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What is a Criminal Defense Attorney?

What is a Criminal Defense AttorneyWhat is a Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing criminal charges can be a devastating experience. Even though you will be considered innocent until proven guilty under Pennsylvania law, facing the complex justice system can be overwhelming and even scary. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. A criminal defense lawyer will fight to protect your rights and secure a favorable outcome. Below, we discuss what a criminal defense lawyer is and their role in the criminal justice system.

Call (215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation with a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia today.

Understanding the Role of a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal defense attorneys play a pivotal role in ensuring a fair trial, upholding constitutional rights, and guiding defendants through the complicated criminal justice system in Philadelphia, as they do in any jurisdiction. Philadelphia, as a major city in the United States, follows established legal principles and procedures, and defense attorneys are essential in safeguarding the rights and interests of their clients. Here's how they fulfill these roles:

  • Protection of Constitutional Rights: Defense attorneys in Philadelphia, like elsewhere, are responsible for safeguarding their clients' constitutional rights. This includes ensuring that clients are aware of their rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to due process, and the right to legal representation. Attorneys help clients understand these rights and make informed decisions.
  • Right to a Fair Trial: Defense attorneys work diligently to secure a fair trial for their clients. They challenge evidence that is illegally obtained, object to prejudicial statements, and file motions to suppress evidence when appropriate. This ensures that only admissible and relevant evidence is presented in court, upholding the principles of fairness and justice.
  • Legal Expertise and Strategy: Defense attorneys are well-versed in criminal law, including Philadelphia's specific legal statutes and precedents. They leverage this expertise to formulate effective defense strategies. This might involve challenging the prosecution's evidence, presenting an alibi, or creating reasonable doubt about the defendant's guilt.
  • Guidance Through Legal Process: The criminal justice system can be complex and intimidating. Defense attorneys guide their clients through every stage of the process, from arrest and arraignment to bail hearings, pre-trial motions, and trial. They provide invaluable support by explaining legal procedures, options, and potential outcomes.
  • Negotiating Plea Bargains: In many cases, criminal defense attorneys in Philadelphia negotiate with the prosecution to reach plea bargains. This can result in reduced charges, sentencing, or other favorable terms for the defendant. By engaging in these negotiations, defense attorneys ensure that their clients are treated fairly and with respect for their rights.
  • Presumption of Innocence: Defense attorneys remind the court and jury of the fundamental principle of the presumption of innocence. They stress that it is the prosecution's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and they work to maintain that standard.
  • Protection from Excessive Punishment: Defense attorneys also work to protect their clients from excessive or unjust punishment. They may argue for leniency in sentencing, especially in cases where defendants may be suffering from addiction or mental health issues that require rehabilitation rather than punitive measures.
  • Client Support: Beyond the legal aspects, defense attorneys provide emotional support to their clients, who may be experiencing stress and uncertainty. They maintain open communication, ensuring that defendants are informed and involved in the decision-making process.

In Philadelphia, as in any jurisdiction, the role of criminal defense attorneys is vital to the proper functioning of the criminal justice system. They uphold the principles of fairness and justice, ensuring that defendants receive a fair trial, their rights are protected, and they are guided through the complexities of the legal process. This helps maintain the balance between the rights of the accused and the interests of the state.

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The Value of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney in Philadelphia

Hiring a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia, as in any jurisdiction, can provide several valuable benefits for individuals facing criminal charges. The value of hiring a criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia is significant due to the unique challenges and complexities of the legal system in the city. Here are some of the key reasons why hiring a defense attorney in Philadelphia is essential:

  • Expertise in Philadelphia Law: Philadelphia has its own set of local laws, legal procedures, and court practices. A criminal defense attorney who practices in the city is well-versed in these intricacies, ensuring that they can provide the most relevant and effective legal counsel.
  • Navigating the Local Court System: Philadelphia has its own court system with specific rules and processes. Defense attorneys understand the local court system, its judges, prosecutors, and their tendencies, which can be invaluable in building a defense strategy tailored to the jurisdiction.
  • Understanding of Local Culture: Legal proceedings can be influenced by local culture and attitudes. A defense attorney familiar with Philadelphia will understand the local legal culture and be better equipped to anticipate how the case might be received by judges and jurors.
  • Relationships and Connections: Local defense attorneys often have established relationships with prosecutors, judges, and court personnel. This can be beneficial in negotiating plea deals, securing favorable outcomes, and ensuring that cases are handled professionally.
  • Effective Defense Strategies: Defense attorneys in Philadelphia can formulate defense strategies that take into account the unique aspects of the city's legal landscape. This may include strategies for challenging evidence, handling specific charges, or leveraging local resources to the defendant's advantage.
  • Protection of Constitutional Rights: Defense attorneys in Philadelphia are well-versed in upholding the constitutional rights of their clients, ensuring that no violations occur during the legal process. This includes protecting against illegal searches and seizures and ensuring a fair trial.
  • Negotiation Skills: Criminal defense attorneys are skilled negotiators, and their experience in Philadelphia enables them to engage in successful negotiations with local prosecutors. This can lead to more favorable plea bargains or reduced charges.
  • Trial Experience: If a case goes to trial, defense attorneys are equipped to provide effective trial representation. They have experience in selecting juries, cross-examining witnesses, and presenting evidence to build a strong defense.
  • Emotional Support and Guidance: Facing criminal charges can be emotionally and mentally challenging. Defense attorneys not only provide legal advice but also offer emotional support and guidance to help clients navigate the stress and uncertainty associated with the legal process.
  • Protection from Unjust Punishment: Defense attorneys work to ensure that clients are not subjected to unfair or excessive punishment, particularly in a jurisdiction like Philadelphia with a diverse and dynamic population. They advocate for justice, fairness, and appropriate sentencing.
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Talk to an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we understand the gravity of your situation and the urgency of securing a defense that respects your dignity while navigating the complexities of the Philadelphia criminal justice system. Our commitment is to stand by your side, ensuring that every available legal avenue is explored and your voice is heard. If you are ready to discuss your case and uncover the options that may shape a better future, we invite you to reach out to us. Your journey towards justice begins with an informed step—take that step today and contact us for your complimentary, comprehensive consultation. Together, let’s rise to the challenge and strive for an outcome that upholds the scales of justice in your favor.

If you or someone you love has been arrested or charged with a crime, call us at (215) 486-0123 or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation

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Choosing the Right Firm Can Make All the Difference

  • Unrivaled Record of SuccessWe have won tens of millions of dollars for injured victims, and have achieved countless "not guilty" verdicts for clients faced with criminal charges.
  • No Challenge too BigOur firm has handled some of the biggest cases in country, including representing the President of the United States.
  • Personalized RepresentationWe understand that every case is unique. Therefore, we tailor our approach based on the facts of the case and the needs of our client.
  • Uncompromising PassionOur competitive nature is one of our strongest qualities. You can be confident that no other firm will outwork our team.
  • Holistic ApproachNot only do we want to excel legally for the client, but we also want to make sure we are strengthening their mind, body and spirt.
  • Supporting the CommunityOur team engages in many community events and regularly donates time and resources to many charitable organizations in Philadelphia.

Talk to Our Experienced Team

Home to Philadelphia’s most accomplished attorneys, van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim pairs diverse practice experience with a passion-driven, comprehensive law practice—all for the client’s benefit.

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