No one is above the law, and anyone can be charged with a criminal offense. If you or someone you know has been charged, you should contact a lawyer for help immediately.
It is crucial to contact an attorney for help after you have been charged with a crime because legal proceedings begin very quickly. You might have time to prepare for a trial later down the line, but various important pretrial hearings will begin almost right away. It is never too soon to call a lawyer, and you should do so immediately. You should call a lawyer even if you have not been charged but believe you are under a criminal investigation. The potential penalties are staggering, and many convicted defendants spend years behind bars. Our legal team can help you develop defense strategies and tactics to fight your charges.
Being criminally charged is a scary experience, and many defendants are unsure of what to do. Call our Lower Merion criminal defense lawyers for help immediately. Call Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane at (215) 372-8667 for a free case evaluation.
Court Proceedings in Lower Merion Criminal Cases
Hiring a criminal defense attorney after you are charged is important for various reasons. Not only must you begin preparation for a trial, but numerous pretrial hearings must also be dealt with. These pretrial hearings are extremely important as they can set the tone for your trial. Our Lower Merion criminal defense attorneys can help you handle all hearings involved in your case.
One very important hearing we must navigate is your bail hearing. While defendants are generally granted pretrial release, various strings and conditions are attached. In many cases, defendants must pay a certain sum of money towards their bail to be released. On top of that, they must abide by specific conditions imposed by the court, including abiding by a curfew, holding down a job, and staying away from the alleged victim. An attorney can help you argue for the least restrictive bail possible.
Another important pretrial hearing is the arraignment. At this hearing, defendants are formally and officially informed of the charges against them. They are also allowed to enter a plea. At this point, our team can help you work out a plea agreement with prosecutors, so you can plead guilty to reduced charges and get a lesser punishment. Alternatively, we can enter a not guilty plea and prepare for a trial.
After numerous pretrial hearings and meetings, we will finally have a trial. Trials can last from a few days to a few weeks or even longer, depending on the circumstances. Trials are also rife with procedural complexities, and you need a skilled lawyer by your side to see you through to the end.
When is a Good Time to Call a Lawyer in a Lower Merion Criminal Case?
The criminal justice process can feel overwhelming. Some people play it safe and wait to be told when they should contact a lawyer. Unfortunately, the other parties involved in the criminal justice process are not looking out for the defendant’s best interests, and nobody might step up to help. You should be your own advocate and demand an attorney as soon as possible, preferably shortly after arrest.
After being arrested, you should, at some point, be permitted by law enforcement to contact a lawyer or have one provided to you. You should use this opportunity to contact our Lower Merion criminal defense attorneys for help.
Alternatively, the police might not inform you of your right to have a lawyer until they want to interrogate you about your alleged offense. At this point, you absolutely need to invoke your rights to stay silent and demand a lawyer.
Many defendants do not realize they could have hired a lawyer much sooner. In some cases, defendants are aware that they are under criminal investigation, or they have been questioned by the police already. If you suspect an arrest and charges are forthcoming, you need to contact a lawyer immediately.
Potential Penalties for Criminal Charges in Lower Merion
The penalties for criminal charges are nothing to smirk at. Convicted defendants may face months, years, or decades in prison. You need to discuss your charges with a lawyer to figure out exactly what kind of penalties are on the line. Talk to our Lower Merion criminal defense lawyers about your charges as soon as possible.
The penalties for misdemeanors are found under 18 Pa.C.S. § 1104 and divide misdemeanors into 3 categories. The least severe category, third-degree misdemeanors, may be punished by up to 1 year in jail. Second-degree misdemeanors may be met with up to 2 years in jail. The most serious category, first-degree misdemeanors, can be punished by up to 5 years in jail.
Felonies are more severe than misdemeanors and may be met with much stricter punishments. According to 18 Pa.C.S. § 1103, third-degree felonies may be punished by up to 7 years in prison. Defendants convicted of second-degree felonies can be sentenced to a prison term of up to 10 years. The most serious charges a person might face, first-degree felonies, may be punished by up to 20 years in prison.
Defense Strategies a Lower Merion Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You With
Our Lower Merion criminal defense attorneys can use various defense strategies to help you fight your charges. We can thoroughly review your case to determine what methods are likely to be the most effective. One important method worth exploring is challenging evidence through pretrial motions.
We can challenge evidence if we believe it was seized in violation of your rights. When conducting a search and seizure, the police must have a warrant or at least a valid exception to the warrant rule. If they do not, any evidence they seized is tainted and should be suppressed. We can also move to suppress irrelevant, overly prejudicial, or otherwise inadmissible evidence.
We can also challenge witnesses who take the stand against you. Even though witnesses are under oath, they are not always honest. If we think a witness is being untruthful or has a reason to lie, we can challenge them on cross-examination and make sure the jury knows not to trust them.
Contact Our Lower Merion Criminal Defense Lawyers for Help Now
If you or someone close to you is facing criminal charges, call our Lower Merion criminal defense attorneys for help now. For a free case review to get started, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane at (215) 372-8667.