Criminal Lawyer in Lancaster Pa

Criminal Lawyer in Lancaster, PA

Why you need a Criminal Lawyer in Lancaster, PA?

Being arrested can be the most stressful event in a person’s life.  At The Shelton Firm, our criminal attorney in Lancaster Pa understands that knowing the process can assist in relieving the anxiety of arrest. Here’s why it is really important to not go it alone! 

It’s extremely important to contact and employ a Criminal defense attorney early in the process to ensure you collect and preserve the right evidence, walk you through some of the more complex issues in your case and make sure you get the best result possible.

The Shelton Firm handles Felony and Misdemeanor Criminal offenses in Lancaster, York, Berks, Lebanon, Chester, Dauphin, and Adams County. Trust us, you need an experienced lawyer on your side.

Call us today for a free case review.

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Why Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to explain all of your options including getting the charges reduced or thrown out, diversionary programs, and any potential penalties. We will examine the strengths and weaknesses of your case and will provide you with a straightforward analysis so that you are fully informed of the best way for you to proceed. Without representation, you have the potential to end up in even more trouble since you likely do not know the ins and outs of the system especially if this is your first offense. There are programs and requirements that can alleviate the stress of the situation and our criminal defense lawyers can arrange these for you. 

ARD Program for 1st Offenders

First time criminal offenders can qualify for a program known as ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition). The program allows you to avoid a criminal conviction on your record, by allowing you to expunge the charge, once the program is complete. Completing ARD requires you to receive a period of probation (without jail time), and other requirements like completing community service hours. Entering ARD will save you from the unwanted choice of having to go to trial and risking your clean record. Our criminal defense attorneys at The Shelton Firm can help facilitate your entrance into the program. Entrance into ARD is solely at the discretion of the District Attorney. The District Attorney can reject you for almost any reason, and it’s up to your attorney to fight for your admission into the program.

Free Consultations

Don’t delay… your legal defense can’t wait. Contact The Shelton Firm today for a free consultation and case evaluation. It’s never too early to hire an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Getting started as soon as possible will ensure that you are in the best possible position to get your charges dismissed. It also puts your attorney in a position to be able to collect all the evidence necessary to get you the best possible outcome.

What Our Clients Say

Criminal Lawyer in Lancaster Pa helping with Domestic Violence and Other Criminal Charges
Skopp Chiro, Sports & Health

Mr. Shelton exceeded my expectations and attained fabulous results.

Criminal Lawyer in Lancaster Pa working on DUI Charges
Jenna Michelle

Gave an honest fair view of where I stood. Struck an amazing plea and nothing on my record. Answered every email and text instantly. Would highly recommend him to anyone!

Criminal Defense Lawyer near me specializing in DUI and Domestic Violence Cases

Mr. Shelton was all around great. He handled everything in a professional manner and answered all questions I had. The outcome of my case was the best possible one thanks to Mr. Shelton. Would highly recommend him to anyone seeking legal advice.


Jonathan gave me an in depth explanation of everything and what to expect with best and worst case scenarios. At the end of the day, he made a great deal and the charge isn't on my record!


I had a great experience with Mr. Shelton. He was very insightful and gave great advice. He worked quickly and efficiently for me and got me a great deal.

    Types of Cases We Handle

     We represent people in Lancaster County with the following types of criminal cases:

      • First Time Offenders
      • Serious Traffic Offenses
      • DUI Charges
      • Drug Charges
      • Marijuana Charges
      • Firearm / Weapon Charges
      • Violent Crimes
      • Domestic Violence
      • Sex Crimes
      • Theft and Property Offenses
      • Internet / Cyber Crimes
      • White Collar Crime
      • Violation of Probation
      • Violation of Parole
      • Record Expungement / Sealing
      • Misdemeanor Charges
      • Felony Charges
      • Bench Warrant Hearings in Lancaster County

    Potential Penalties

    Criminal Lawyer near me fighting for your rights with free consultations

    Domestic Violence

    Domestic violence is a serious offense that can be charged in a wide range of circumstances, including: simple assault, stalking, and terroristic threats. Whenever a domestic violence call is made, police are forced to make a quick judgment call which can lead to an arrest.  Following the arrest, law enforcement must seize all firearms, and ammunition in the defendant’s possession.

    If convicted of a domestic violence crime, you could be facing fines, jail time, loss of your right to own guns, and long term consequences that effect your future for years to come. It is important that you seek the help of an experienced Criminal Lawyer in Lancaster Pa to protect your future.

    Misdemeanor charges

    A third-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,000. · A second-degree misdemeanor can be penalized by up to two years in jail and fines reaching $5,000. · A first-degree misdemeanor is punishable up to five years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.

    Summary Offenses

    A summary offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $300.

    Felony Charges

    A third-degree felony can be punished with up to seven years in prison and a fine up to $15,000. · A second-degree felony is punishable by prison time for up to 10 years and a maximum fine of $25,000. · A first-degree felony may be penalized with up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.

    Criminal Lawyer in Lancaster Pa

    Getting Served

    Summons/ Citation

    In Pennsylvania Misdemeanor cases begin via mailed citation or summons. If you are charged with a Felony generally you will be brough before a Majistrate for bail before you are released and will be given your citation or summons before you are released. The summons contains the date for your first court appearance, The Preliminary Hearing.

    First Court Appearance

    Preliminary Hearing

    The Preliminary hearing are scheduled at the MDJ Office in he township you were charged. It is an opportunity for the Majestrial District Judge to have a hearing to review the charges against you. The Police must make out a Prima Facie case against you meaning they must present at some evidence to justify the charges against you.

    Resolving your case

    County Court

    At the County Court level you have access to all the legal remedies at your lawyers disposal. Including: 1) Excluding evidence due to illegal search, 2) Jury/ Non-Jury Trial, 3) Plea bargain for a reduced sentence, and 4) Entrance into a diversionary program to avoid jail.

    How Bail Works

    The first hearing after a criminal arrest is the preliminary arraignment at a Magisterial District Court. A Magisterial Judge will review factors like your residence, work history, and prior criminal record to determine how high your bail should be and set a date for your preliminary hearing.

    Bail amounts will be different for each and every person and case. The judge will set an amount of money they believe makes sure you will appear for court in the future. You may have bail set as Released on your Own Recognizance (ROR) meaning that you do not have to pay any money to be released from custody. You would not be required to check in or be monitored by a bail agency or bail bondsman while awaiting your hearings.

    You may be given what is called “unsecured bail.” With unsecured bail, you don’t have to pay money towards your bail but you have to follow certain rules and conditions ordered by the judge in order to remain out.

    If you have been charged with a serious misdemeanor or felony offense, the judge may require you to pay money before you are released from custody. You may have to pay the full amount of the bail (straight cash bail) or post a percentage (typically 10%) of the total bail amount in order to be released.

    However, the judge could deny bail altogether which means you would remain in custody until and unless the bail is changed to a lower or unsecured/ROR amount.

    Contact us today so that our criminal defense attorneys can review your case during a free consultation!

    Extra Criminal Charge Info

    Criminal Lawyer Lancaster PA