Facing Criminal Charges in Pennsylvania
There are a variety of different criminal charges a person can face in Pennsylvania, ranging anywhere from a traffic violation to a serious felony offense. When a person has never been charged before, they may feel nervous and confused by what is happening. A Pennsylvania criminal lawyer can stand by a person’s side and help answer questions they may have about the entire process. For more information or to discuss the specifics of your case, contact a Pennsylvania criminal lawyer today to set up a free consultation.
Common Criminal Charges
There is no such thing as a common charge that is committed in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is a diverse state made up of cities like Philadelphia, Media, Norristown, Reading, Allentown, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. In these cities, certain crimes are more prevalent because of population not because they are more common. To the thousands of small towns and municipalities that make up the majority of the middle of the state, other crimes are more prevalent.
Due to the diversity in Pennsylvania, there is no specific crime that is charged on a more frequent basis. Thus, it is important for criminal lawyer know the law for the crime that was charged, but also to know the jurisdiction and to have an understanding of how to defend the crime in that jurisdiction
Common Mistakes Made by Individuals Facing Charges
The most common mistake an individual facing a charge makes is that they do not seek the services of a criminal defense attorney from the very beginning. First and foremost, when a person is being investigated by the police or another government agency for a crime, they should always seek the advice and representation of an experienced attorney that they feel comfortable with.
It is very difficult to repair the harm done to a defense after an individual has met with authorities on their own without the proper realization of what they are doing and knowledge of what the government is looking for.
The Arrest Process
In Pennsylvania, when a person is arrested for the first time, it can be a very frightening experience especially because the person is probably unaware of the correct court procedure.
For instance, an attorney has an established relationship with local law enforcement that allows them to obtain the details of an arrest in an expedient manner. When a client is not represented by counsel, the client is left on their own to try to figure out how to obtain the necessary information. A criminal defense lawyer can help a person facing charges with bail, keeping their family informed, and any court appearances.
When a private attorney is involved from the beginning, many of the challenges a person may face, can be dealt with in a systematic way possibly even before the person is arrested. In addition, with an attorney, there is always someone on the outside who continuously monitors the client to make sure they are okay and to help their family out in all aspects of the case.
Pennsylvania’s War on Guns
In Pennsylvania, there is a state wide focus on cracking down on violations of the Uniform Firearms Act. Gun charges are at the forefront of the Pennsylvania prosecutors’ focus so much so that the Attorney General’s office has a specific unit assigned to those crimes.
There is an increased priority on charging those who have allegedly purchased, what we call the straw purchasing of firearms, and transferred firearms illegally between parties. The Philadelphia and Pittsburgh District Attorney’s office both have gun violence task forces whose sole job is to track stolen and illegal firearms. All of these cases carry mandatory sentencing if more than one firearm is involved even for those with no prior record.