Criminal Defense Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
If you find yourself in the confusing and complex situation of being charged with a crime, it can feel like your world is spinning out of control. You're probably feeling a mix of fear, confusion, and uncertainty. What will happen next? How will this affect my life? These are all completely valid concerns.
I understand your frustration—and I’m here to help. As a former prosecutor with over 20 years of experience, I've seen both sides of the courtroom, and I'm here to guide you through every step of the process. No matter what crime you’re accused of committing—from DUI to drug crimes to gun violations—you deserve strong and compassionate protection of your rights. Above all, you deserve to feel that you’re a real person facing a daunting situation.
At Natalie Snyder Law, I’m proud to serve clients anywhere in Pittsburgh and the Western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Butler County, Washington County, Westmoreland County, and North Western Pennsylvania. Contact me today to set up a consultation.
Criminal Charges in Pennsylvania
It’s important to understand the different kinds of criminal charges in our state:
Misdemeanors: Misdemeanors in Pennsylvania are less serious crimes, but they still carry significant penalties. They are classified into three categories: first, second, and third-degree misdemeanors. First-degree misdemeanors are the most serious, carrying penalties of up to five years in prison. Examples of misdemeanors include simple assault, theft of property worth less than $200, and disorderly conduct.
Felonies: These are more serious crimes that carry heavier penalties. Like misdemeanors, felonies are classified into degrees, with first-degree felonies being the most severe. These crimes can result in imprisonment for up to 20 years or more. Examples of felonies could include aggravated assault, robbery, and certain drug offenses.
Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as you know you need help. The earlier you get in touch with a skilled lawyer, the better.
Pennsylvania's Criminal Court Process
The criminal court process in Pennsylvania begins with an arrest or citation, followed by a preliminary arraignment and bail hearing. Next is the preliminary hearing, where the judge determines if there's enough evidence for the case to proceed. If the case moves forward, a formal arraignment is held, followed by pre-trial conferences, trial, verdict, and sentencing. Throughout this process, I'll be by your side, explaining each step, answering your questions, and advocating for your rights.
Possible Defenses to Criminal Charges
There are numerous defenses to criminal charges, depending on the specifics of your case. These may include self-defense, alibi, insanity, or challenging the legality of evidence or procedures. I'll meticulously review your case, looking for any inconsistencies or errors that could provide a strong defense. My goal is not just to win your case, but to preserve your rights and dignity throughout the process. Let’s look closer at some potential defenses to criminal accusations in Pennsylvania:
Self-Defense: This defense asserts that any action taken was in response to an immediate threat to one's safety. This defense is often used in cases involving physical altercations. While the exact requirements can vary, typically, the defendant must show they believed they were in immediate danger, they did not provoke the situation, and they used a reasonable amount of force in response.
Alibi: An alibi defense entails providing evidence that the defendant was elsewhere when the crime took place and therefore could not have committed the offense. This often involves witness testimony or other evidence like video footage or location data that confirms the defendant's location at the time of the crime.
Insanity: This defense argues that the defendant was not mentally capable of understanding the consequences of their actions or distinguishing right from wrong. Keep in mind that this defense is complicated and requires extensive medical and psychological evidence.
Challenging the Legality of Evidence: This defense involves questioning the legality of how evidence was obtained. If a defendant's rights were violated during the evidence collection process, such as during a search without a warrant or a coerced interview, the evidence may be deemed inadmissible in court.
Procedural Defenses: These defenses focus on the procedure followed by law enforcement and the court. For example, if law enforcement failed to read the defendant their rights during arrest, or if there were issues with how the jury was selected or instructed, these could form the basis of a procedural defense.
Each defense requires a unique approach and thorough understanding of the law, and the best defense for your case will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your charges. As your attorney, I will work tirelessly to investigate all aspects of your case and build a strategic defense.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming, but you don't have to face them alone. At Natalie Snyder Law, you're not just another case: you're a person who deserves respect, compassion, and a fierce advocate in your corner. I believe in empowering my clients with knowledge and resources, and I'm committed to driving your defense forward. If you're facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania, I invite you to reach out to me. Together, we'll navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system and pursue a brighter future.