Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense

Being a defendant in a criminal case is one of the worst experiences in the lives of many people; everything from the cost and stigma of a criminal record, to severe career and immigration consequences. Even in cases where a defendant does not go to jail, a criminal record can carry lifetime implications. For immigrants and other non-U.S. citizens, the result of a bad plea may be the difference between being able to remain in the U.S. legally or being barred for life. Before you say one word to anyone about your situation, it is important to speak to an attorney. 

Let me assist you in making the best decision in your criminal case.

First Time Offender Programs

Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have what is commonly referred to as diversionary programs for most first time (and sometimes, repeat) criminal defendants. In most cases, success completion of the program means the charges are dismissed and can be expunged. Not everyone is eligible, so it is important to know the eligibility requirements prior to your first hearing. Some common diversionary programs include:

Pennsylvania
  • Accelerated Rehab. Disposition (ARD)
  • Problem Solving Courts
    • Drug Court
    • Mental Health Court
    • Veteran's Court
  • New Jersey
  • Pretrial Intervention (PTI)
  • Conditional Discharge
  • Conditional Dismissal
  • Fighting a Criminal Case

    There are multiple ways to attack a criminal case. Before proceeding to trial or accepting a plea agreement, a defendant should be aware of his or her rights. From an initial stop to a defendant's day in court, the police, prosecutors and government officials must follow particular rules and procedures. Failure to follows these and other requirements could result in dismissal of a case. Things to consider include:

    • Did police have reasonable suspicion to stop you or your vehicle?
    • Was there enough evidence presented to let your case proceed to trial?
    • Were your Constitutional rights secured and protected?
    • Do legal concepts like hearsay, jurisdiction or corpus delecti apply?

    Post-Conviction & Other Legal Options

    The ability to expunge or seal a defendant's record depends on many factors, including the extent of the diversionary programs, the specific crime(s) involved, the time that has passed and other equitable issues. In addition, in almost all situations, a defendant may appeal his or her conviction and sentence within a certain amount of time after disposition of a case.

    • Appeals
    • Expungements;
    • Record Sealing;
    • Post Conviction Relief Act (PA)
    • Post Conviction Relief (NJ)
    • Writ of Habeas 
    • FOIA Challenges