Norristown Criminal Defense Attorneys
When You’ve Been Accused, Trust an Experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyer
As the county seat of Montgomery County and a close neighbor to Philadelphia, Norristown has seen a revitalization in recent years. New businesses, improved public spaces, and a bustling community have their benefits but also drawbacks. As more people move to Norristown, more opportunities arise for run-ins with law enforcement.
If you’ve been questioned, arrested, or charged with a crime in Norristown, there’s no time to waste. Talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you ensure that police and prosecutors follow the rules and respect your rights.
Types of Criminal Charges in Pennsylvania
Norristown is one of the more populous cities in Pennsylvania. It is also the county seat of the state’s third-largest county. Despite its size, Norristown’s crime rates remain relatively low compared to other parts of Pennsylvania, according to FBI crime statistics.
However, low crime rates don’t mean that no one faces criminal charges. The Montgomery County prosecutor’s office reports that in 2019, 8,575 criminal cases were brought into the county courts. This number includes a wide range of types of crimes.
Common allegations that result in criminal charges include:
Burglary and robbery: Both burglary and robbery are felony charges. The courts and police take these charges extremely seriously. Anyone charged with either crime should respond with similar seriousness by hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Domestic violence: Domestic violence convictions carry serious penalties. A conviction can affect your ability to work specific jobs, live in certain places, or even see your children. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you need an experienced lawyer to defend your rights.
Drunk driving: Driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the most well-known crimes. As a result, many people accused of drunk driving assume the police have an “open and shut case” against them. Proving a drunk driving charge is complex. A criminal defense lawyer knows how to find and challenge each weak spot in a drunk driving charge.
Drug crimes: State and federal drug laws are among the most far-reaching criminal statutes. Yet many people accused of drug possession benefit far more from understanding and help than punishment. An experienced lawyer can argue for an outcome that reflects your actual needs.
Juvenile and college crimes: Vandalism, theft, possessing alcohol while underage, and other acts by children, teens, and young adults are often the result of impulse or poor judgment rather than any desire to harm others. A lawyer can help those charged with juvenile and college crimes protect their rights, reputation, and future.
Theft: From shoplifting candy bars to complex financial schemes, “theft” is a broad criminal category. Those charged with any theft need a strong defense, as a theft conviction can hinder one’s ability to find employment at many jobs.
Violent crimes: Legal penalties for conviction of a violent crime, like assault, tend to be severe. Never face any violent crime charge without an attorney to protect your rights and provide a strong defense.
In every criminal case, police and prosecutors must prove each element of the charged crime beyond a reasonable doubt. They must do so without doing anything that violates a defendant’s state or federal Constitutional rights.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer makes police and prosecutors follow these rules. Your lawyer will fight to protect your rights. Throughout your case, your attorney will point out every place where prosecutors or police have failed to build the case the law requires them to prove.
Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
In 2019, the Montgomery County prosecutor’s office reported an overall conviction rate of 97.8 percent. In other words, of everyone charged with a crime in Norristown’s home county in 2019, only 2.2 percent were found not guilty. The rest faced some penalty – in every case, the penalty and the criminal record changed a person’s life.
Here are just a few reasons that every person charged with a crime needs an experienced criminal defense lawyer on their side:
Feeling guilty and being guilty are not the same thing. You may feel guilty. You may suspect you are innocent but be unsure how to prove it. You may be certain that you haven’t done anything wrong – or that if you did, there was a good reason for it.
Every criminal charge contains one or more elements. A court must find that prosecutors proved each element beyond a reasonable doubt to convict someone of a crime. If doubt exists on even one aspect, the defendant must be acquitted.
What are the elements of each charge you’re facing? Experienced criminal defense lawyers know the answer – and they know what “reasonable doubt” looks like for each aspect.
There may be a justification for what you did. Even if the state can prove a criminal charge against you beyond a reasonable doubt, the discussion doesn’t end there. A justification may apply, and it may change whether you are convicted or what penalties you may face.
One well-known example of justification is self-defense. While acting in self-defense, you may meet all the elements of an assault charge. Yet the fact that you worked to save your own life changes the court’s understanding of your actions. What you did is seen as necessary rather than criminal.
Justifications are also known as “affirmative defenses.” As the defendant, you must prove every element of a justification, like self-defense, beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced attorney knows which justifications might apply to your case and how to prove them in court.
The criminal process is complex. Every person questioned, suspected, arrested, or charged with a crime has rights under state and federal law. Yet these rights can be challenging to defend. Worse, an accused person can forfeit their rights without even realizing they did so.
Criminal cases also follow complex rules as they go through the court system. An accused person must meet strict deadlines for filing certain motions and other paperwork. This paperwork must be filled out in a specific way. Defending your case in court requires an understanding of court rules and procedures. You must make particular arguments or file motions to protect certain rights at some points. If you do not do so, you forfeit those rights.
For many people charged with crimes, the accusations are the first experience they’ve ever had with the court system—even people involved in civil claims before finding themselves baffled by criminal procedures.
Criminal defense attorneys understand court procedures. They know how to defend your legal rights. They know which deadlines apply to your case and how to meet them. They create a plan to protect your rights and argue on your behalf. They prepare for trial at each step and preserve any necessary issues for appeal.
The earlier some issues are addressed, the better. If your rights are violated during a criminal investigation, arrest, charging, or trial, the best time and place to address them is in that same trial. Appeals courts have limited abilities to address violations.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can push back on any violation of your rights at the trial level. Your lawyer will fight to ensure that a breach of your rights does not affect your ability to receive a fair trial and outcome. Your attorney will also work to create a record that can be used in an appeal if an appeal is necessary to protect your rights.
Your life, as you know, it is at stake. The consequences of a criminal case may follow you for the rest of your life. A criminal conviction can prevent you from being hired for many jobs. Some convictions may bar you from working in your current career field ever again. Imprisonment, fines, and other penalties can cause serious disruptions to your daily life. The damage to your reputation from a criminal charge may be irreparable.
Your defense lawyer can help you manage the damage from criminal charges. Your attorney will fight for an outcome that enables you to return to your work, family, and daily life as smoothly as possible.
Contact MyPhillyLawyer If You Are Facing Criminal Charges in Norristown
If you know or believe you may face criminal charges, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. Choose an attorney with experience handling cases like yours in the Montgomery County courts.
Your attorney can:
- Help you understand the charges you face or may face,
- Help you preserve evidence that supports your case,
- Advise you on how to handle interactions with police, prosecutors, the press, and your family and friends,
- Build a strong defense that fights for the best possible outcome.