If you have been arrested for a crime you did not commit, you may think that an investigation will be done, law enforcement and the prosecution will realize they got it wrong, and justice will prevail. Unfortunately, there is a good chance that will not happen. Law enforcement and the prosecution are not on your side, and they often try to pressure you into admitting things you do not need to so they can obtain evidence that will help their case, and hurt yours. The prosecution may also charge you with several offenses to try and persuade you to accept a plea bargain.
So, if you have been charged or arrested with a crime, how can you ensure you beat the charges? By following the tips below.
Understand Your Rights
Both the United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania State Constitution provide you with certain rights, even after you have been arrested. Your rights are of crucial importance, as they ensure you will be treated fairly and justly within the criminal justice system. The police and the prosecution will not always recognize these rights, so it is important you know what they are, so you can assert them. After being arrested and charged with a crime, you have the right to:
- Remain silent
- Be represented by a lawyer
- Know the charges against you
- A speedy tried and to be tried by a jury of your peers
- A reasonable bail
- Confront witnesses
Challenge the Arrest
The Fourth Amendment also affords you the right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure, and it is common for accused individuals and their defense team to challenge a search. In most cases, law enforcement must have probable cause to arrest you and to search your home or belongings. Generally speaking, they must also have a warrant. When they have neither, you can challenge their evidence obtained by an unlawful search, which may result in your charges being dropped.
Do Not Believe the Prosecutor
Before you even appear in court, the prosecution will tell you that they have all the evidence against you they need and that their case is open and shut. They do this so that you will agree to a plea deal, or to scare you into pleading guilty. This is a tactic though, and prosecutors are not always honest. Your defense team should always review the evidence first, and challenge it when necessary. Remember that eyewitness statements are also evidence, so challenge witnesses when they are unreliable or when they may have a malicious motive.
Work with a Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyer
One of the most effective ways to get your charges dropped is to speak to an Allentown criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer will challenge the prosecution’s case at every opportunity, and the prosecution understands that a lawyer will advise against accepting an unfair plea deal, and make it more challenging to secure a conviction against you. When you are facing criminal charges, call our knowledgeable attorneys at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin. We fight for individuals that have been unfairly charged with crimes and will work hard to get your charges dropped. Call us today at } or contact us online for a free consultation so we can discuss your case.