If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense in Pittsburgh, you’re probably concerned about the consequences it will have on your life. Unfortunately, innocent people are accused of crimes every day. People from all walks of life may have to deal with the Pennsylvania criminal justice system at some point. If you’re convicted of a criminal offense, you could lose your freedom and have to serve a jail sentence. You may need to pay severe fines and deal with a criminal record, affecting your employment and housing options. Finding the right criminal defense lawyer in Pittsburgh is essential to protecting your freedom.
You Need a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer on Your Side
At Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace, we have significant courtroom experience and know-how to negotiate aggressively with prosecutors to achieve the best outcome possible for our clients. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how our Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys can represent you.
Our Areas of Criminal Defense Practice
Finding the right criminal defense lawyer to represent you is essential. Even if you’ve been charged with a motor vehicle offense, you could face a suspension of your driving privileges, affecting your employment. Your attorney should have significant courtroom experience and a history of successfully representing clients facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania. The experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers at Jones Gregg Creehan Gerace have successfully represented clients in nearly every type of criminal case, including, but not limited to:
- Traffic offenses
- Fraud and identity theft
- Driver’s license suspension issues, including PennDOT appeals
- Domestic violence and domestic abuse
- Drug possession and drug paraphernalia possession
- Drug possession with the intent to deliver drugs
- Drug delivery
- Parole and probation violations, including Gagnon hearings
- Driving under the influence
- Homicide by DUI
- White-collar crimes
- Underage drinking
- Sexual assault
- Internet-based crimes
- Federal crimes
What To Do If You’re Arrested for a Crime in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Remember that anything you say to the police officers who arrested you can be used against you in court. Being arrested is disorienting, and it can be hard to remember that you shouldn’t say anything to the police before discussing your case with a criminal defense lawyer. We’ve seen cases in which innocent people unintentionally confess to crimes they haven’t committed due to pressure placed on them by police officers and prosecutors. Do not speak to the police without your lawyer present. As soon as you receive your phone call, we recommend calling our law firm.
One of our criminal defense lawyers will advise you and may be able to negotiate a plea deal before you even talk to the police. If you go into a meeting with the police without an attorney, you’re missing an opportunity to use the leverage you have to your benefit. You may be able to work out a deal for cooperating with the police. You want to keep all of your legal options open by working with us to develop a legal defense strategy.
Legal Defenses to Criminal Charges in Pennsylvania
There are many legal defenses available to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania residents charged with crimes. The unique facts and circumstances in your case will help your lawyer determine which types of defense arguments to use in your case. Suppose police officers gathered evidence against you without having enough probable cause for a warrant. When police officers violate a suspect’s right against unreasonable searches and seizures, they can file a motion to suppress the evidence that police officers obtained.
Similarly, when police officers do not give suspects the proper Miranda warnings before asking them questions while in custody, the defendants can file a motion to suppress any evidence gathered. Prosecutors must prove every element of the crime with which you’re charged beyond a reasonable doubt. When prosecutors don’t have enough evidence to support their charges, the court cannot convict you. Our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers are skilled at exploiting the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you.
The Difference Between Felony and Misdemeanor Charges
Typically felony charges carry a prison sentence of at least one year. Felony charges also have a more significant offense gravity score and prior record score than a misdemeanor charge. When you’re convicted of a felony, it’s more likely to affect your ability to find work or obtain a security clearance. Having a felony on your record could also prevent you from holding specific professional licenses, such as an attorney, doctor, or insurance agent. If you’ve been charged with a felony, it’s crucial that you discuss your case with a lawyer. Your lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain and get your charges reduced to a misdemeanor.
Pennsylvania’s ARD Program
The District Attorney’s office in each county manages the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. This program allows people who have been charged with a crime to:
- participate in a probation period instead of serving a jail sentence
- pay costs and, in some cases, a fine
- have their criminal charges dropped
- have the arrest expunged from their record
Some Pennsylvania counties have stringent requirements for getting into the ARD program. If you are eligible for this program, you don’t want to unintentionally make a mistake that will hurt your chances of being accepted. When you complete the process correctly, you will avoid having a criminal record if you don’t have any other convictions. Working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer will increase your chances of being accepted into this program.
Discuss Your Case With an Aggressive Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime in Pittsburgh, it’s crucial that you contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Before you sign a plea bargain agreement or speak to the prosecution, we recommend discussing your case with one of our skilled criminal defense lawyers. Contact our Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers today to learn how we can help protect your rights and advocate for the best outcome possible in your case.