Being accused of a crime is always an extremely stressful situation. Depending on the specifics and severity of the charge, you stand to lose your home, your money, your reputation, and even your freedom. You could end up imprisoned for months, years, decades, or even or life. Even comparatively minor crimes can lead to misdemeanor charges which linger on your criminal record and can prevent you from obtaining a job, a home, or even meaningful personal relationships. Moreover, felony convictions have even harsher and far-reaching repercussions.
Across the board, a criminal conviction carries extremely unpleasant consequences in both the short- and the long-term, no matter what the nature of the crime may be. That’s why the Lehigh County, PA criminal defense lawyers at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates devote our efforts to fighting for defendants and working to protect their rights through investigations and trials. For help with your case, call our law offices today to set up a free case consultation at (215) 372-8667.
How Our Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You
For these reasons, criminal charges should never be taken lightly. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the allegations against you, it is never in your best interests to attempt to represent yourself in court. Prosecuting attorneys are knowledgeable, trained experts at what they do — overwhelming defendants with rigorous lines of questioning, and ultimately, putting those defendants behind bars. But the good news is, you don’t have to face the prosecution, judge, or jury alone.
At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, we strongly believe that all of our clients — no matter what accusations they may be facing — are innocent until proven guilty. It is our philosophy that every citizen has the right to be treated with courtesy, dignity, compassion, and respect, and to be granted a fair and unbiased trial. That’s our promise as legal professionals.
But while we are always compassionate to our clients, we are highly aggressive defense litigators in the courtroom. We get favorable results for you: that’s our bottom line, period. With thousands of criminal cases under our belts, our Lehigh County, PA criminal defense attorneys are armed with decades of experience to draw upon when it comes to protecting your rights and defending your freedom. No matter how daunting or complex the details of your case may seem, our attorneys have been there before. We know the way.
Lehigh County, PA Criminal Defense Practice Areas
At Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our defense attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal charges, including misdemeanors, felonies, and juvenile offenses. We defend clients against charges related to any of the following:
- Domestic Violence
- Probation Violation
- Traffic Violations
- Sex Crimes
- White Collar Crimes
Whether your charges are minor or severe, our attorneys can represent you, challenge the evidence the prosecutors and police provide, and produce our own witnesses and evidence to challenge the case against you.
Most of the cases that are charged in Lehigh County involve minor offenses. DUI and other charges related to drunk driving are some of the most common, but even these charges can lead to severe penalties such as a suspended driver’s license, jail time, and hefty fines. We also deal with a lot of drug possession charges, ranging from minor drugs like marijuana and commonly abused prescription medications to more illicit and dangerous drugs like heroin and crystal meth.
Our attorneys also have experience defending clients in more serious criminal cases, from domestic violence to drug dealing to aggravated assault and murder. For help with your charges, contact our Lehigh County criminal defense attorneys right away.
Lawyer for Pretrial Hearings and Bail Hearings in Lehigh County
One of the most important things that our Lehigh County criminal defense lawyers can help with is the pretrial aspects of your case. In Pennsylvania, every misdemeanor and felony charge starts with a preliminary hearing where the prosecution must prove that they have probable cause to bring the charges before they are held over for the trial court at the Court of Common Pleas. During this hearing, we get our first chance to look at the evidence against you, discuss the charges with the prosecutors, and potentially arrange a plea deal. This could also be the part of your case where we help you apply for ARD or other diversionary programs or agreements that can help you get charges dropped in exchange for community service, classes, and other important education to help you avoid future criminal activity.
When you are initially arrested, you should be taken before a judge as part of an initial bail hearing. At that hearing, if the judge sets bail too high, then you might have to spend time in jail. Our lawyers can file for a bail hearing or handle the bail hearing at your preliminary hearing to request that bail be reduced or set at “ROR” (release on your own recognizance) so that you can be released. Not only is it easier to work with your attorney and build your case from outside jail, it is important to continue working, seeing your family, and exercising your freedoms while you are innocent until proven guilty. We can help you understand what level of bail is affordable and how you might be able to work with a bail bond agent to get bail covered and get released before your trial.
Fighting Evidence in a Criminal Trial in Lehigh County, PA
If you are charged with a crime in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, or any of the other towns or cities in the Lehigh Valley, you are under the protection of both the U.S. Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution, each of which contain protections for criminal defendants. There are also other evidentiary protections built into the Rules of Evidence that prevent certain dangerous or prejudicial pieces of evidence from being used against you.
Our attorneys will review the evidence against you and challenge any evidence that may have been seized illegally. It is illegal for police and other law enforcement officials to perform searches and seizures of evidence without “probable cause.” This means that the police must be able to point to some articulable facts that show that a crime was committed and that you were involved, or else the evidence they seize or the searches they perform are illegal. Evidence obtained through an illegal search or an illegal arrest cannot be used in court, and the police and prosecutors are punished by having the evidence thrown out. This “suppression” can often lead to charges becoming impossible to prove, helping the defendant win their case.
Evidence can also be challenged under the Rules of Evidence in Pennsylvania. These rules prevent certain things from being used against you as evidence if the evidence would not do much to prove what happened, but would instead prejudice the jury against you or create false or dangerous impressions. This often prevents evidence of past convictions or criminal accusations from being used against you. Additionally, statements made out of court are known as “hearsay,” and these statements are often barred from being used against you as well because of the risk that they are not true.
When a criminal defense lawyer makes motions to suppress evidence or to have it blocked under the Rules of Evidence, this can often tie the prosecutor’s hands and make it more difficult for them to win the case against you. Often, this can help lead to plea deals or may even be enough to get charges dismissed by the judge.
Common Defenses for Criminal Cases in Lehigh County, PA
Our attorneys are familiar with many different legal defenses used in criminal cases in Lehigh County and throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The following are some of the major types of defenses that we might be able to use to help in your case:
One of the most common defenses for violent crimes like assault is the claim that you acted in self-defense. Sometimes, this claim is barred, such as in cases where you are accused of assaulting a police officer or resisting arrest during a lawful arrest. In other cases, claims of self-defense are often helpful to get charges reduced, dismissed by a judge, or even dropped by a prosecutor.
For a claim of self-defense to be successful, you must be able to show that you were in immediate fear of being hurt based on the circumstances. This means that self-defense cannot be claimed if you were threatened with future possible harm, for example. You must also be able to show that the force you used was proportionate to the force used against you. This means that you typically cannot pull a gun on someone who is attacking you with their fists, but that is sometimes permitted if you were significantly smaller than your assailant or thought they had a weapon.
In many cases, the crux of the case against you relies on the government proving that you possessed something illegal, such as stolen property or illegal drugs. Your lawyer can challenge the alleged possession through a few techniques.
First, you must have knowingly possessed something to be charged with a crime for it. If the police cannot prove that you knew the item was in your bag or your car, then it is harder for them to charge you. Second, the question of whether you had access to the item is often in question. For instance, if the item was in a roommate’s safe or your girlfriend’s purse, there might be no evidence that you had permission or ability to access to that item.
Challenging DUI Sobriety Tests
One of the most common techniques used to prosecute drunk driving cases is to have the defendant perform field sobriety tests. These tests can help show the driver was indeed intoxicated, but if the instructions are not given properly or the officer was not properly trained in using field sobriety tests, how you performed on the test might be barred as unscientific or unreliable evidence. Talk to a lawyer if the field sobriety tests used in your case were questionable.
Let Our Lehigh County Criminal Lawyers Fight for Your Protection
Facing criminal charges is never easy, but with the Lehigh County, PA criminal defense attorneys at Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates by your side, you can stand assured that you’re in capable hands. Let us put our decades of experience winning cases to work for you. To arrange for a free, 100% confidential legal consultation, call our law offices today at (215) 372-8667