If you are a citizen of the United States of America, you have certain inalienable rights. One of those is the right to a fair trial if you are facing a criminal charge. Plenty of people accused of crimes simply plead guilty in order to go around the hassle of dealing with the expenses of a defense counsel and the publicity of a trial in court. There is a much better and simpler way, however, to protect yourself. At the Fishman Firm, your rights are of the utmost importance. It takes a quality and professional defense attorney to help you fight for the best outcome.
What are the Consequences of a Criminal Charge in Pennsylvania?
Without a defense counsel, you may struggle to fight the charges against you. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you may believe that the ramifications are not as serious as if you had been charged with a felony. Any conviction of a criminal offense, however, can have lasting consequences.
- Fines: You could pay for your criminal act and court costs accrued whether you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony. The cost usually ranges, depending on the severity of your conviction.
- Jail Time: A misdemeanor conviction can result in imprisonment for up to one year, while a felony could result in imprisonment for more than one year.
- Criminal Record: Any conviction of a violation or crime will result in the defendant having a criminal record. This record is permanent and can be brought up in court in future cases regarding the defendant’s character.
- College Admissions: Colleges may deny the application of a convicted criminal offender.
- Housing Rejections: A landlord may learn of a criminal conviction and refuse residency because of it.
- Licenses: An offender’s driving license may be suspended or revoked. Additionally, any professional licenses have the potential to be suspended, revoked, or not renewed if a practitioner is convicted of a criminal charge.
- Social Consequences: Criminal convictions tend to be rather public. A conviction can negatively affect romantic, friendly, and familial relationships for an extended period of time.
- Immigration: A criminal conviction can call into question the legality of an immigrant’s citizenship. If the immigrant is proven to have legal citizenship, serious charges could cause removal proceedings to come into play.
A criminal conviction, no matter how severe, is difficult to walk away from. Studies show that over 600 consumer reporting agencies in the United States carry out criminal background checks. It is therefore important that you know and exercise your rights in order to free your plans for the future.
Your Rights to Defense Counsel in Pennsylvania
Don’t let your fear of the courts get in your own way. The cost of paying for a trial can be far less than the cost of spending a lifetime with a criminal charge on your record. If you seek counsel, your rights can protect you from being wrongly convicted or can lessen the severity of your conviction. The State needs to prove the allegations against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is enough evidence against you, your attorney can work to minimize the impact of your conviction. This can result in expungement of your record after a specified amount of time, or even in your enrollment in a diversion program in lieu of an official record being instated. Your attorney may also help you devise a plea agreement, wherein you may suggest alternatives to jail time or receiving a criminal record, such as court-sponsored rehabilitation. While a criminal conviction is serious, it is not the end of the world. The success of your future requires you to hire a good lawyer.
What Should I Look for in a Lawyer?
Philadelphia attorney Brian M. Fishman is experienced in both prosecution and defense when it comes to criminal law. It is this versatility that will benefit you in the end. By hiring a defense counsel that knows the laws backwards and forwards, you have a good chance of finding the strategy and defense that is right for you and your unique situation. Objectivity is the best asset to a lawyer, and having hands-on experience with both sides of a law can be the most useful and effective defense.
You will want to find a lawyer that is in good standing with the Bar, who has been approved by the state to practice law where you live. This will ensure your attorney is familiar with the law’s nuances, so you will not be wrongly accused of a crime.
It is your responsibility to be completely honest with your attorney about your situation, especially when it concerns information you think may harm your case. It is their job to protect you, so there can be trust between you. Knowing exactly what you’re dealing with is the best way they can defend your case.
Be careful about talking to law enforcement without proper representation. Given the severe and enduring consequences of a criminal conviction, you need an experienced defense counsel to review your case and the allegations against you. “Whether you’re a college student charged with possession of drugs, a local resident arrested for DUI, an individual arrested for sexual assault, or a convicted felon charged with firearm charges or possession with intent to deliver,” contact the office of Brian M. Fishman for a free consultation. By calling today, you can work to save your tomorrow.