Why You Should Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney

Have you been accused of a crime?  

Being arrested can be the most stressful event in a person’s life.  

We at The Shelton Firm understand that knowing the process can assist in relieving the anxiety of arrest. Call us today to make sure your rights are protected. Our criminal defense attorneys handle 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. 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. Please Feel free to contact us at any time and request a free case review with a criminal defense lawyer.  

Why Hire Criminal Defense?

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.

1st Offenders/ ARD Program

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. 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 criminal defense attorney in a position to be able to collect all the evidence necessary to get you the best possible outcome.

The Shelton Firm handles all types of criminal cases and our criminal defense attorneys are ready to talk to you about aggravated assault, misdemeanors, and felonies, DUI, first-time offender’s ARD program, drug charges, gun charges, and criminal DUI.

How BAIL Works (Preliminary Arraignment)

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.

Do I need a lawyer at my Preliminary Hearing?

At the preliminary hearing, the prosecutor must convince the judge that there is enough evidence for the case to continue. There must be a “preponderance of evidence” showing that it’s more likely than not that you committed these crimes. The judge will review evidence and listen to arguments from both sides and makes a decision to either dismiss some or all of the charges or allow the case to continue. In some jurisdictions, you can also come to a plea agreement at the Preliminary Hearing to avoid further legal proceedings.

Your attorney may refute any evidence, show that there is insufficient evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and examine any physical evidence presented.

Your lawyer can use the preliminary hearing to get each witness on the record and lock them into favorable testimony which could be presented if this case goes to trial.

What Are Some Options?

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

 The Shelton Law Firm is a practice focused on DUI law and Criminal Law. It was founded by Attorney Jonathan Shelton. Attorney Shelton is an aggressive trial lawyer who will put his expertise to work for your case. We offer legal services ranging from Traffic Ticket Defense, Criminal Defense, DUI, Personal Injury, Automobile Accidents, and Divorce and Custody Issues.

Contact Us Today
342 N. Queen Street
Lancaster, PA
jonathan.s@thesheltonfirm.com

717-823-0899