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Criminal Defense Overview

Discuss Your Case With A Criminal Defense Attorney

There are two main approaches to achieving a positive outcome in a criminal case: either fighting the charges or seeking the best possible plea agreement. These two distinct options are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and sometimes a more favorable plea agreement can be achieved when a defendant begins to fight the charges. For example, the prosecutor may realize that the evidence against you is not strong enough to assure conviction at trial, or perhaps the prosecutor will agree that a judge is likely to rule that the police performed an illegal search, which will result in the suppression of illegally obtained evidence.

In other cases, we know from the beginning that we cannot effectively fight charges through pretrial motions or at trial, so we instead seek to obtain the best possible plea agreement or other non-trial resolution to your case. We do this by presenting as many mitigating factors as possible while trying to minimize the presence of any aggravating factors. Mitigating factors are anything that makes a crime “less bad” than a generic version of the crime in question, or anything that makes a defendant “less bad” than a generic defendant charged with the same crime. Conversely, aggravating factors are anything that makes a crime worse than a generic version of the crime in question or that makes the defendant himself or herself worse than a generic defendant charged with the same crime. If we are able to show enough mitigating factors, it is often possible to obtain a favorable plea agreement or, better yet, admission into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program (ARD).

In some cases, we have no choice but to fight charges all the way to trial. This would be a situation in which the Commonwealth’s evidence is weak or questionable, yet the prosecutor is unwilling or unable to drop or reduce charges or enter a plea agreement that is favorable to the defendant. In order to be successful at trial, it is incumbent upon a defense lawyer to not only have excellent trial skills but to also recognize which cases to push to trial.

At the McClenahen Law Firm P.C., we employ the approach most likely to lead to a positive outcome in criminal cases including the following:

Charged With A Crime? Call For A Free Consultation

Discuss your options and find out how you can protect your rights and future interests. Call the McClenahen Law Firm P.C. in State College at 814-308-0870 for a free consultation. You may also complete the online contact form.