Pennsylvania Criminal Procedure
In Pennsylvania, as in other states, when you are charged with criminal conduct, you are presumed innocent until the state proves your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The attorneys of Jaffe & Kecskemethy, P.C. value the presumption of innocence above all other considerations in your case, and we are well versed in the various procedural protections afforded by Pennsylvania and Federal constitutions, the Rules of Criminal procedure and legal precedent that protect your innocence.
A criminal case in Pennsylvania begins with a preliminary hearing, which provides you and your lawyer a first opportunity to challenge whether you should face any charges in the Court of Common Pleas. This is usually the first court appearance scheduled. Successful defense of your case requires aggressive representation in this important first step. Our criminal defense attorneys have practiced throughout Western Pennsylvania and have developed experience before all magisterial district judges.
If your Pennsylvania criminal case has been bound over for court, our criminal defense attorneys will zealously protect your procedural rights:
- Examine and Investigate: We carefully examine the police and expert reports, and other case information to which you are entitled, and independently investigate relevant material facts, to determine what defenses are available to you, and what the Commonwealth can and cannot prove.
- Pre-trial Motions: We prepare appropriate Pre-Trial Motions to argue matters such as suppression of illegally obtained evidence, or to limit admissibility of evidence in court, as well as other pre-trial matters intended to protect your right to a fair trial.
- Explore Negotiated Settlement: Throughout the pre-trial process, we will explore all opportunities for a negotiated resolution of your case. If a plea agreement is appropriate to resolve your case, our attorneys will find the arrangement which limits the collateral consequences of your plea. These consequences may include suspension of driver’s license or professional license, limitations on your right to own or possess a gun, and counseling requirements concurrent with probation.
- Aggressive Courtroom Advocacy: Should your case require a trial, our criminal attorneys have extensive courtroom and trial experience before Butler County judges and juries, and throughout Western Pennsylvania. Your “not guilty” verdict will depend upon zealous, aggressive representation at trial. Our attorneys will provide you with the confidence to proceed, and protect your presumption of innocence in court.