Chester County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Call a lawyer right away if you are arrested for a criminal offense or believe the police are investigating you. Your rights and freedom might be on the line, and you should have a skilled and experienced lawyer on your team.
If you are charged with a crime in Chester County, you should remain calm, cooperate with law enforcement, and call an attorney immediately. Avoid answering questions from the police that might incriminate you until you have a lawyer by your side. If you are charged, there may be various defense tactics we can use to help you and hopefully avoid a conviction. We might argue over the sufficiency of the prosecutor’s evidence, point out legal violations committed by the authorities, or attempt to raise reasonable doubts in the minds of jurors during a trial. Possible criminal charges vary from relatively minor to extremely severe, and you should discuss your charges with your attorney as soon as you can.
Make an appointment for a free, confidential case evaluation with our criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long by calling (215) 302-0171.
What You Should Do if You Are Facing Criminal Charges in Chester County
If you find yourself in police custody on the receiving end of some unpleasant criminal accusations, your first step should be to remain calm. Being in such a position is understandably very frightening, but you need to keep a cool head so you can best protect yourself from the police and prosecutors. Your next step should be to call an attorney as soon as you possibly can.
If you are arrested, the police may take you to the police station, book you into their custody, and interrogate you regarding the alleged crime. While you do not have to help the police incriminate you, you should avoid resisting and cooperate during the arrest process. While your first instinct might be to resist the people putting cuffs on your wrists, doing so might only cause you more trouble.
The booking process typically involves fingerprints and mug shots for police records. They may also ask you questions about yourself to properly identify you. While you have a right to remain silent, you must answer booking questions. Doing so usually is not incriminatory.
After booking, the police might interrogate you. This is when they ask you questions about the alleged offense while you are in their custody and unable to leave. While you might not be allowed to leave, you certainly do not have to answer questions. The police are required to tell you about your Miranda rights before questioning. You have probably heard about these rights before, and they include your right to refuse to answer questions and to have a lawyer present while you are in custody. Invoke both these rights quickly and clearly.
Possible Criminal Defense Strategies to Discuss with Your Chester County Lawyer
There are probably a thousand ways in which a defendant could potentially handle their criminal charges. The best way to defend yourself depends on the circumstances unique to your case. The nature of the charges, how the investigation played out, and the actions of the police and prosecutors should all be considered when our criminal defense attorneys develop our defense strategy for you.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
Evidence is the heart and soul of a criminal trial. The prosecutor has the burden of proof in a criminal trial, meaning they are responsible for presenting enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As the defendant, you are under no obligation to present any evidence, although you certainly can if it will help your case.
One possible strategy is to examine the sufficiency of the evidence against you. If we do not believe the prosecutor has enough evidence to meet the burden of proof, we can file a motion to have the judge dismiss the case. If the trial continues, we can file a motion after all evidence has been heard, asking the judge for a directed verdict. A directed verdict may come into play if, after all evidence has been heard, there is no way a reasonable jury would convict.
In any criminal case, the authorities must abide by the law. The government cannot walk all over defendants’ rights in their quest for “justice.” If we believe the police, prosecutors, or any other authorities involved in the case have somehow violated your constitutional rights, we can use this information to gain the upper hand.
For example, if the police seized evidence from your home without a search warrant or a good reason why there was no warrant, the evidence may be illegal and “tainted.” We can file a motion showing the judge that the evidence is tainted, and the judge may exclude it from the trial. This means the evidence cannot be used against you. If key pieces of the prosecutor’s evidence are excluded, the entire case against you might fall apart.
In some cases, we can help defendants fight their charges before the trial begins. Once the trial starts, we can shift our focus to raising reasonable doubts in the minds of jurors. If jurors have any reasonable excuse to doubt the defendant’s guilt, they should not convict.
This might be as simple as poking holes in the prosecutor’s evidence. Did any of the prosecutor’s witnesses have reason to lie? Is the evidence circumstantial? Do we have any evidence that refutes or rebuts the information presented by the prosecutor? All this and more might help you raise enough reasonable doubt to avoid a conviction.
Give Our Chester County Criminal Defense Attorneys a Call if You Were Arrested
Make an appointment for a free, confidential case evaluation with our criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long by calling us at (215) 302-0171.