Best Philadelphia Criminal Lawyers
Philadelphia Criminal Lawyers: Your Guide to the City’s Top Defense Attorneys
If you‘ve been charged with a crime in Philadelphia, finding the right criminal defense lawyer should be your top priority. The stakes are high, and having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. This article provides an overview of criminal law in Philly and tips on how to choose the best criminal lawyer to defend your rights.
An Introduction to Criminal Law in Philadelphia
Philadelphia has its fair share of crime like any other major city. Everything from petty theft to violent felonies are prosecuted in Philly’s criminal justice system. The district attorney acts as prosecutor, bringing charges against individuals suspected of committing crimes. As a defendant, you’ll need a criminal defense lawyer to advocate for you, argue to get charges reduced or dismissed, and make sure you receive fair treatment under the law.Some of the most common criminal charges in Philly include:
- Drug offenses like possession, distribution, trafficking
- Theft, robbery, burglary
- Assault, domestic violence, battery
- Weapons charges – illegal possession, carrying without a permit
- DUI and traffic offenses
- Sex crimes
- Fraud, embezzlement, identity theft
The penalties for a conviction can be severe depending on the crime and your criminal history. Jail time, heavy fines, probation, and restitution are all possible sentences. Even misdemeanors can carry up to a year of jail time in PA. Felonies are more serious crimes punishable by over a year in state or federal prison.Having an experienced Philly criminal lawyer in your corner can help you avoid these consequences and protect your future. Let’s look at how to pick the best attorney for your situation.
Choosing the Right Criminal Lawyer in Philadelphia
Finding a criminal lawyer you can trust shouldn’t just come down to who has the flashiest advertising. Here are some tips on choosing the best attorney to defend your case:
Look for Experience Handling Your Type of Criminal Charge
One of the top things to look for is a lawyer who focuses specifically on defending cases like yours. For example, if you were charged with a white collar crime like embezzlement, you don’t want a lawyer who mainly handles DUIs and traffic tickets. Find someone who knows the ins and outs of your particular criminal statute and the case law precedents that could help get your charges dismissed or reduced.
Consider Their Track Record of Results
The ideal criminal lawyer will have a proven history of achieving positive outcomes for their clients facing similar criminal allegations. Do some research before retaining any attorney to see if they have a track record of getting charges dropped, securing not guilty verdicts, or negotiating favorable plea deals. Don‘t be afraid to ask about their win/loss rate.
Look for Strong Negotiation Skills
Many criminal cases end up being resolved through plea bargaining negotiations rather than going to trial. You want an attorney who knows how to strategically negotiate with prosecutors to get you the best possible deal. They should know what leverage to use and when to hold out for a better offer if the initial ones are unacceptable.
Find Someone Who Will Fight Aggressively in Court
On the other hand, you also want a lawyer who isn’t afraid to take your case to trial and fight aggressively for an acquittal if the plea deals are unfavorable. Look for someone with strong litigation skills who knows how to argue before judges and attack the prosecution’s case through motions and cross-examination. Their reputation in the courtroom can make a big difference.
Consider Their Relationships with Judges and Prosecutors
It also helps if the lawyer has good working relationships with the judges and prosecutors in the jurisdiction. Philadelphia‘s criminal law community is relatively small. An attorney who has built up trust and respect with court staff and the DA’s office over many years of practice may have an easier time interacting and negotiating deals.
Look for Strong Client Communication Skills
You want a criminal lawyer who will listen and clearly communicate with you every step of the way. Look for someone who takes time to answer all your questions, explains the process in an understandable way, and keeps you informed through phone calls, emails, and meetings. The right attorney will make you feel comfortable and involved.
Don’t Just Rely on Advertisements
Flashy TV commercials and billboards don‘t necessarily reflect legal skill. The best criminal defense lawyers get clients through word-of-mouth referrals rather than advertising. Ask friends, family, and other lawyers for recommendations of criminal attorneys with strong reputations.
Meet for a Free Consultation
Schedule a free case evaluation meeting with any lawyer you‘re considering. This lets you assess them in person, get answers to your most pressing legal questions, and see if your personalities mesh. Make sure you feel comfortable putting your future in their hands.