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Lehigh County Criminal Defense Lawyer
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    Lehigh County Criminal Defense Lawyer

    Call an attorney immediately if you are facing any sort of criminal charges or have been arrested. The justice system is very complex and often unsympathetic to defendants, and you need an experienced lawyer in your corner.

    One of the first questions criminal defendants ask their attorney is, “What are my charges?” While the police and prosecutors have a lot of influence over how a defendant is charged, they often do not reveal much information to defendants until legally required. Charges ranging from severe felonies to minor summary offenses might be implicated, each with a unique penalty. If and when you are arrested, you should demand to have a lawyer as soon as possible. If you have not yet contacted an attorney after being arrested, do so immediately. You should also call a lawyer even if you have not been arrested, but you believe you might be soon. It is never too early to get help from a skilled attorney.

    Please get in touch with our criminal defense lawyers for a free, private case evaluation by calling The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.

    Potential Criminal Charges in Lehigh County and How They Might Be Sentenced

    Depending on your situation, you might be aware of the nature of the alleged offense the authorities are charging you with. Still, you might not know how the offense is classified or the potential penalties. Criminal charges encompass minor summary offenses, misdemeanors, and more serious felonies. Penalties vary based on the severity of the charges.

    Felonies

    Felonies are largely considered the worst and most serious criminal charges a person might face. Many violent crimes are classified as felonies. Some offenses are always classified as felonies by statute, while other offenses might be felonies only if certain aggravating factors are present. Our criminal defense attorneys can help you determine what kind of felonies you might be facing.

    According to 18 Pa.C.S. § 1103, felonies are classified as third-, second-, and first-degree felonies. A first-degree felony is the most severe criminal charge a person might contend with. It may be punished with a prison term of up to 20 years.

    Second-degree felonies may be penalized with up to 10 years in prison, and a third-degree felony might come with a prison term of up to 7 years.

    Felonies are incredibly severe charges, and even a single felony charge might lead to the defendant in prison for years. Call a lawyer immediately if you are facing felony charges.

    Misdemeanors

    Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies, but that does not mean that they should not be taken seriously or will not be punished harshly. Misdemeanors, like felonies, are classified into three different charges based on severity.

    According to 18 Pa.C.S. § 1104, a first-degree felony is only a step beneath a felony charge and should be treated very seriously. Such a charge may be punished with a jail term of no more than 5 years. Second-degree misdemeanors are another step down and may be punished by up to 2 years in jail. Finally, third-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 1 year in jail.

    Although misdemeanors tend to come with comparatively less harsh penalties, they can still add up to a significant time in jail if multiple charges are involved. They also remain on your record and might come back to haunt you if you ever need a background check.

    Summary Offenses

    Summary offenses are very minor and rarely punished with any time behind bars. Typically, these offenses are punished with fines. Defendants are often not even arrested but may be issued a citation. Even so, according to 18 Pa.C.S. § 1105, a summary offense may still come with a jail term of no more than 90 days.

    What Happens After Someone is Arrested in Lehigh County?

    If you are arrested in Lehigh County, you will likely be taken to the police station for booking and questioning. Booking involves the police taking fingerprints, mug shots, and assessing various biographical information. At this time, the police will verify your identity to determine if you have an existing criminal record or if any warrants are out for your arrest.

    After booking, you might be taken in for questioning. This questioning, also called custodial interrogation, can be tricky for defendants without an attorney. Before any questions begin, the police should inform you of your Miranda rights. These rights include your right to have a lawyer with you during questioning and to remain silent and refuse to answer any questions at all.

    Invoke your right to a lawyer as soon as possible. Avoid answering any questions regarding the alleged offense while in custody until our criminal defense lawyers get there to assist you.

    How long the police hold you in custody depends on the questions they ask and whether they want to assess charges. You might be held longer if prosecutors want to file charges. If this is the case, the police will ask many questions to gather as much information to support the charges as possible. Even so, they typically cannot hold you longer than 48 hours without charges. Tell your lawyer if you are held for too long.

    When to Contact an Attorney About Your Criminal Charges in Lehigh County

    You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to help you with your criminal charges. You should definitely call a lawyer if you are arrested, even if no charges were filed. Your rights and legal interests might still be at stake, and your attorney can advise on how to best protect yourself.

    You should also call a lawyer if you have not been arrested, but you think the police might arrest you soon. For example, if friends and neighbors in your community have told you that the police have come around asking questions about you, you should be concerned and call a lawyer for advice. If the police are planning to make contact with you or arrest you, your lawyer can help you prepare and protect your rights.

    Speak to Our Lehigh County Criminal Defense Lawyers About Your Case Now

    Please contact our criminal defense lawyers for a free, private case evaluation by calling The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.