Northeast Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyers
Criminal charges are not just scary to be confronted with; they are also extremely complex. People who are charged with criminal offenses are often very confused about how they got to this point. Many defendants do not fully understand that their actions constituted criminal offenses until after they were charged. This makes the ensuing legal process all the more difficult.
A skilled lawyer can mean the difference between walking out of a courtroom on your own or being escorted out in handcuffs. Handling your criminal charges is about much more than just showing up for court and explaining your version of events. You must prepare a defense strategy, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and make arguments. There are also many different stages in the criminal process, both before and after your trial. While you are permitted to represent yourself in your criminal trial, it is not recommended. Hiring a lawyer is most often in your best interest.
If you are facing criminal charges, you could be in for a long and stressful criminal trial. Our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers are here to help you. Our legal team has the skills and experience to defend you against any criminal charges, no matter how serious or minor. Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 to schedule a free legal consultation.
Possible Criminal Charges and Penalties in Northeast Philadelphia
In Pennsylvania, you could be charged with different levels of criminal offenses. Under 18 Pa.C.S. § 106, these offenses include serious felonies, somewhat less serious misdemeanors, and minor summary offenses or infractions. You may have heard these terms in the media or on television, but many people do not fully understand what they mean or how they are different. Our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers can help you understand your charges and develop the most effective defense strategies.
A summary offense or infraction is one of the least serious offenses you can be charged with. Most summary offenses are penalized with fines, and very rarely do defendants face jail or prison sentences. For some defendants, it is easier to plead guilty to a summary offense, pay the fine, and move on. Whether it is worth your time, effort, and money to fight a summary offense should be discussed with an attorney. If you are convicted of a summary offense, a lawyer may help you expunge it from your record later.
Misdemeanors are more serious criminal offenses, but they are still relatively minor compared to felonies. Misdemeanors are classified as of the first, second, or third degree. The degree of misdemeanor corresponds to the severity of your alleged criminal offense. Our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys can challenge your misdemeanor charges and hopefully have them dropped or, at the very least, reduced to a lesser degree.
A first-degree misdemeanor may be penalized with a prison term of up to 5 years. A second-degree misdemeanor may be punished by a prison term of no longer than 2 years. Finally, a third-degree misdemeanor can be punished by a maximum prison term of 1 year.
It is important to scrutinize the evidence presented by prosecutors and to challenge your charges. In many cases, prosecutors intentionally overcharge defendants, knowing that the charges are likely to be reduced through a plea bargain.
Felonies are the most serious criminal charges a person may face in Philadelphia. Felonies include extremely serious and sometimes violent crimes, like murder, aggravated assault, and sexual assault. Prosecutors often give felony cases special attention, and the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney is extremely necessary.
A first-degree felony may be punished by a prison term of over 10 years. A second-degree felony may be punished by a prison term that is no longer than 10 years. A third-degree felony may be punished by no more than 7 years in prison. It should also be noted that some felonies carry enhanced penalties or follow special sentencing guidelines that may result in longer prison terms. For example, first-degree murder charges could carry penalties as long as life in Philadelphia prison. Call our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys for help right away.
Protecting Your Rights with Northeast Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyers
All criminal defendants have certain legal rights that must be protected at all costs. Unfortunately, the only person looking out for your rights during the criminal justice process is usually yourself and your attorney. Prosecutors, law enforcement, and even courts have been known to trample defendants’ rights in the name of “justice.” Our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys know that justice at the expense of your rights is not justice at all.
You have numerous rights at various stages of the criminal justice process. Even when you are initially arrested, you have rights that the police must respect or risk undermining their case against you. You may also have rights at pre-trial and post-trial stages that are critical to your best interests.
Some rights are more universally known, like your rights to a trial, a jury, and bail. However, other rights are more obscure, like the right to testify at certain hearings or rights involved with the appeal process. Our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys can help you assert all your rights.
How Our Northeast Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help Your Case
Our legal team has the skills, experience, and knowledge to provide you with the best representation possible throughout your criminal proceedings. We can help you challenge the charges against you on multiple fronts. We can fight the charges at a trial, negotiate a plea agreement, or argue for a reduced sentence if you are ultimately convicted.
Going to trial is about more than simply fighting for an acquittal. Having criminal charges dropped or getting a verdict of not guilty may be unrealistic in some cases. Under those circumstances, we find different approaches to protect your rights and best interests. This may mean negotiating with prosecutors to reduce your charges, so your penalty is lighter even though you plead guilty.
Our team can also help you after your trial is over. Many convicted defendants appeal their convictions to a higher court. Our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys can help you challenge your conviction and hopefully get a second chance at a new trial.
Call Our Northeast Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you are charged with any criminal offenses, hiring an attorney is one of the first decisions you should make. Our Northeast Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers are prepared to help you at every phase of your trial and proceedings. Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 to schedule a free legal consultation.