Criminal Defense FAQs
Should I give the police any information before I hire an attorney?
It’s a bad idea to talk to the police without your attorney present. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you. If you are questioned by the police, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions or give them any information.
Should I ever let the police search my home or car?
The police need to have written permission from the court — in other words, a warrant — before they can legally search you, your home or car. You may feel pressured if a police officer insists on doing a search but you are within your rights to refuse. However there are circumstances where the police can legally do a search without a warrant: if there is probable cause or if you give them permission to do so.
Do I need an attorney for a minor offense?
For a summary offense, Pennsylvania’s lowest level offense, it is helpful to have an attorney with you when you go before a judge. Your lawyer can fully explain the charge to you, and they can also work to keep you out of jail and lessen any fines. You probably don’t need an attorney for something very minor, like a traffic ticket.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
A felony is a more serious crime than a misdemeanor. You can face as many as five years in prison for a first degree misdemeanor, the most serious kind. However you can face up to 20 years in prison for a first degree felony.
Should I tell my attorney everything?
It’s critical that you tell your lawyer all the details about your case. If you give them an honest and accurate account, they will be able to use that information to build a strong defense. Every piece of evidence or witness can help. If you hold things back or don’t tell them what really happened, they will be at a disadvantage in a trial or a plea bargaining situation if the true facts come to light.
Everything you tell your lawyer is considered to be confidential and protected information. Your lawyer is not allowed to tell this information to anyone else – not even your family – without your permission. Importantly, police and prosecutors are not allowed to listen to, or use against you, any conversations with your attorney. This protection is called attorney client privilege and it goes into affect as soon as you talk to an attorney about your case. This applies whether or not you hire them.
What will my defense cost?
Your cost will depend on the complexity of your case and the time your attorney needs to spend on court appearances and preparation.
Will I have to go to jail?
The answer to this depends on what you were charged with, the facts of the case and the defense your lawyer can use. Your attorney will fight hard to get you the best results possible.
Questions? Contact us today.
If you are charged with a criminal offense, you need an experienced attorney whose practice focuses on criminal defense. Fienman Defense provides honest communication and gives you the solid guidance you need to avoid severe penalties.