Bensalem Criminal Defense Lawyers

Sometimes, people make mistakes, and sometimes, they find themselves in bad situations. When people find themselves in terrible situations, they can sometimes get caught up in trouble with the law. Being accused of a crime is frightening. Criminal charges jeopardize your life, future, reputation, and freedom. Going through the legal system without legal assistance is a risk you should avoid.

Lack of legal representation, as well as inexperienced representation, often leads to mistakes that have a significant impact on the outcome of a client’s case. If you want your case handled properly, you should consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer ready to fight for your freedom beside you every step of the way. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, who will fight to lower your charges and fines.

What Should I Do if I Have Been Arrested in Bensalem? 

As a defendant, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible after being arrested. One of the most important things you should know is that following the arrest, you should not speak with the authorities without legal representation. Doing so could have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.

If you cannot meet with an attorney immediately after your arrest, do so before your arraignment, as this is when you will learn about the charges against you and you will be allowed to decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty. Once you have your attorney present, you can rest assured that your rights will be protected and that they may be able to form a solid defense for you. Also, authorities cannot reach you without first consulting your lawyer, so you will never have to face them alone.

By speaking with an attorney about your case, you will better grasp the charges against you. In the face of a harsh prosecution, you can also level the playing field by obtaining the services of a Bensalem criminal defense lawyer.

After I Have Been Charged With a Crime, What Happens Next?

At your first court hearing, also called an initial appearance or preliminary arraignment, the judge will read and, if required, explain the charges against you. They explain your right to legal representation. 

You will not enter a plea at that time.  You will be provided with another court date for your preliminary hearing.  Your preliminary hearing will be held before a local Magisterial District Justice, sometimes it will be the same person who conducted your preliminary arraignment.  

At your preliminary hearing, the Commonwealth has the burden of proof to show that there is evidence to believe a crime has been committed and that you are the one that committed the crime.  

The case is dismissed if the court determines there is no probable cause or transferred to trial court if probable cause is shown.

If the case is not dismissed, then whatever charges remain after the preliminary hearing will be transferred to the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas in Doylestown.

Get Advice From An Experienced Bensalem, PA Criminal Defense Attorney. All You Have To Do Is Call 215-822-7575 To Receive Your Free Case Evaluation.

How Are Crimes Classified in Bensalem, Pennsylvania?

Anyone facing criminal charges should be aware of the many categories of offenses. Building your case requires understanding how your offense is classified and the implications of that categorization. The potential penalties you could face if found guilty of a crime in Pennsylvania depend on the gravity of the offense, if there are any victims, and your criminal history.

Crimes are further classified by degree, from first to third-degree, with first-degree offenses being the most serious. Depending on the type of offense, there are minimum and maximum sentences that must be imposed. Pennsylvania crime classes include the following:

  • First-degree felony
  • Second-degree felony
  • Third-degree felony 
  • Ungraded Felony
  • First-degree misdemeanor
  • Second-degree misdemeanor
  • Third-degree misdemeanor
  • Ungraded misdemeanor
  • Summary Offenses

In Pennsylvania, the most serious crimes are felonies, followed by misdemeanors and summary offenses. Crimes are classified as felonies when they result in significant harm, while misdemeanors are lesser offenses. The severity of the penalties corresponds to the severity of the crime. 

What Factors Affect the Sentencing of a Criminal Offense?

According to Pennsylvania’s Sentencing Guidelines, a crime’s sentence should be determined by the type of criminal offense it falls under. Each criminal classification includes sentencing guidelines, which the court considers in determining the appropriate sentence for an offender.

However, several factors can impact the sentencing an offender receives, such as:

  • Aggravating factors: conditions that make the offender more guilty and may result in an enhanced or maximum sentence
  • Mitigating factors: extenuating circumstances that may result in a reduced sentence
  • Offense Gravity Score (OGS): a number every offense receives that represents the severity of a crime 
  • Prior Record Score: the total points accumulated from prior convictions

Once the offender has been found guilty, the court will consider all of this material while deciding on a suitable punishment.

The Impact a Bensalem Criminal Conviction Can Have On Your Life

Ultimately, when the law penalizes criminal activity, it aims to punish those who commit crimes and deter future criminal behavior. However, a conviction might have consequences beyond what the law considers. Though most individuals are concerned about potential fines and incarceration, a criminal conviction may negatively impact other areas of your life.

Without good legal representation, you could suffer from many societal consequences to convictions beyond the typical penalties, such as:

  • Because of the stigma associated with criminal convictions, it may be more difficult for you to develop relationships with individuals and your community.
  • Convictions can make you a less desirable choice for jobs, housing, schools, and even volunteering, and they might exclude you from certain opportunities and government financial assistance for education.
  • Your parenting time rights may be suspended, or you may lose custody of your child.
  • You could lose your right to vote and own a firearm if you are convicted of certain crimes.
  • Your driver’s license may be suspended by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in some cases.

It is possible that being found guilty of your crime will affect every aspect of your life. To avoid this, consult a trustworthy criminal defense lawyer about your case.

Request a Free Consultation with an Experienced Bensalem Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal proceedings are serious matters that can put a great deal of stress on the people involved. Do not risk your case by trying to handle it on your own. Contact the skilled criminal defense lawyers at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford to defend your rights and future.

Getting the best result for your criminal case is a top priority for our legal team. Our team of highly qualified lawyers can represent you in court and use their decades of experience to your advantage. To develop a strong defense plan for you, we will carefully review the accusations made against you. To schedule your free consultation, complete our contact form or call us at (215) 822-7575.