Being the subject of a criminal investigation can be nerve-racking. Most of what people see and hear about criminal investigations comes from movies and tv shows, which are highly fictionalized. When your freedom is on the line, it\u2019s crucial to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Gross McGinley, LLP, our skilled defense lawyers in Pennsylvania provide competent, compassionate legal representation and ensure your rights are protected. Understanding what a criminal lawyer can do to assist you in navigating the complex legal system can help put your mind at ease and ensure that your rights are being protected.An Attorney Can Offer Legal Advice and Explain Your RightsWhether the investigation involves a white collar crime or an offense such as simple assault, getting a head start on your defense is crucial to protecting your interests, even if you haven\u2019t yet been officially charged with a crime. A criminal defense lawyer can explain in detail the court process, the rights you have and the charges you may be facing. The attorney will focus on ensuring that you are fully informed of all that is happening in your case, so that you don\u2019t feel left in the dark. The attorney will also advise you of all possible courses of action available, discuss the potential penalties and consequences of a guilty plea or conviction, and give you a professional opinion as to which path may be most beneficial based upon the facts and circumstances of your case.Safeguard Your RightsYour defense lawyer ensures your constitutional rights are protected throughout the investigation and judicial process. Some of the most important rights you possess under the law include your right to remain silent, protection from unlawful search and seizure, and access to an attorney during questioning by law enforcement officers or prosecutors. It is important that when you meet with your attorney, you discuss any contact that you may have had with law enforcement to determine if there has been a violation of your constitutional rights.An Attorney Can Communicate With Law EnforcementA criminal defense lawyer also communicates with law enforcement on your behalf. They will attend interviews with police and advise you of which questions to answer and what information to provide, if any. Your attorney also handles requests for interviews or information and ensures that your rights are not violated during any interactions with police, investigators, or prosecutors.\u00a0A Defense Lawyer Can Investigate Your CaseA criminal defense team will conduct their own investigation into any allegations against their client. This includes gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, reviewing documents such as police reports, and examining new evidence. Conducting an independent investigation can uncover information and evidence that may support your innocence and help your lawyer identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.An Attorney May Negotiate With ProsecutorsCriminal defense lawyers are skilled negotiators and will discuss your case with prosecutors to explore options for a favorable resolution. This may involve negotiating a plea agreement for a reduction in charges or a more lenient sentence. They can also negotiate for placement into a specialty court program designed to address drug addiction or mental health treatment. In some cases, they may ask for immunity if you agree to provide certain information or testify against other involved parties.If you are a first-time offender in Pennsylvania, you may be eligible for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. The ARD program is commonly offered for non-violent charges, such as Driving Under the Influence\u00a0or drug possession. However, whether someone is eligible for ARD is left to the prosecutor\u2019s discretion. It is important to have a defense lawyer advocating for your approval for ARD, as they are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and your attorney can assist you in putting forward the best argument for your approval. After successful completion of an ARD program, charges can be dismissed and your attorney can help you file a request for expungement.Your Attorney Will Develop a Defense StrategyBased on the independent investigation, evidence, and information obtained in discovery, along with analysis of the prosecution\u2019s case, your criminal defense team develops a strategy tailored to your specific circumstances. Some vital elements of creating a strong defense strategy include identifying procedural errors and weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, challenging the admissibility of evidence, assessing the credibility of witnesses, and crafting arguments to refute the charges against you.In some cases, expert witnesses are vital to creating a solid defense. Your defense attorney may engage qualified experts who provide specialized knowledge or opinions relevant to your case. An expert may advise your defense team behind the scenes, testify to alternative explanations of facts and evidence, and refute the prosecution\u2019s claims surrounding certain evidence.Your Lawyer Will Represent You in CourtIf your case goes to trial, your criminal defense lawyer will prepare you for court, present your defense, cross-examine prosecution witnesses, and challenge the prosecution’s evidence and arguments. Their primary aim is to establish reasonable doubt in the minds of a judge or jury, which could lead to acquittal or a not guilty verdict.Attorneys Assist With Post-Trial MattersIf you are convicted, your defense attorney can help with matters such as sentencing, filing appeals, or seeking post-conviction relief. They may also pursue other available avenues to challenge the conviction or mitigate the penalties imposed.Support Throughout the Legal ProcessFacing criminal charges and dealing with an investigation can be emotionally draining and stressful. In addition to providing legal counsel, your defense attorney can offer much-needed emotional support and guidance. The criminal attorneys at Gross McGinley, LLP, understand the impact criminal charges can have on all aspects of your life. We believe everyone deserves the best defense possible. Our team is dedicated to working collaboratively to provide compassionate, personalized legal representation without judgment. When you have a committed, skilled defense attorney by your side, you can rest assured your rights are protected and you have experienced professionals advocating for you throughout the legal process.Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Learn MoreIf you\u2019re the subject of an investigation or facing criminal charges, you are not alone. Our defense attorneys at Gross McGinley, LLP, are here to protect your rights and help you understand all the options that may be available to you. To schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania, contact us or call 610-820-5450.