Collegeville Criminal Defense Lawyer
Collegeville is a small, close-knit community. But even in safe, happy places, people are charged with crimes and must defend themselves in court. Violent crimes in the area remain rare, but crimes such as thefts, burglaries, robberies, DUIs, and other traffic offenses occur. These offenses may not physically injure people but they are harmful to the community, which is why the police work so hard to catch those who commit these crimes and prosecutors, judges, and juries work hard to punish offenders.
Everyone charged with a crime has the right to legal counsel. They not only have the right to an attorney, but they are better off with an experienced Collegeville criminal defense lawyer like Michael Fienman by their side.
Fienman Defense is a well-respected Philadelphia area criminal defense firm, and Michael is a tenacious advocate for his client’s rights. Michael has years of experience defending against criminal and traffic charges. His goal is always to reach the best outcome for his clients, which may be a reduction in the charges or an innocent verdict.
Facing a Traffic Ticket
Many people believe it’s easier to pay a traffic ticket and move on than hire a lawyer and fight the charge in court. However, paying a traffic ticket is the same as telling a judge you plead guilty. By being found guilty of a traffic offense, you’ll tarnish your driving record, accrue points on your license, and may be charged more for auto insurance. The license points are a big deal. Once you have a certain number of points, Pennsylvania requires you to retake a written driving exam. If you hit 12 points, the state suspends your license making it difficult to get to work or uphold other duties.
As you can see, the cost of paying a ticket is much higher in the long run than the initial fine. Hiring an attorney to defend you against the charge is your best chance to keep a clean driving record and avoid points on your license.
Dealing with a DUI
A charge of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense in any state and should be handled by a skilled attorney. Philadelphia uses a three-tier system, increasing the punishment based on the level of impairment, BAC, and whether it’s a first or subsequent offense. A lawyer can attempt to negotiate a lower charge and therefore less severe punishment.
If it’s a person’s second or third offense, it’s even more crucial for him or her to have a lawyer. Multiple DUI convictions within a certain period of time can lead to the court requiring the person to install an ignition interlock device in their car at their own expense. Multiple convictions can also lead to high fines, a suspended licensed, and jail time.
A DUI conviction also results in a criminal record that could affect your education and career opportunities.
Defending Against Theft Charges
If you were charged with shoplifting, forgery, or another type of theft, you face either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the item allegedly taken and its value. A conviction for theft can potentially lead to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $25,000. While that is the maximum punishment for felony theft in the first degree, lesser charges also come with significant prison sentences and hefty fines. Even shoplifting small items can lead to time in prison. Additionally, prior offenses can increase the penalty.
By having a Collegeville criminal defense lawyer on your case, you have someone negotiating on your behalf to have the degree lessened, the charge lowered from a felony to a misdemeanor, or to reduce your prison sentence and fine. This is far harder to do yourself when you lack knowledge of the law and experience negotiating with prosecutors.
If you live in Collegeville or in the surrounding Montgomery County area and you’ve been charged with a traffic or criminal offense, contact Fienman Defense at (610) 828-3338 or by using the online form.