It is critical, especially for those with limited prior contacts with the criminal system to seek out the necessary resources that can help them achieve clarity in making the important decisions that are to follow. But instead of relying on “prison house lawyers,” former convicts, or the online resources provided for legal advice, it goes without saying that the absolute, unqualified best option is to seek out an experienced attorney who can assess your situation analytically and objectively.
These are only some of the resources that I use to evaluate cases that come into my office. I provide these links for informative purposes only, and urge you to contact a lawyer if you are facing criminal charges. As I mention elsewhere on this site, the stakes are simply too high to do anything else.
The Unified Justice System of Pennsylvania allows the public to access Municipal and Common Pleas Court Dockets with nothing more than an internet connection. This information can be important if you are wondering where you loved one is located, the time of his next court date, or the judge who will be sitting on the bench at the next listing. All of this information is virtually irrelevant without an experienced lawyer by your side.
The Pennsylvania Crimes Code is also available to the public online at the linked site. The Crimes Code defines the offenses for which you or a loved one may be charged. One of the critical responsibilities of a good defense lawyer is to push the state to prove the elements of their case. This means that The Crimes Code is a cornerstone to effective defense. It defines the offense, and thereby lays out the responsibilities of the prosecutor to prove each and every element of said offense to a judge or jury of one’s peers.
The Philadelphia Municipal Courts website is another invaluable resource to anyone who is facing charges in Philadelphia County. The site provides an array of useful resources, including but not limited to, Municipal Court Dockets, sample motions, contact phone numbers, and explanations of the judicial process that are particular and specific to Philadelphia.
It is important to note that none of these resources can take the place of an experienced lawyer. They are instead supplemental tools to be used to gain knowledge, and thereby immediately mitigate the confusing and frightening nature of any arrest. If you or a loved has been arrested, the best option is to hire a criminal defense attorney who can utilize these materials based on his experience and training. However, information is always useful and hopefully these resources will be of assistance in your time of need.
If you have any questions concerning these resources, or how to best proceed in a criminal matter, contact my office at (267) 535-9776 for a free thirty minute consultation.