Alleghany County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal charges are perhaps some of the most frightening, intimidating things a person could face in their life. Criminal charges tend to come with serious consequences, and you should get help from an experienced attorney now.
Call a criminal defense lawyer to discuss your situation as soon as possible. Even if you have not been charged or arrested but believe you might be soon, call a lawyer. Many criminal charges fall into one of two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Defendants often face a mix of different charges, and fighting them in court can be difficult. Your defense strategies should be tailored to your unique situation. Common tactics include challenging the evidence, presenting justifications, or pointing out how the authorities violated your rights during their investigation. If you have been charged with a crime or believe the police are investigating you, call our criminal defense team immediately.
Contact our criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long to make an appointment for a free evaluation of your case by calling (215) 302-0171.
When You Should Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help in Alleghany County
Dealing with criminal charges or a criminal investigation can be scary and confusing. Many assume that lawyers are unnecessary until an arrest is made and charges are filed. This could not be further from the truth. Whenever you find yourself entangled in the justice system, you should seek help from an experienced attorney.
Once you are arrested, the police may take you in for questioning. At this point, they should inform you of your Miranda rights, which include your rights to remain silent and to have a lawyer with you during questioning. When the chance arises, cease questioning and call our criminal defense lawyers for help. It can be intimidating to stand up to law enforcement and refuse to answer questions without a lawyer, but this is your right, and the police cannot infringe upon it.
You should still call a lawyer even if you have not been arrested. For example, if you believe the police are investigating you for an alleged crime, call a lawyer before you are arrested. Your attorney can help you devise a plan for what to do if and when you are arrested. This kind of planning can help make the arrest process much less intimidating since you will have a lawyer on your side the whole time.
Possible Criminal Charges and Sentencing in Alleghany County
It is important to understand what kind of charges you might be facing and the potential punishments that come along with them. Generally, criminal charges tend to be classified as eighter misdemeanors or felonies. Other offenses might be considered summary offenses, but they are usually minor and rarely punished by jail time.
Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies, although multiple misdemeanors can add up to substantial punishments. Even though misdemeanors are often relatively minor, they should not be disregarded. Like felonies, a misdemeanor will remain on your criminal record and could pose a problem if you are ever subject to a background check for something like a new job.
Under 18 Pa.C.S. § 1104, misdemeanors are divided into three subcategories. From most to least severe, you might be charged with a first, second, or third-degree misdemeanor. A third-degree misdemeanor may be punished by up to 1 year in jail. Several third-degree misdemeanors could put you behind bars for a long time.
A second-degree misdemeanor is more serious and punishable by no more than 2 years in jail. Finally, a first-degree misdemeanor is a mere step below a felony and subject to jail time of up to 5 years. Such charges might be misdemeanors, but they can be punished harshly. Just 2 such charges might see you in jail for a decade.
Felonies are the kind of charges you often hear about in the news. Many felonies are violent crimes, while others might deal with large sums of money or extensive damage.
According to 18 Pa.C.S. § 1103, felonies are also divided into three subcategories. These subcategories are labeled similar to misdemeanors: first, second, and third-degree. A third-degree felony might be considered the least severe felony charge, but it is still harshly punished with a prison term of up to 7 years.
Second-degree felonies are even more serious and may be penalized with a prison term of no more than 10 years.
First-degree felonies are among the most severe criminal charges on the books. If you believe you might be charged with such an offense, contact our lawyers now. A defendant convicted of a first-degree felony may be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years.
Defense Tactics Our Alleghany County Criminal Defense Lawyers Might Use in Your Case
Numerous defense strategies might be available to us, depending on your unique circumstances. Talk to your attorney about every little detail so they can tailor your defense to your specific needs.
Challenge the Evidence
One method is to challenge the evidence against you. Evidence must meet incredibly strict rules and standards to be admissible in court. If we believe certain pieces of evidence do not meet these standards, we can work to have that evidence excluded. Excluded evidence may not be presented in court, and the jury should not consider it during their deliberations.
Even if evidence is admissible, it might not be enough to convict. Prosecutors sometimes try to bring cases against defendants based on weak evidence. If the evidence is so weak that the prosecutor cannot prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, we can file a motion to have the court dismiss the case.
Defenses and Justifications
Sometimes, it is better for defendants to acknowledge that they committed the alleged offense but that their reasons for doing so absolve them of criminal responsibility. One of the most known justifications is self-defense. Self-defense often comes up in cases of violent crimes where the victim is also the aggressor. If you were defending yourself from what you perceived to be imminent harm, discuss it with your lawyer.
Violations of Your Rights
If the authorities do something that violates your rights, their case against you might be weakened. For example, suppose the police seize evidence from your home without a search warrant or a valid exception to the warrant requirement. In such a case, their actions violate your Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. Any evidence they obtained may be suppressed and excluded. It is imperative that we file motions and raise objections about tainted evidence. Otherwise, it might slip past the judge and be used against you in court.
If You Are Charged with a Crime, Call Our Alleghany County Criminal Defense Lawyers Now
Contact our criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long to make an appointment for a free review of your case by calling (215) 302-0171.