Criminal Defense in Pennsylvania
Facing criminal charges is an overwhelming prospect, even when you’re familiar with the process. If you’re facing these issues for the first time, you might find yourself especially lost. This is one reason why you should invest in an attorney. Trying to get through the trial on your own could be a serious mistake that costs you your freedom and your future. You need a legal team that understands what you’re facing and offers expert and judgement-free representation. Attorney James H. Bonner, Esquire, is ready work hard to ensure that you receive the best verdict possible in your case.
Do I need a criminal defense attorney?
In short, if you’re facing criminal charges or have reason to believe that you might be facing criminal charges in the future, you need a criminal defense attorney. It’s important to understand that criminal law is a tricky practice area with a wealth of guidelines and regulations that can make cases a handful even for experienced lawyers. Trying to move through this process on your own, without any professional help, is probably not the best idea. While there are certain areas of the law where individuals believe they can get by without an attorney, criminal law should not be one of them. Keep in mind that the stakes at play are incredibly large and could end with your life taking a very different path than the one you envisioned.
If you’re looking at criminal charges, you need a team on your side whose job is to make sure your interests, as well as your rights, are upheld. An experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to accomplish that.
When should I hire a criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania?
Some people wait to hire an attorney until well after they’re charged and have appeared in court, sometimes because they think it’s the best strategy and some people because they simply weren’t able to find one beforehand. In general, it is always better to hire an attorney early. You want to make sure that your lawyer has plenty of time to look over your case and the evidence against you to formulate the best defense possible, after all, and that’s difficult to do if you’ve already appeared in court and your trial date is approaching.
Hire an attorney as quickly as possible, in other words. Even if you have yet to be charged but are concerned that you might conceivably face charges in the future, you should reach out to an attorney for information on how to proceed. They can best protect you when they have all of the information in question and are able to anticipate the moves that law enforcement and those prosecuting you might take.
What can I expect in criminal court in Pennsylvania?
There are a few different stages you will move through if you are being charged criminally in Pennsylvania. The first is the arraignment, or preliminary hearing. This is where the prosecution submits their evidence against the accused and argues that they have enough of it to charge them. Your case can be dismissed if there is not enough evidence, otherwise the court will hold the charges and generally set bail. You then move on to the formal arraignment process, taking place between 30 and 60 days after the arraignment.
What happens from here on out depends largely upon your specific circumstances. If you are a first-time offender and the charges qualify, you might be able to take place in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. If you qualify, your charges could eventually be dropped after community service, fine payments, and “good behavior” (arrest-free) for a certain amount of time. If you don’t qualify for ARD, then you’ll likely move to either a pretrial conference or a trial date will be set.
Note that the above is an extremely simplified version of the process you might expect to go through, and in reality, there are many deadlines and details that must be taken care of. This is another reason why reaching out to an experienced attorney is almost always the best option when criminal charges are involved in any way, shape, or form.
What should I do if I’ve been charged criminally?
The first thing you should do if you’re looking at criminal charges is to speak to no one about the events in question until you secure an attorney. Many criminal defense lawyers offer consultations to look at your case and determine the best legal strategy before you officially hire them, so begin your search immediately.
If you are faced with criminal charges in Pennsylvania, attorney James H. Bonner, Esquire, has the experience and expertise needed to see your case through to the very end. Contact us today at 610.450.4555!
1210 N. Middletown Road, Glen Mills, PA 19342