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Paoli, PA Criminal Defense Lawyers
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    Paoli, PA Criminal Defense Lawyers

    Just being charged with a criminal offense can turn someone’s life upside down, and that’s before they even get to the trial. In times like this, you should hire an experienced attorney to help you defend yourself while protecting your rights in court.

    It is never too soon to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Many people wait until after they have been arrested before calling the police. While this is not a bad time to call a lawyer, you should do it sooner if possible. Even if you have not yet been arrested but believe you are under investigation, get an attorney. In Pennsylvania, criminal charges are generally categorized as lesser misdemeanors and more serious felonies. Often, defendants are charged with a mix of charges. Your attorney can tailor your defense strategies to your specific charges and situation. Possible strategies include challenging the validity or sufficiency of the evidence, claiming self-defense, or reaching a plea agreement.

    Get a free initial review of your case for no cost when you call our criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.

    When is the Best Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney in Paoli, PA?

    Some defendants are totally blindsided when they are arrested. In such a situation, the earliest possible time you might be able to call a lawyer is after you have been booked by the police. Generally, the police will arrest you, take you in, and book you, meaning they take your photo and various biographical information for their records.

    At this point, they might want to interrogate you about the alleged crime. Before they can do so, they must inform you of your Miranda rights, including the right to remain silent and have a lawyer present. This is your chance. Invoke your Miranda rights directly and clearly and call a lawyer. The police are not allowed to question you until your lawyer is present. Our criminal defense lawyers can help prevent you from accidentally incriminating yourself when talking to the police.

    Some people are lucky enough to be tipped off about a police investigation. Perhaps people in your neighborhood have been approached by law enforcement and asked about you, and then they gave you a heads-up. If you are being investigated, call a lawyer. Do this even if the police have not contacted you or arrested you. If and when you are arrested, your attorney will be ready and waiting to swoop in to rescue you.

    Possible Criminal Charges and Sentencing in Paoli, PA

    Criminal charges are divided into two broad categories. Misdemeanors are largely considered less severe but do not be fooled. Many upper-level misdemeanor offenses carry very harsh penalties. Felonies are more serious offenses and tend to be punished more harshly.


    It is difficult to say exactly what makes a misdemeanor a misdemeanor. Generally, misdemeanor offenses are less severe than felonies and tend to result in less severe punishments. Many non-violent offenses are considered misdemeanors. However, misdemeanors may be upgraded to felonies if certain conditions are present. For example, the charge of simple assault is often a misdemeanor offense, but when a deadly weapon or firearm is involved, it could potentially be upgraded to a felony charge of aggravated assault.

    Misdemeanors have lighter penalties compared to felonies, but this does not mean sentencing is a walk in the park. According to 18 Pa.C.S. § 1104, misdemeanors are separated into three categories based on severity. The least serious, a third-degree misdemeanor, may be punished by jail time of up to 1 year.

    A second-degree misdemeanor is a bit more serious and may be punished with a jail sentence of no more than 2 years. Finally, first-degree misdemeanors, the most serious, are punishable by no more than 5 years in jail. People facing multiple misdemeanor charges could potentially face many years behind bars.


    Felonies are extremely serious criminal charges. If you are facing felony charges, call an attorney immediately. Under 18 Pa.C.S. § 1103, felonies are also divided into three categories: first, second, and third-degree felonies.

    Third-degree felonies are punishable by a prison sentence of no longer than 7 years. A second-degree felony may be punished by up to 10 years in prison. Finally, a first-degree felony – perhaps the most serious criminal charge on the books – is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

    Developing an Effective Defense Strategy with Our Paoli, PA Criminal Defense Team

    There is no single best way to mount a criminal defense strategy. How we approach your case depends on numerous factors surrounding the alleged offense. As such, it is best to meet with a lawyer as soon as possible so you can begin working on defense tactics for the courtroom.

    Challenging the Evidence

    A great place to begin is with the evidence. Just because prosecutors have filed charges does not mean they have the evidence to back them up. Often, prosecutors obtain evidence because the police illegally seized it from you. If the police searched your home or other private property without a warrant or exception to the warrant requirement, tell your attorney immediately. Illegal evidence may be excluded from trial.

    Even if the prosecutor’s evidence is all above board, it might not be enough to meet their burden of proof. The burden of proof in a criminal trial is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This is an extremely high bar to meet. We can ask the court to dismiss the case if prosecutors have insufficient evidence.


    Some defendants admit to committing the criminal offense alleged by the authorities. However, they did so because they were defending themselves. This is not uncommon in cases involving violent crimes. For example, you might be charged with aggravated assault because you seriously injured someone in a bar. However, if that person was the aggressor and tried to hurt you first, you might be able to claim self-defense.

    Plea Agreements

    Sometimes, the best defense is to reduce charges rather than eliminate them. Prosecutors are often willing to negotiate plea agreements with defendants. Usually, the prosecutor will offer to reduce the charges in exchange for a guilty plea. Your attorney can help you negotiate for the best possible deal so you serve the most lenient sentence possible. Some defendants have negotiated charges with possible jail time down to fines with no jail time.

    Contact Our Paoli, PA Criminal Defense Attorneys Immediately I You Are Facing Criminal Charges

    Get a free initial review of your case for no cost when you call our criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.