Criminal Defense Attorney: Genres of Crime
If you are accused of a crime, you will need to seek out a criminal defense attorney. Without a defense lawyer, you may have your sentence extended and the consequences could be severe. Whether you plead guilty or not guilty, the presence of a lawyer can help guide you through the legal process. Your attorney will be able to organize your paperwork, determine which plea is in your favor, and even choose to contest the accusation on your record.
At Dutko Law, we work to help residents of Allentown and Reading, Pennsylvania. With our help, your legal experience may be deciphered quickly and painlessly. As most people don’t have legal training, your lawyer will be better equipped to defend you in court, guide you through the process, and possibly have your case thrown out. Contact Dutko today if you are interested in a criminal defense attorney that is dedicated to you and your individual case.
What is Criminal Defense?
Criminal defense typically is needed when an individual is accused of a crime. Though attorneys can specialize in other forms of law, such as marital, custody, and even employment, criminal defense is one of the most important. Any time someone is accused of a crime, they must first be convicted in a trial in order to receive their sentence. A criminal defense attorney is present throughout the process of indictment to the final verdict to ensure that each client is guided through the legal system. In any criminal case, you (the defendant) can choose to have representation (your lawyer), a court-appointed lawyer, or represent yourself. Though the option to represent yourself is present, it is not recommended. Much of the American legal system is complex, including many different rules of documentation, court proceedings, and so on. With a criminal defense attorney at your side, you will be far better equipped to engage the legal system than on your own.
The Genre of Crime
There are many genres of criminal activity, all ranging in the severity. This severity can range from slight damage, injury, and even death. Depending on the severity of the situation will determine your sentence and the seriousness of the case. Of course, if the case pertains to death, the sentence can span decades, even life in prison.
The following are six different genres of crime, each is a punishable offense in the eyes of the law. If you are accused of any of the following, legal representation may be necessary.
- Assault and Domestic Cases
- Firearms and Weapons Charges
- Theft and Fraud Cases
- Sex Crimes
- Property Crimes
Assault and Domestic Cases
Assault and domestic cases are in reference to personal damages someone has suffered. For instance, if you are accused to have severely harmed someone or something, they can file an assault lawsuit against you. Assault typically refers to physical harm, abuse, or domestic battery cases. If you have been accused of physical misconduct pertaining to harming another person or thing, contacting your local lawyer is a worthwhile endeavor.
Firearms and Weapons Charges
Firearm and weapons charges are more common than you think and range greatly. This range pertains to the type of firearm, how it was carried, its intended uses. If you are caught with an unregistered firearm in the state of Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Criminal Code, Title 18, Chapter 61, you could serve up to five years in jail. Not to mention, up to $10,000 dollar in fees and a first degree misdemeanor on your permanent record. Licensing is very important in the state of Pennsylvania. If you are caught with an unlicensed weapon, there could be serious consequences. The exceptions to the concealed carry laws of the state are reserved to the military, law enforcement (state, federal
Theft and Fraud
Whether you are a business, institution, or a single person, you can be charged with fraud. Theft is a serious offense and is treated a such in the Pennsylvania courts. If you are accused of theft or fraud, your defense attorney will need to gather all of the facts as soon as possible. Why? Well, for theft accusations the sentence will change based on the facts of your face. For instance, how much you are accused of taking is weighed. Also, whether this is your first offense is also weighed as well. For instance, in Pennsylvania, if you are a first-time offender and took no more than $2,000, your estimated sentence would only be about five years in prison and $10,000 in fees. However, if you are a recurring offender, your case could be considered a third degree offense which could extend your estimated amount of jail time.
Not only does the number offenses and amount stolen matter, but also who you stole from. According to Pennsylvania law, if the offender purposely chose to deceive a person older than 60 years of age, their sentence could change to be one grade higher in severity. So, if your case is judged to be a first degree misdemeanor, it would be raised to be a more serious case and, thus, more penalties, fees, and jail time.
Stay Tuned For the Second Part of This Series!
Stay tuned for the second part of this series, as we discuss the consequences and legal process of sex crimes, arson, and property damage. With this guide, you will be able to gauge the seriousness of your legal matters. However, no matter the criminal genre, hiring a criminal defense attorney is always a worthwhile decision.
At Dutko Law, our experienced attorney may be able to help you during this difficult time. Instead of awaiting your trial with anticipation and fear, your can gain legal representation that can help guide you through the legal process. An experienced lawyer will be able to determine how strong your defense case is, attempt to limit your sentence, and decipher which pleas bargain (if any) are better for your individual situation.