24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Best Philadelphia Criminal Lawyers

What to Look for in a Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Philadelphia, finding the right criminal defense lawyer is crucial. A skilled attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. But with so many lawyers to choose from, how do you know which one is the best fit for you?Here are some key things to look for when selecting a Philadelphia criminal lawyer:

  1. Experience handling cases similar to yours. You want an attorney who has successfully defended clients facing the same types of charges as you. Ask potential lawyers about their track record with cases like yours. How many have they handled? What were the outcomes?
  2. In-depth knowledge of Pennsylvania criminal law and procedure. The criminal justice system is complex, with many nuances that vary by jurisdiction. Look for a lawyer who thoroughly understands the relevant statutes, case law, and local court rules in Philadelphia. They should be well-versed in all stages of the process, from arrest through trial and appeal if necessary.
  3. Excellent communication skills. Your lawyer needs to be able to explain legal concepts and case developments to you in plain language. They should keep you informed at every step and promptly respond to your questions. At the same time, they must be a strong oral advocate who can make persuasive arguments in court.
  4. Accessibility and responsiveness. Facing criminal charges is stressful. You need a lawyer who will be there for you when you need them. Find out how quickly they typically respond to calls and emails. Will you be working with them directly or with a less experienced associate? Make sure you feel confident in their ability to give your case the time and attention it deserves.
  5. Positive reviews from former clients. One of the best ways to gauge a lawyer’s skills is to see what past clients have to say. Look for reviews on the attorney’s website, Google, and legal directories like Avvo. Pay attention to comments about the lawyer’s expertise, communication, and dedication to their clients.
  6. Reasonable fees. While you don’t want to skimp on your legal defense, you also need to find a lawyer whose fees fit your budget. Most criminal defense attorneys charge by the hour, with rates that can vary widely based on their experience and the complexity of the case. Some may offer flat fee arrangements for certain matters. Always get a clear, written fee agreement before hiring a lawyer.

The Role of a Criminal Defense Lawyer

So what exactly does a criminal defense lawyer do? In a nutshell, their job is to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case. This involves:

  • Investigating the charges against you. Your lawyer will thoroughly review all the evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and any physical or forensic evidence. They may hire investigators or experts to help uncover information that supports your defense.
  • Identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Is the evidence against you weak or circumstantial? Were there any problems with the way it was collected or handled? Did the police violate your constitutional rights during the arrest or interrogation? Your lawyer will look for any holes in the case that can be used to your advantage.
  • Negotiating with prosecutors. In many cases, it may be in your best interest to negotiate a plea bargain rather than go to trial. Your lawyer will discuss potential deals with the prosecutor to reduce your charges or sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. A skilled negotiator may be able to get a favorable deal that minimizes the consequences of a conviction.
  • Developing a strong defense strategy. If your case does go to trial, your lawyer will craft a compelling defense based on the facts and law. This may involve challenging the admissibility of certain evidence, presenting alibi witnesses, or arguing that you lacked the necessary intent to commit the crime. The specific strategy will depend on the unique circumstances of your case.
  • Advocating for you in court. Your lawyer will be your voice in all court proceedings, from pretrial hearings through the trial itself. They will make arguments on your behalf, cross-examine prosecution witnesses, and object to improper questions or evidence. If you are convicted, they will present mitigating evidence and arguments at your sentencing to pursue the least severe punishment possible.

Throughout the process, your criminal defense lawyer will be your guide and advocate. They will explain your options, give you candid advice, and fight vigorously to protect your freedom and future.

Common Criminal Charges in Philadelphia

Philadelphia criminal lawyers handle a wide range of cases, from minor misdemeanors to serious felonies. Some of the most common charges they defend against include:

  • Drug crimes, such as possession, distribution, or trafficking of controlled substances like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or prescription drugs. Penalties range from probation to lengthy prison sentences, depending on the type and amount of drug involved.
  • DUI, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A first offense is typically a misdemeanor, but repeat offenses or cases involving high blood alcohol content or accidents can be charged as felonies. Consequences may include jail time, fines, license suspension, and mandatory substance abuse treatment.
  • Theft crimes, including shoplifting, burglary, robbery, and auto theft. The severity of the charges depends on factors like the value of the stolen property, whether a weapon was used, and the defendant’s criminal history. Punishments can include restitution, probation, and imprisonment.
  • Assault and battery, which involve causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another person. Simple assault is a misdemeanor, while aggravated assault (causing severe injury or using a deadly weapon) is a felony. Domestic violence cases are prosecuted especially harshly.
  • Sex crimes, such as rape, sexual assault, child molestation, and possession of child pornography. These are among the most serious offenses, often carrying lengthy prison terms and lifetime sex offender registration requirements.
  • Homicide, including murder, manslaughter, and vehicular homicide. These cases are complex and high-stakes, requiring extensive investigation and skilled legal representation. Life in prison or even the death penalty may be on the table.
  • White collar crimes, such as fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, and insider trading. These offenses often involve sophisticated schemes and large amounts of money. Penalties can include hefty fines and significant prison time, especially in federal cases.
  • Juvenile crimes, which are handled in a separate court system focused more on rehabilitation than punishment. Common juvenile offenses include vandalism, shoplifting, drug possession, and underage drinking. An experienced juvenile defense lawyer can help minimize the long-term consequences of a youthful mistake.

No matter what charges you’re facing, it’s important to take them seriously and seek legal help right away. An experienced Philadelphia criminal lawyer can assess your case, explain your options, and start building your defense strategy.

Choosing the Right Criminal Defense Strategy

Every criminal case is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all defense strategy. Your lawyer will tailor their approach based on the specific facts and legal issues involved. However, some common defense strategies in criminal cases include:

  1. Challenging probable cause. The police must have probable cause (a reasonable belief that you committed a crime) to arrest you or search your property. If they lacked probable cause, your lawyer may be able to get evidence suppressed or charges dismissed.
  2. Questioning witness credibility. If the case against you hinges on eyewitness testimony, your lawyer will investigate the witness’s background and look for inconsistencies or biases in their statements. They may be able to cast doubt on the witness’s reliability.
  3. Presenting alibi evidence. If you have evidence that you were somewhere else when the crime occurred, your lawyer will work to corroborate your alibi and present it in court.
  4. Arguing self-defense or defense of others. If you used force against someone to protect yourself or another person from imminent harm, you may have a valid self-defense claim. Your lawyer will gather evidence to show that your actions were justified under the circumstances.
  5. Negotiating a plea bargain. In some cases, it may be in your best interest to plead guilty in exchange for reduced charges or a lighter sentence. Your lawyer will negotiate with prosecutors to try to get you the most favorable deal possible.
  6. Going to trial. If you have a strong defense or the prosecution’s case is weak, your best option may be to take the case to trial and fight for an acquittal. Your lawyer will present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make compelling arguments to the jury on your behalf.

The right strategy for your case will depend on a careful assessment of the evidence, the severity of the charges, and your individual goals and priorities. An experienced Philadelphia criminal lawyer will help you weigh your options and make informed decisions at every stage of the process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Philadelphia Criminal Defense

Q: How much does a Philadelphia criminal lawyer cost?

A: Criminal defense lawyer fees vary widely based on factors like the lawyer’s experience, the complexity of the case, and whether the case goes to trial. Most lawyers charge an hourly rate (often $200-$500 or more per hour), while some may offer flat fee arrangements for certain types of cases. Many lawyers require a retainer (an upfront payment) before starting work on a case.It’s important to discuss fees upfront and get a written fee agreement before hiring a lawyer. While you don’t want to base your decision solely on cost, be wary of lawyers who quote fees that seem too good to be true. Skilled, experienced defense is worth investing in, but beware of lawyers who overcharge. Look for someone who offers a fair and reasonable rate for high-quality representation.

Q: What should I do if I’m arrested in Philadelphia?

A: If you’re arrested, the most important thing is to stay calm and exercise your right to remain silent. Don’t answer any questions or give any statements to the police without a lawyer present. Politely tell the officers that you are invoking your right to counsel and that you won’t be answering questions until you have an attorney with you.As soon as possible, contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer or have a family member do so on your behalf. Your lawyer can communicate with the police and start protecting your rights right away. In some cases, they may even be able to arrange for your release on bail.Remember, anything you say to the police can be used against you later on. Don’t try to explain your side of the story or talk your way out of the situation. Let your lawyer do the talking for you.

Q: How long does a criminal case take in Philadelphia?

A: The timeline for a criminal case can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the case, the severity of the charges, and the court’s schedule. A simple misdemeanor case may be resolved in a few months, while a complex felony case can take a year or more to conclude.In general, the process starts with an arraignment, where you hear the formal charges against you and enter an initial plea. This is followed by a series of pretrial conferences and hearings, where your lawyer and the prosecutor exchange evidence and argue legal issues.If a plea bargain is reached, the case will end with a guilty plea and sentencing. If the case goes to trial, it will typically take several days to a few weeks to present all the evidence and arguments to the jury. Sentencing usually happens at a separate hearing a few weeks after a guilty verdict.Your lawyer will keep you informed of the expected timeline for your specific case. While the process can feel slow, it’s important not to rush things. A thorough investigation and preparation can make a big difference in the outcome.

Q: Will I have to go to jail if I’m convicted of a crime in Philadelphia?

A: Not necessarily. While jail or prison time is a possibility for many criminal offenses, it’s not the only potential outcome. Depending on the severity of the charges, your criminal history, and other factors, your lawyer may be able to negotiate an alternative sentence like:

  • Probation (a period of court-ordered supervision)
  • House arrest or electronic monitoring
  • Community service
  • Drug or alcohol treatment
  • Fines and restitution

In some cases, your lawyer may even be able to get the charges dismissed entirely or secure an acquittal at trial. Every case is different, and the specific consequences you face will depend on your unique circumstances.That’s why it’s so important to have a skilled Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer in your corner. They can assess your case, explain your options, and fight for the best possible outcome. With an experienced advocate on your side, you can face the legal process with greater confidence and peace of mind.

Finding the Right Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer for You

Facing criminal charges is never easy, but finding the right lawyer can make all the difference. Look for an attorney with experience, skill, and a track record of success in cases like yours. Choose someone who makes you feel heard, understood, and fiercely advocated for.

Schedule Your Consultation Now