Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyers
Chester County Criminal Defense Lawyers in Pennsylvania
Our firm lawyers are dedicated to acting as an advocate for our clients who are facing investigation or criminal prosecution in Chester County and throughout the greater Philadelphia metro region. When you are accused of a crime, your freedom, your family, your reputation and your job may be at stake.
When you are sitting in the back seat of the police car, hands cuffed behind you, thoughts go racing through your mind. Will you be going to jail? What will this mean for your job? Your family? Your finances? Your future?
There is good reason to worry. Even minor criminal charges can result in time behind bars, and nearly all convictions have hefty fines. The charges will be on your criminal record, and some, like sexual offenses, carry a lifetime of stigma. But you don’t have to face this situation alone. You can have an entire team of dedicated attorneys fighting for you.
We understand your anguish, fear, and the stress you or a loved one are experiencing. We will help you do everything legally possible to get you the best possible results. Be certain of your attorney’s competence, reputation, expertise, and experience as a Chester County criminal defense lawyer. Our firm is based in West Chester, Pennsylvania and we serve clients and their family members who are in need of legal advice and strong representation.
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our team of criminal defense lawyers are able to represent cases involving federal felonies and misdemeanors, including but not limited to the following:
Our Chester County criminal defense lawyers use a team approach to representing those facing criminal charges in Southeastern Philadelphia, including Downingtown, Exton, and Coatesville. Instead of relying on just one attorney, you will have an entire group putting their heads together to determine the best criminal defense strategy for your Pennsylvania charges. We will fight for your rights and seek for your charges to be reduced or dismissed. Call us today at (610) 692-8700 to set up a free consultation to discuss your criminal charges.
We have office locations in West Chester, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Lancaster, Kennett Square, Radnor, Plymouth Square, and Malvern. We serve clients throughout the greater Philadelphia area, including in Chester County, Montgomery County, Lancaster County, and Delaware County.
Our Team Approach to Criminal Charges
Lee Ciccarelli, the founder of Ciccarelli Law Offices, has practiced law in Pennsylvania for more than two decades. He is dedicated to fighting for the rights of those whose liberty is on the line when they face criminal accusations. He brings his years of experience to that fight, and seeks the best results for all his clients.
Lee Ciccarelli leads a team of aggressive lawyers who work together to build the strongest possible defense. At Ciccarelli Law Offices, we believe two heads are always better than one when it comes to putting together the most creative and most effective strategy. All of our attorneys are dedicated to looking out for your best interests, and we are tenacious, zealous advocates for those who turn to us.
When you retain the experienced and dedicatedd attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices, you don’t simply retain a criminal defense attorney – you retain an experienced team of lawyers who are committed to working together for you. Our defense attorneys have a combined experience of 30 years successfully representing Pennsylvania clients in virtually every type of criminal case. We represent individuals vigorously, with individual attention and a passionate respect for due process, through each stage and every aspect of your case.
Pennsylvania Prosecutors Must Prove Their Case
Under the American principles of justice, it is the responsibility of the government to prove their case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction against the person it is accusing of a crime. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” means jurors have what is referred to as a “moral certainty” in which the only logical explanation based on the facts is the alleged offender committed the crime in question..
The prosecution must prove this same standard for every element of its case. Criminal charges have multiple elements, often including a “mens rea,” or guilty state of mind. For example, when a person is charged with possession with intent to deliver, prosecutors must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the alleged offender not only had actual or constructive possession of an illegal substance, but also intended to sell, distribute or manufacture it. Failure to prove either of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt means the jury must acquit or declare the alleged offender not guilty.
This is a very difficult standard to prove. But prosecutors in Chester County and the surrounding areas do it every day of the week. It’s vital that you are prepared to fight the specific criminal accusations you are facing.
Building a Strong Defense
The defendant, or person being accused, does not have to prove anything unless making an affirmative defense, like self-defense or insanity. However, that doesn’t mean the defense has no role—far from it. In fact, having a strong defense often makes the difference between whether you will be free at the end of the proceedings or going to prison.
Your defense attorney will carefully review the case against you, find every hole in that case, and show the jury all reasons for reasonable doubt. The reasonable doubt may lie in inconsistent testimony of the witnesses against you, physical evidence that is little more than circumstantial, or evidence based on science with a spotty record.
For instance, domestic violence charges may be based on allegations that are false or exaggerated. Your lawyer will vigorously cross-examine the witnesses against you to expose the inconsistencies in their testimony. If there is any doubt that the witnesses are not telling the truth, the jury should find you not guilty.
Our team approach at Ciccarelli Law Offices ensures you will have multiple sets of eyes reviewing the allegations, looking for the smallest crack that can be exploited for your defense.
Ciccarelli Law Offices are staunch advocates for the preservation of constitutional rights before, during and after an arrest. Our reputation for successful defense strategy and tactics coupled with one-one-one client interaction makes us the Pennsylvania defense attorneys of choice for individuals facing serious felony and misdemeanor criminal charges.
Call Our Experienced Defense Attorneys
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Pennsylvania Criminal Defense lawyers are both passionate in what they do and compassionate in their treatment of their clients. You deserve a Pennsylvania lawyer that is available when you need him, a lawyer who treats you with respect and protects your rights vigorously. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and the greater Philadelphia metro area including but not limited, West Chester, Kennett Square, Downingtown, Phoenixville, Oxford, Exton, King of Prussia, Lancaster and more! For a free case evaluation contact the defense lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610) 692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422 for a free case evaluation. You will pay no fess until we win your case – you have nothing to lose!
Courthouses in Chester County
- Chester County Courthouse 201 West Market Street West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 344-6000
- District Court 15-1-01 201 West Market Street Suite 1307 West Chester, PA 19380 (610) 431-4814
- District Court 15-1-02 1572 Paoli Pike West Chester, PA 19382 (610) 430-1966
- District Court 15-1-04 21 West Market Street Suite 100 West Chester, PA 19382 (610) 344-6622
- District Court 15-2-03 601 Westtown Road Suite 110 West Chester, PA 19382 (610) 436-5757
Recent Legal News in Pennsylvania
- House Bill Would Expand Ignition Interlock Devices — The Pennsylvania House Joint DUI Task Force held its first informational meeting on June 4 to evaluate Pennsylvania’s driving under the influence (DUI) statute, at which Representative Keith J. Greiner spoke about legislation he proposed that would expand the use of ignition interlock to first-time offenders. Greiner is the prime sponsor of House Bill 278. The bill would amend Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to require all repeat and first-time offenders convicted of DUI with blood alcohol concentrations of 0.10 percent or greater to operate only motor vehicles equipped with functioning ignition interlock systems for at least six months.
- Medical Marijuana Bill Stalled in House Committee — About two dozen medical marijuana supporters held a rally on June 1 to petition House Health Committee Chairman Matt Baker. Representative Baker said he did not plan to hold a vote on Senate Bill 3 (SB 3), the legislation that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to people afflicted with certain illnesses, set up a state board to oversee the process, and create a system to license and regulate the process. The legislation passed in the Senate 40-7, but Baker has opposed the measure because the marijuana remains illegal under federal law and does not yet have the approval of the United States Food and Drug Administration. Supporters are hopeful that SB 3 could still be moved to another committee, added as an amendment to another bill, or be introduced under its own version in the House.
- Revenge Porn Law Already Being Put to Use, May Be Expanded — The Tribune-Review reported on May 30 that prosecutors across the Keystone State had used the so-called “revenge porn” law in 11 cases within six months of the legislation being enacted. The “Unlawful Dissemination of Intimate Images” law passed last year amended Titles 18 and 42 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes criminalized posting sexual images of a current or former intimate partner. This past March, state senators Judy Schwank and Vincent Hughes said they planned to introduce legislation that would expand the law to apply to anyone who steals and publishes naked or sexual pictures of others.
Chester County Criminal Defense Resources
Chester County District Attorney — The district attorney is the chief law enforcement officer for Chester County, and this office is responsible for investigating, prosecuting, and preventing crimes in the county. The Chester County District Attorney is currently Thomas P. Hogan, who was elected to the position in 2011 but has worked in the District Attorney’s Office since 1998. This website contains a listing of all detectives in Chester County, the rights of crime victims, and various forms and applications.
201 West Market Street
West Chester, PA 19380
Borough of West Chester Police Department — This is the website of the West Chester Police Department, where you can find annual reports, department announcements, and press releases. There is also a listing of department staff, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to various forms. You can also find annual reports, open records through the Records Department, and additional information about the Communications, Criminal, and Patrol Divisions.
401 East Gay Street
West Chester, PA 19380
Chester County Office of the Sheriff — The sheriff is elected by the residents of Chester County, and deputies in this office have the authority to make arrests. The current sheriff is Carolyn Bunny Welsh, the first woman to be elected Sheriff of Chester County, one of two female sheriffs in the Pennsylvania, and one of only 38 female sheriffs in the nation. On this website, you can find more information about the Firearms Licensing Division, community programs, and a list of the most wanted fugitives in the county.
201 West Market Street
West Chester, PA 19380
Frequently Asked Questions in West Chester Criminal Defense
How long will it take to resolve my case?
Every case is different, so this always varies depending on the unique circumstances that apply to your own specific situation. While it may be possible that a case is immediately resolved at the very first preliminary hearing, it could also be in your best interest to go through several motions and hearings and take the case all the way to trial. And if you do not receive a satisfactory outcome, the case may not reach a conclusion until you have exhausted your appeal options.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
These are the two main classifications of crimes in Pennsylvania. Misdemeanors are generally the less serious offenses, and the primary difference concerns the maximum punishment possible for alleged offenders. Felonies have longer prison sentences and larger fines. Misdemeanor jail sentences will generally be served in local or county facilities, while felony sentences are served in state or federal prisons.
What is the difference between parole and probation?
Parole is the supervised conditional release after imprisonment, but probation is an alternative to imprisonment. Parole generally involves more stringent oversight of a person after he or she has been allowed to complete a sentence in the community, but a violation of the terms of either parole or probation can lead to a person being ordered back to jail or prison.
This is my first time facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania, but I have been previously convicted in another state. Will the Commonwealth still view this as my first offense?
No. Any crime a person committed in another jurisdiction can and will be count against him or her in Pennsylvania so long as the Commonwealth has a similar law to the one that was broken in another state. For example, if an alleged offender was arrested for DUI for the first time in Pennsylvania but was previously convicted of drunk driving in another state, then his or her criminal charges would reflect that the Pennsylvania violation was a second DUI offense.
Why should I hire an attorney if I know that I am just going to plead or be found guilty?
There are multiple reasons you will want to have legal representation when you appear in court. Judges will usually insist that alleged offenders have lawyers and can be angered if they need to explain that public defenders are available. Additionally, there may be multiple aspects to your case that can result in charges being dismissed or reduced. Police errors, prosecutorial oversights, or violations of your constitutional rights are just a few of the examples that an attorney may be able to expose and use to achieve the most favorable outcome.
Protecting Your Rights in a West Chester Criminal Case
The Bill of Rights grants all people in the United States who are accused of crimes certain rights, including the right to a jury, the right to a speedy and public trial, the freedom from self-incrimination and the freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. It is your lawyer’s job to help you protect those rights.
Police may violate your freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures when gathering evidence against you. There are specific procedures, like obtaining warrants, that police must follow before invading any space where you might have a reasonable expectation of privacy, like a locked storage space, your glove compartment in your car, and, especially, in your home.
If they fail to follow these procedures, your lawyer can file a motion to suppress the evidence. In a marijuana charge, the marijuana they found in an illegal search may be the only evidence that prosecutors have against you. Charges in such a situation may be thrown out entirely, meaning you walk away free.
Representation on All Matters in Southeastern Pennsylvania
Many criminal accusations are not limited to the criminal courtroom. If accused of certain offenses, there are often civil proceedings that accompany them.
For example, if you are accused of domestic violence, you can count on a hearing for a protection from abuse order. For a DUI arrest, if your license is suspended, you may request a hearing on the license suspension where you may seek to overturn it.
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our experienced lawyers represent clients on all matters that come as a result of criminal accusation. We can argue why you should not be subject to a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order, or why your driver’s license should not be suspended as a result of a DUI.
Fighting for Your Rights in Pennsylvania Criminal Courts
Criminal charges can mean a total loss of liberty, huge fines and a criminal record that can haunt you for the rest of your life. You don’t have to accept these consequences. You can fight the charges. The team at Ciccarelli Law Offices can help.
When you turn to our firm, you have a team of West Chester criminal defense lawyers on your side. We represent those facing charges throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Lancaster, Downington, and Exton. Call (610) 692-8700 today for a free consultation.