Criminal convictions can be life-changing, and can include incarceration, hefty fines, loss of employment, license suspension and a lifelong criminal record. Choosing the right attorney to represent you in court for your criminal case may be one of the most important decisions you may ever make.Assault and Domestic Assault Cases
Assault cases, both misdemeanor Simple Assault and felony Aggravated Assault are cases taken very seriously by police, especially in cases involving Domestic Violence. If the police are called to a Domestic Violence situation, they have very little discretion and must arrest the person accused. Typically, the accused is immediately taken before a judge for Arraignment and is taken to the county prison if bail cannot be immediately paid. The individual can also be excluded from his home as a condition of bail.Drug Offenses
Violations of the Narcotics Law can range from very minor Misdemeanors for crimes such as Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana for Personal Use, to serious Felonies which call for substantial jail time for crimes such as Delivery of a Controlled Substance or for Prescription Fraud. Penalties can include a fine, probation, incarceration and license suspension if convicted of a Narcotics offense. There may be suppression issues where the case can be dismissed if a judge finds the officer conducted an unconstitutional search and seizure. If a vehicle stop was made without Probable Cause, or if a search was unlawfully conducted, the evidence would be “thrown out” of court and the case dismissed.DUI
Pennsylvania has one of the strictest DUI laws in the entire country and has Mandatory Sentencing provisions if you are convicted of DUI. If you are found guilty and your Blood level is greater than .10%, then you a facing mandatory jail time that ranges from 2 days in jail for a low level first offense to one year or more for a 3rd or subsequent offense. A mandatory license suspension of at least 12 months will also be ordered. However, if you have no prior record, you may be eligible for a program for first-time offenders know as ARD where the charges eventually get dismissed after certain conditions are completed.Sex Offenses
Sex offenses consist of a very broad category ranging from viewing Child Pornography to Rape. A conviction for a sex offense in Pennsylvania has life-changing consequences including at least a 10 year registration under the Sexual Offense Registration Law known as Megan’s List, which is available to the public. If you are accused of a Sex Offense it is best to retain an attorney immediately and do not talk to the police without an attorney present.Retail Theft (Shoplifting)
Retail Theft is a very common crime in Pennsylvania and is also known as Shoplifting. The severity of the offense is based on prior record for retail theft and the value of the property stolen. The penalty ranges from a non-criminal fine for a first offense with the value of the merchandise under $150, to a Felony of the 3rd degree for a 3rd or greater conviction for Retail Theft.Theft Offenses
There are several theft offenses on the books in Pennsylvania including Theft by Unlawful Taking, Theft by Deception and Receiving Stolen Property, to name a few. These offenses range from a minor Misdemeanor of the 3rd degree for very minor thefts to a Felony of the 3rd degree for thefts involving property with a value over $2,000. In all theft cases, the Commonwealth must prove that property was taken without the owner’s consent and that it was the intent of the accused to keep the property.Traffic Offenses - “Points Reduced on Your Moving Violation or Your Money Back”
Points on your license from traffic tickets can lead to higher insurance rates and possible license suspension. We may even be able to appear in traffic court on your behalf so you may not even have to attend court to get your points reduced.Speeding Offenses
Points for speeding are dependent on the speed and can range from 0 points for speeds under 5 mph over the limit, to 5 points plus a license suspension hearing for speeds greater than 31mph over the limit. If we are unable to reduce your points on your speeding ticket we offer a full refund of your fee.Expungement
If you are convicted of a crime in Pennsylvania, expungement (the destruction of all records involving the case and the arrest) is only available in limited circumstances. If a judge orders expungement, then the entire case is destroyed, including your rap sheet, mug shot, fingerprints and paper file.Consult With an Experienced, Local Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible
No matter the charge, from a minor traffic offense to more serious crimes or DUI, you should immediately speak with an experienced local defense attorney. The sooner you retain and attorney the better, so your attorney can start his investigation and preparation of your defense. If you have been arrested, do not speak with the police without having a lawyer by your side to protect your rights.
The experienced attorneys at Ellis B. Klein & Associates are always available to assist for any type of legal matter in Pennsylvania. Call us at (800) 536-0501 or contact us online to schedule a fee consultation. I gladly talk to clients over the phone, or in person if you prefer and I would be happy to answer all of your questions about your case. Call us now!