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Harrisburg Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Getting arrested can be a traumatic and emotionally overwhelming experience, especially if it’s your first time facing the criminal justice system. A conviction is punishable by jail or prison time, fines, and a criminal record can have a negative impact on employment, education, housing, and other areas in life. In order to avoid spending time behind bars, you need to obtain legal representation from one of the skilled lawyers at our firm.

At The Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter, our firm is committed to helping you either get your case dismissed altogether or substantially reduce your penalties. Our Harrisburg criminal defense attorneys have the knowledge to guide you through the complexities of your case and ensure you avoid further legal trouble.

Contact us now to schedule a consultation with our PA criminal defense lawyers!

How To Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer

The penalties associated with criminal charges can be very serious, which is why it is critical to retain a criminal defense lawyer that is both experienced and transparent.

There are certain traits that you must look for when making the decision to hire:

  • Experience – as mentioned above, experience can be the turning point between winning and losing your case.
  • Communication – Your attorney must be able to communicate effectively and thoroughly, while being transparent with the details of your case.
  • Accessibility – This parallels communication because your attorney must be accessible to your phone calls, texts, and emails.

Considering the factors above, consult with our Harrisburg criminal defense lawyer today to discuss your options. We have a passion for helping people get their lives back.

The Criminal Defense Process in PA

The first step we can take is to evaluate your case—even if that entails conducting our own investigation. We can analyze the evidence collected by law enforcement and determine if there are any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you.

Police officers are required to follow specific procedures during a criminal investigation to protect a suspect’s rights and uphold transparency. If law enforcement violates your constitutional rights by performing an illegal search or failing to obtain probable cause to make an arrest, any evidence gathered can be inadmissible in court, potentially resulting in the dismissal of the criminal case.

Our Harrisburg criminal defense lawyers handle the following types of criminal defense cases:

Pennsylvania Criminal Laws

When an individual is arrested or charged with a criminal offense in Pennsylvania and must to go to trial, the prosecution must prove his/her guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” to be found guilty by a jury or judge.

According to state law, “A reasonable doubt is a doubt that would cause a reasonably careful and sensible person to hesitate before acting upon a matter of importance in his own affairs.” Reasonable doubt is the standard of proof that must be met in criminal cases in order to obtain a conviction.

There are two main types of crimes in Pennsylvania: misdemeanors and felonies. In general, misdemeanors are less serious offenses compared to felonies.

However, unlike most states, a misdemeanor conviction can result in a jail sentence of more than one year. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, a person may receive probation—rather than incarceration—or a “split sentence” that consists of serving part of the sentence in jail and the rest on probation.

The following are the common penalties for misdemeanors in Pennsylvania:

  • First-degree misdemeanor – Punishable by a maximum jail term of five years and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.

  • Second-degree misdemeanor – Carries a jail sentence of up to two years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.

  • Third-degree misdemeanor – Punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

The court may also sentence a defendant to drug treatment or community service for a misdemeanor. Another alternative is partial confinement, which would allow a person to leave jail for approved reasons, such as work, school, or household duties. When it comes to a misdemeanor involving theft, vandalism, or an injured person, the court will order the defendant to pay restitution.

On the other hand, felonies are punishable by a state prison sentence, instead of serving time in a local or county jail. But, similar to misdemeanors, the court may order other alternatives, such as probation, a split sentence, drug treatment, community service, partial confinement, and/or restitution.

Common felony penalties in PA include:

  • First-degree felony – Carries a maximum prison term of 20 years and/or a fine of up to $25,000.

  • Second-degree felony – Punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $25,000.

  • Third-degree felony – Carries a maximum prison sentence of seven years and/or a fine of up to $15,000.

Yet, certain felonies are associated with their own specific sentences. For example, if a person is convicted of rape and the victim is under 13 years old, the fixed sentence is 40 years.

Keep in mind, some crimes that are generally considered misdemeanors can become felonies, especially if a person has a prior conviction of the same offense. Both misdemeanors and felonies may require mandatory minimum sentences.

Lastly, all crimes are associated with statutes of limitations, which establish how long the government must prosecute people. In Pennsylvania, the general statute of limitations is two years, while “major offenses” have a five-year time limit. However, certain crimes have no time limits, like murder, voluntary manslaughter, rape, and sexual assault.

Ready to Fight for Your Freedom Today!

Let us help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible and get your life back on the right track.

For more information about our legal services, contact us and request a consultation today!

See What Our Clients Have To Say

Our Testimonials
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  • We resonate with the stories of our clients. We want you to know you are not alone.

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  • We focus on the human problem, not just the legal problem. We are here to support you through every step.

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