases, a convicted individual may be allowed to return to their community under supervised guidance rather than being sent to jail. In other cases, a parolee may remain under supervision even after serving their sentence. Court rulings will restrict your movements, actions, and rights.
- Restitution: If your alleged actions caused physical or financial harm to another, the judge might order you to pay them a certain amount of money over a set period. Failure to make these payments could result in additional punishment.
A criminal conviction and the penalties associated with it could have a long-lasting – even permanent – impact on your career, finances, and social relationships. The kind of lawyer you pick to represent you may have a significant impact on your future rights and freedoms.
We Take Criminal Cases in Pennsylvania
If you are still unsure what kind of lawyer you want to handle a criminal case, call the Law Offices of M.J. Snyder, LLC. Our firm offers free consultations to every caller, so you can determine whether we are the right fit for you at no cost or obligation. You can reach us at (215) 515-3360 at any time. We proudly serve clients throughout the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area.