How to Hire the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer
Hiring a Harrisburg area criminal defense lawyer is different than hiring a real estate lawyer or business attorney. Nobody plans to need an experienced criminal defense lawyer. No one plans to be arrested and charged with a crime carrying a potential prison sentence.
General practice lawyers think of criminal defense lawyers in the same way that doctors think of emergency trauma surgeons. The best criminal defense lawyers are specialists among specialists. Clients search for the best criminal lawyer they can find because they’re in crisis, maybe the worst crisis of their life. These situations require the immediate attention of an expert criminal lawyer.
Why Is Criminal Defense Law So Different?
Criminal defense lawyers need to react instantly to an almost unlimited number of scenarios. When you telephone a criminal defense lawyer for help, you need answers right away. If you are calling from a police station after being arrested, you don’t have time to wait for legal advice. Your lawyer needs to be an expert in criminal procedure and the underlying laws involved in your case to advise you immediately.
Other fields of law develop more slowly. No other legal practice area requires urgent responses with life-changing stakes. The best criminal defense attorney knows their actions and advice can determine whether you go home or go to prison. There’s no room for error or indecision.
At the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter, we treat every accused client’s case with intense analysis and a personalized defense strategy to drive the case to the best possible outcome. Our team includes skilled criminal defense lawyers who have years of experience defending those accused of committing felonies or misdemeanors in York, Lancaster, and Cumberland Counties.
Whether adult or juvenile, misdemeanor or felony, aggressively defending you and your family members is our top priority in all prosecutions.
What Do the Best Criminal Defense Lawyers Do?
The very best criminal defense lawyers hone their courtroom skills, continue to study the newest statutory and regulatory developments, and analyze the facts of every case with the focus and precision of a fine watch maker. What seems like minor facts to a less skilled lawyer can form the foundation on which the best criminal lawyer builds a solid defense, rescuing their client from devastating results.
Aggressive Advocacy — The best criminal defense lawyer cannot be intimidated. The confidence needed to represent clients aggressively comes from “knowing your stuff.” Just like two fighters in the boxing ring, the one who knows they are less skilled will hesitate and second guess their tactics. The best criminal defense lawyer acts decisively and confidently because they possess the knowledge of the law, the rules of procedure, the court’s preferences for motion practice, and the pace at which the case docket moves within the Central Pennsylvania court system.
Prosecutors don’t want to lose a case. The best negotiated dispositions for criminal defendants are usually offered to the criminal defense lawyer whom the prosecutor knows is capable of winning. Prosecutors would rather negotiate an acceptable disposition than risk losing to a better criminal defense lawyer.
Communication — When someone is being criminally prosecuted, their future and their family’s future could be devastated. Under such enormous stress, people who are accused of crimes have many questions as they try to anticipate what will happen to them. The best criminal defense lawyers understand that need and make the information readily available for their clients. Keeping clients updated and informed about developments in their case is a priority at the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter.
Attentive Listening — One of the most important skills possessed by the finest criminal defense lawyers is listening. Listening to our clients tell their story, listening to witnesses, and listening to police and prosecutors produces the ammunition needed to fight against a false allegation or an overcharged indictment. Sometimes the smallest inconsistency in a witness statement can be the key to a successful defense for our client. The errors or embellishments in witness statements can reveal where the real truth lies, often far from where the prosecutor alleges.
Preparation — The best criminal defense lawyer prepares every case thoroughly. At the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter, our lawyers research and review each key legal principle that might sway the outcome of the case in our client’s favor. Habitual preparation and alertness keep us ready to press our client’s case on any law or facts that tend to negate the pending charges.
Each criminal case proceeds through the court system balancing two sets of interest: one central factor is the letter of the law, while another major concern is the fair and appropriate outcome for the defendant. When properly balanced, the end result is meant to be “justice.” But these interests only find balance when the prosecutor’s pressure for a conviction is offset by the defense lawyer’s insistence on fairness.
The Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter is committed to zealously represent our client’s interests in every case. It is the foundation of our criminal defense practice.
The Risks of Hiring the Wrong Criminal Defense Lawyer — It’s unfortunate that some people think they can turn to their real estate lawyer or their business lawyer to handle their child’s or their own criminal case. More unfortunate is the fact that some of these non-criminal specialists accept the case. It’s like trusting your podiatrist to perform brain surgery.
Hiring an inexperienced lawyer to defend a criminal charge means they won’t know the nuances of the law as it has developed in your area. They may fail to file important discovery requests or a motion for a bill of particulars until it’s too late. They may not know that the statute the prosecutor is trying to apply was limited in its reach by a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling.
Worst of all, a generalist lawyer who gets themselves too deep into a criminal case probably won’t want to tell their client that they’re in over their head. Instead, they will realize they can’t press for a trial because their incompetence will be exposed. So, they pressure the client to accept an inferior disposition and accept a sentence far higher than one an expert defense lawyer could obtain.
Lifelong Collateral Consequences — The consequences that follow a criminal conviction can inflict damage to your future life, which you might not realize. Unless you are a United States citizen, even a misdemeanor criminal conviction can result in deportation. If you suffer a felony conviction, you can never own a firearm for the rest of your life. Even if you don’t go to prison, your freedom of movement will still be limited until you complete the term of any probation.
A criminal conviction, especially a felony, will close doors to a wide variety of future employment opportunities. Getting job handling money, working with or near children, obtaining many professional licenses, or seeking a law enforcement position will be virtually impossible.
When you hire the wrong criminal defense lawyer, you are betting your life on their ability.
Trust the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter to aggressively represent you with skill and expertise.
Contact us today.
We are Central Pennsylvania’s Premier Law Firm.