A basic right for everyone is the fair process when determining innocence or guilt when accused of a crime. Even if the Commonwealth has a strong case against you, in some circumstances, agreements can be reached. We will ensure all your rights are protected while exploring all the options for dismissing charges. We represent clients in cases involving many offenses, including but not limited to:
DUI, drug, and other related offenses
Assault and other physical offenses
Pennsylvania's criminal process has several steps. This may seem intimidating and lengthy; however, it is a good thing because there are several checks and balances throughout the process so that your case is handled fairly under the Constitution. As a very general description, you can expect the following process:
The first step in the process is the Preliminary Arraignment. This is an appearance, usually before a magistrate, where the criminal history, work-life, and community life of the Defendant is reviewed to determine the amount of bail that should be set if any. Once that is determined, the date for the Preliminary Hearing is also set.
Preliminary Hearings are extremely important in the criminal process. This is the second step and provides an opportunity to negotiate the charges with the prosecution in an attempt to lower or remove them. This hearing is also before a magistrate.
If no agreements can be reached at this point, the prosecution must proceed to show there is enough evidence to show that the Defendant committed the alleged crime(s). It is our job at this point to argue on behalf of the Defendant that any evidence is not sufficient enough to prove the charges and that the case should not proceed to trial. If successful, some or all of the charges can be dismissed by the judge, or withdrawn by the prosecution.
Third, in the process is the formal Arraignment Hearing. This hearing occurs if the magistrate decides during the preliminary hearing that the prosecution has produced enough evidence to proceed to a trial. Here, in a Court of Common Pleas, the Defendant enters his or her plea of guilty or not guilty and a date will be set for trial.
For all intents and purposes, the Trial and Sentencing hearings are the last stepsin the process. At trial, we will utilize our expertise in selecting juries, examining the evidence, and presenting arguments in order to give our Defendants the best outcome possible given the circumstances of the case. Our goal is to receive a "not guilty" verdict or the fairest sentencing possible.
We can also aid in getting certain offenses expunged from your record once a case is concluded.
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You can call (412) 448-2326 or complete the form below. There is no obligation to retain our services, but we need to properly assess your case. We will respond to your inquiry within 24 business hours.
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