One of the worst feelings a husband can experience is getting a dreaded late-night phone call from his wife telling him that she has been arrested and needs him to come to bail her out of jail. Especially if you do not have any prior experience with the criminal justice system, you might have no clue what to do next to help protect her rights and give her the best chance at resolving the matter successfully. While you may be aware generally that it might be a good idea to get her a lawyer, you might not know if you are allowed to pay for this under the law. At The Law Offices of Lloyd Long, our battle-tested Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers have years of experience helping clients facing all sorts of charges get them downgraded or dismissed. Below, we explain whether a husband can pay for a wife’s criminal defense attorney and how we can help your wife at each stage of the criminal case process.
Is a Husband Allowed to Pay for a Criminal Defense Attorney for His Wife in Philadelphia?
Any person is allowed to hire and pay for the services of a Philadelphia or Bucks County criminal defense lawyer for another person. This includes a husband, who may retain a lawyer for his wife. Often, this is the way it works, as the wife will be dealing with the arrest and booking process, and the husband will be able to get in touch more quickly. However, just because you are paying for your wife’s attorney, this does not mean that you will be entitled to know everything discussed privately between her and her attorney unless she wants you to. Attorney-client privilege applies to the client no matter who is paying.
What Will Happen to My Wife after She is Cited or Arrested for a Crime in Philadelphia?
In some cases, for minor offenses or infractions, like most traffic matters, the police will simply issue your wife a citation and allow her to go on her way. The citation will usually have a court date on it, or you will be sent a summons in the mail within a few weeks with a court date. The quicker you reach out to a skilled Philadelphia criminal defense attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long after the citation is issued, the quicker we can get to work on your wife’s case. We can try to work with the prosecutor to review all the evidence and come to some sort of deal where the entire matter can be resolved at the appearance.
For most crimes, your wife will be arrested by the police, either on the spot if they have probable cause or after investigating and receiving an arrest warrant from a judge. After her arrest, she will be transported to the local police station for the booking process, where she will be fingerprinted and photographed, and her biographical information will be collected. Then she will be held in the station’s holding cell or at the local jail until her initial appearance, and bail hearing can be held within 72 hours at most but often much sooner. This is why it is so vital that you or another loved one reach out to us quickly so that we can be prepared and present for these important early events in the case.
The initial appearance is sometimes called the “preliminary arraignment,” although the actual arraignment where you enter your initial plea of guilty or not guilty occurs later in the case, after a potential preliminary hearing. The bail hearing is where the judge will decide whether your wife can be released or if she must remain behind bars until the underlying case is resolved. If the judge agrees to release, they may set bail at an amount that must be paid before your wife can be released. Our skilled Philadelphia bail hearing attorneys at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long know the factors the judge considers in making release and bail decisions, such as your wife’s criminal history and potential danger to the community, and can make the most persuasive argument for her release on little to no bail.
How Can a Philadelphia Defense Attorney Help My Wife Resolve Her Case?
After we have gotten your wife out of jail and advised her to enter an initial plea of not guilty at your arraignment, we will turn our focus to requesting any outstanding evidence from the prosecutor, filing any needed motions like a motion to suppress evidence obtained as a result of an illegal search and seizure, and beginning negotiations with the prosecutor to get the charges downgraded or dismissed. For some minor charges, she may be eligible for the ARD program, which, if completed successfully, will result in the charge against her being dropped and not having a criminal record. Where ARD is not on the table, we can try to work out a deal for the charges to be downgraded to something less serious, like from a misdemeanor to a felony, or for the prosecutor to recommend a lenient sentence to the judge in exchange for pleading guilty and saving the state the time and cost of putting on a trial. Of course, if your wife does not wish to take a deal or is not satisfied with the deal offered, our battle-tested trial attorneys at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long are always ready and able to fight for a not guilty verdict in the courtroom.
If Your Wife Has Been Arrested, Call Our Veteran Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorneys Right Away
The quicker you get in touch with an experienced Philadelphia post-conviction sentencing attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long after your wife’s arrest, the better chance we will have to get her out of custody quickly and ultimately get the charges against her downgraded or dismissed. We will leave no stone unturned fighting to ensure your beloved wife’s case is brought to the most positive possible resolution. For a free consultation, call our office today at (215) 302-0171.