Exton, PA Criminal Defense Lawyers
Getting convicted of a crime can have serious consequences. Upon conviction, you could incur fines, prison sentences, and other losses of rights. That is to say nothing of some of the non-legal consequences that come with a criminal conviction. Friends and family might think of you differently, employers may be hesitant to hire you, and you could have difficulty taking out loans.
With so much at stake, you need all the help you can get in the face of criminal charges. We have represented numerous criminal defendants and helped them navigate the legal process to get the best possible outcome for them. We can work to form a strong defense for you and fight the charges against you in a court of law.
Call our criminal defense lawyers with The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 for free, confidential case reviews.
What Should You Do After Getting Arrested in Exton, PA?
Many potential defendants make a lot of mistakes right after they are arrested. Often, these things happen because the defendant is, understandably, nervous and scared at the prospect of being taken in for questioning by a police officer. There are certain things you can do after getting arrested that can help to defend you against criminal charges.
Speak With Our Lawyers As Soon As Possible
The most important thing for you to do when facing criminal charges is to talk to a lawyer right away. If you do not have a lawyer at the time you are arrested, you should use your right to remain silent until you are able to speak with our lawyers.
Law enforcement officers might try and question you immediately after arrest in hopes of getting a confession or, more likely, a seemingly harmless comment that can be used against you in court. Although the police are required to “Mirandize” you – inform you of your right to remain silent, your right to have a lawyer present, and that anything you say can be used against you in court – many potential defendants accidentally incriminated themselves even when consciously being careful about what they say to the police.
The only thing you should say to officers before talking to our lawyers is that you are invoking your right to remain silent and that you wish to have a lawyer present.
Keep Your Case Private
You might feel the urge to talk to family members, friends, or other people about your situation. Doing so may be a cathartic experience. However, doing so is one of the easiest ways to seriously hurt your case.
There are a number of risks involved with talking about your situation to other people. First, re-telling your version of the events over and over again creates the possibility for small variations and errors to make their way into the narrative of events. This could be problematic if people are going to testify on your behalf and have conflicting information. Second, speaking with other people makes them fair game for prosecutors to ask questions about the case. Finally, just like with statements to the police, you could inadvertently say something that hurts your case when speaking to a family member, friend, or other trusted person. The best course of action is to only discuss your case with our lawyers present.
Penalties for Crimes in Exton, PA
One of the things our criminal defense clients are most concerned about is the penalties associated with the crime they are being charged with. Indeed, some criminal penalties can have consequences that last far beyond any jail term or fine. Criminal penalties in Pennsylvania will vary based on the seriousness of the offense.
Summary offenses can be punished by 90 days or less in jail under 18 Pa.C.S. § 1105. Things like loitering, disorderly conduct, underage drinking, and “criminal mischief” fall into the category of summary offenses.
Although the law permits jail sentences for these crimes, the reality is that offenders are often penalized with fines, citations, and tickets rather than incarceration. That being said, getting convicted of a crime, even a minor one, is not desirable, and our lawyers will work to give you the best chance of keeping your record clean.
Misdemeanors are more serious crimes than summary offenses. 18 Pa.C.S. § 1104 governs their penalties. Misdemeanors are broken down into third, second, and first-degree misdemeanors.
Third-degree misdemeanors have a maximum prison sentence of one year. Crimes that are third-degree misdemeanors include selling alcohol to minors or using a fake ID. Second-degree misdemeanors have a maximum prison sentence of two years and include crimes such as indecent exposure or falsifying a police report. Finally, first-degree misdemeanors have a maximum prison term of five years. First-degree misdemeanors include crimes like possessing an unlicensed firearm, stalking, and involuntary manslaughter so long as the victim is more than 11 years old – otherwise, it is a felony.
Felonies are the most severe kinds of crimes in Pennsylvania. Penalties for felonies in Pennsylvania are covered in 18 Pa.C.S. § 1103. Like misdemeanors, felonies come in various degrees.
For felonies in the third degree, the maximum prison sentence is seven years. Third-degree felonies include forging a will or deed, insurance fraud, or inappropriate contact with minors. Second-degree felonies have a maximum sentence of ten years and include crimes like sexual assault and aggravated assault. Finally, first-degree felonies such as aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, rape, and robbery have a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
A felony conviction can have effects beyond lengthy prison sentences. For example, felons are prohibited from owning firearms, and many businesses and employers do not hire people with felonies on their record.
Call Our Exton, PA Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
The Law Offices of Lloyd Long are ready to talk about your case when you call (215) 302-0171.