Best Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyers

Crime and Justice in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is like most big cities – we’ve got our fair share of crime. Violent crime has dropped a lot since the 1990s, but Pittsburgh still sees thousands of arrests every year for stuff ranging from petty theft to murder. If you’re accused of a crime here, it’s crucial to understand the legal landscape and how to navigate it.Defense lawyers in Pittsburgh see all kinds of criminal cases. Some of the most common are assault, robbery, burglary, theft, fraud, drug possession and trafficking, DUI, domestic violence, sex crimes, and homicide. Each case is unique, but good criminal defense attorneys use proven strategies to build the strongest possible defense.

Violent Crimes in Pittsburgh

Assault charges in Pittsburgh range from simple assault for minor fights to aggravated assault for violent attacks causing serious injury. Assault with a deadly weapon – like a gun, knife, or bat – brings even harsher penalties. Robbery, which is theft by force or threat, is another violent crime with steep sentences. Burglary – illegally entering a building to commit a crime inside – often overlaps with assault and robbery too. Pittsburgh defense lawyers are experts at poking holes in the prosecution’s evidence in violent crime cases and developing alternative narratives to raise reasonable doubt.

Theft and Fraud Crimes

From shoplifting to complex white collar embezzlement schemes, theft charges are common in the Steel City. Theft crimes range from summary offenses with light penalties to first-degree felony charges with years in prison. The value stolen and other factors determine the offense level and sentence length. Pittsburgh criminal attorneys often negotiate reduced charges for minor thefts or develop creative legal arguments to avoid convictions for high-stakes fraud or embezzlement.

Drug Crimes in the City

Pittsburgh has plenty of illegal drugs, like most cities. Marijuana possession charges are still common despite decriminalization efforts. Cocaine, heroin, meth, and prescription meds also frequently lead to charges. Making and selling controlled substances brings even harsher mandatory minimum sentences. Skilled Pittsburgh drug crime lawyers know how to challenge questionable searches, test drug evidence, and use PA’s drug courts to avoid convictions and jail time.

DUI Defense

Driving under the influence leads to thousands of DUI arrests in Pittsburgh every year. Even first-time DUI is a misdemeanor, while repeats are felonies. Experienced DUI attorneys attack every aspect of the prosecution’s case – from the initial stop and field sobriety tests to breathalyzer results and blood tests. Solid legal defenses often lead to reduced charges or avoiding DUI convictions completely.

Domestic Violence

Family fights and bad breakups often end in domestic violence charges here. Prosecutors aggressively pursue these cases, even with relatively minor injuries. Good criminal lawyers work to get charges reduced or dismissed by questioning alleged victims’ claims and exposing exaggerations and inconsistencies in their stories.

Sex Crime Allegations

Accusations of rape, assault, molestation and other sex crimes can destroy someone’s life, even without charges being filed. These allegations alone ruin reputations, relationships and careers. Aggressive defense from the start is critical. Pittsburgh sex crime lawyers fully investigate accusers’ backgrounds and motives, utilize forensic computer and DNA experts, and assemble a powerful defense to prevent wrongful convictions.

Homicide Charges

No crime has harsher penalties than homicide. In Pennsylvania, first and second-degree murder convictions can mean life without parole or even the death penalty. Proving self-defense or the defendant’s mental state at the time can make the difference between full acquittal and murder conviction. Pittsburgh homicide attorneys work closely with forensic experts to recreate crime scenes and build the strongest possible defense.

Finding the Right Lawyer

Facing criminal charges is scary, but an experienced Pittsburgh defense attorney on your side can relieve a lot of stress. Their familiarity with local prosecutors and judges, expertise in PA criminal law, and courtroom experience provide huge advantages. A skilled Pittsburgh criminal lawyer understands the complexities of the city’s justice system inside and out and uses that insider knowledge to protect client rights.It’s important to get a lawyer immediately if charged with a crime in Pittsburgh. An attorney can intervene right away at arrest, minimize bail, and start building a defense. Waiting only allows prosecutors to solidify their case against you. Hiring an expert Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney early on can make all the difference in avoiding charges or getting a good resolution.Don’t leave your future in the hands of overburdened public defenders. Their crushing caseloads make robust, tailored defenses impossible. Hiring experienced private counsel is an investment that pays off through reduced charges, less jail time, and avoided convictions. The justice system is complex, but the right lawyer levels the playing field and protects your rights.

Notable Pittsburgh Criminal Cases

Some of Pittsburgh’s most notorious and complex criminal cases include: