No matter the alleged offense, being charged with a crime in Westmoreland County is an unnerving experience. Most people who are arrested are terrified; their future is uncertain, and they feel helpless and out of control. A criminal conviction, even for minor offenses, is a life-altering event that affects not just your freedom and liberty, but also your family relationships, your finances, and your reputation. Contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the nuances of criminal law and has the ability to provide an aggressive and knowledgeable defense is paramount to achieving a good outcome in your case.
In the criminal justice system, offenses are ranked by their severity and classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies but being accused of either is cause for alarm. Both can carry jail time, large fines, and the potential for creating a criminal record that follows you for years or even for the rest of your life.
When you are arrested for a crime, you have rights. Among the most important is the right to speak to an attorney before giving any information to the investigating officers. Everything that you say to the police and prosecutors in your case can be held against you, so it is always advisable to have your own counsel present during questioning and to never give a statement prior to consulting with your attorney.
Our Westmoreland County criminal attorney has a wide-reaching background with experience in representing clients charged with a myriad of crimes. Whether you’re accused of DUI/DWI, drug charges, terroristic threatening, assault, theft, shoplifting, property crimes or something else, having someone in your corner who knows the law and has a history of helping others in your situation is important to overcoming the challenges that lie ahead.
Your life likely feels like it is up in the air right now, and you may be confused as to what to do next. Your attorney can help guide you through the complicated legal system in Pennsylvania, helping you decide how to plead (guilty, not-guilty, no-contest) and appear with you at the various hearings you may be required to attend, including your preliminary hearing, arraignment, pre-trial hearing and trial. In addition, your attorney serves as a negotiator and liaison between you and the prosecution during the process, ensuring that your legal interests are presided over by someone who is on your side.
Fighting the charges against you, no matter how minor, is important for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is avoiding a criminal record that can result in a range of difficulties moving forward post-conviction. Employers doing criminal background checks may be less inclined to hire you, and colleges may be less inclined to admit you as a student. Even renting an apartment with a conviction in your history can be difficult.