Individuals charged with a crime should consider hiring a lawyer. People face different charges including petty offenses, misdemeanors and felonies. Petty offenses are usually handled quickly with the offender paying a fine. On the other hand, those convicted of a misdemeanor could face some jail time and a fine. Misdemeanor charges are not as serious as felonies. In fact, felonies are the most serious crimes. Examples include drug trafficking, armed robbery, manslaughter and kidnapping. Conviction of these crimes can result in serious jail time and hefty fines.
It would be smart to hire a felony lawyer in Lititz, PA, as they are necessary in order to protect the client’s constitutional rights. For instance, defendants have a right to a speedy trial, if requested. A speedy trial is important if the defendant does not receive a bond. Procedurally, defendants are not entitled to a speedy trial if a motion is not filed. Likewise, there are many motions that must be filed in serious cases. Initially, the lawyer files a discovery motion, which entitles the defendant to see the prosecution’s evidence. Some serious crimes get a lot of pre-trial publicity. If this occurs, the lawyer may file a motion to change venue. The judge would have to agree to move the trial to another area. Further, the lawyer files a motion to suppress if evidence or statements were obtained illegally.
A felony lawyer in Lititz, PA must be prepared to go to court at all times. A preliminary hearing is usually the first court appearance. The prosecutor only has to present enough evidence to substantiate the charges. It is very rare that charges are dropped early on. Next, the defendant attends their arraignment. The prosecutor presents the charges and the defendant pleads guilty or not guilty. Several weeks later, a pre-trial conference will be held. The defendant’s lawyer and the prosecutor get a chance to talk. In addition, the judge may give an opinion of the prosecution’s case. Afterward, the prosecutor may offer a deal to the defendant. If no deal is reached, the case proceeds to trial. If you are charged with a felony, contact the Law Offices of Melissa R. Montgomery.