Philadelphia Criminal Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges in Philadelphia, you are entitled to a vigorous defense from an experienced lawyer. Regardless of the type of charge you are facing; a seasoned Philadelphia criminal lawyer may be able to help you navigate the criminal justice system and obtain a favorable result. Call today.

Common Criminal Charges

The variety of criminal charges defendants face in Philadelphia every day is vast. From violent crimes to white-collar charges, an experienced Philadelphia criminal attorney may have the skills necessary to fight back against any charge. Below are examples of common offenses in Philadelphia:

  • Driving under the influence (75 Pa. C.S.A. § 6308)
  • Murder (18 Pa. C.S.A. § 2502)
  • Drug possession (18 Pa. C.S.A. § 6105)
  • Assault (18 Pa. C.S.A. § 2701)
  • Shoplifting (18 Pa. C.S.A. § 3929)

No matter the charge, a Philadelphia criminal attorney may have valuable insight on what to expect at trial.

What to Expect at Trial

There is no guarantee a criminal charge will go to trial. In fact, the vast majority of criminal cases in Philadelphia are resolved one way or the other before a trial date arrives. In some cases, a Philadelphia criminal lawyer could have the case dismissed entirely.

In other cases, a defendant may determine that their best option is to plead guilty and agree to a plea bargain offered by a Philadelphia prosecutor. In each of these cases, a trial is unnecessary.

When a criminal case does not settle, however, it will ultimately go to trial. While most serious criminal trials take place in front of a jury, it is not uncommon for a case to be heard in front of only a judge instead. While no two trials are exactly the same, all criminal jury trials in Philadelphia generally follow the same pattern.

Jury Selection

Before a trial can begin, the attorneys and the judge must settle on a jury. Initially, a large pool of potential jurors will enter the courtroom. The attorneys will have the opportunity to question prospective jurors to discover biases or conflicts. Both attorneys will be able to strike jurors, and eventually, the pool will be whittled down to the jury.

Opening Statements

Once the jury is in place, the attorneys will make their opening statements. These statements are broad overviews of the case, and they typically describe the evidence the jury will hear.

The State’s Case

In a Philadelphia criminal trial, the prosecution goes first. They will call witnesses to testify against you and offer any evidence they intend to use against you into evidence.

The Defense’s Case

Once the state rests, the defendant’s attorney will have the opportunity to rebut the state’s evidence with the testimony of their own. This can include expert testimony that challenged the state’s conclusions.

Closing Arguments

The closing arguments are the final time each attorney will have the chance to address the jury. During these arguments, both sides sum up the evidence and make their best case.

Deliberation and Verdict

After the closing statements, the judge will instruct the jury on how to render and decision and excuse them to the jury room. The jury will then make a decision before returning to the courtroom. The judge will be informed of the decision first, and then read it aloud in the courtroom. If the defendant is found guilty, the court will proceed to sentencing. But if the jury finds the defendant not guilty on all counts, they will be free to leave the courthouse.

How a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney Could Help

When you hire a Philadelphia criminal lawyer, you can expect an opportunity to ask any questions you have related to your case. With the right defense attorney, you may be in the best position possible to get a favorable outcome in your case.