Being arrested and charged with the same crime more than once does not limit or restrict your right to seek counsel and learn of your rights. You may feel that you are doomed, and there is no hope for your situation. That is not the case. You are still entitled to be represented by effective and qualified counsel for the charges you are charged with, and this includes repeated DUIs, theft, and assault.
Repeated DUI Penalties
When your back is against the wall, and you need a lawyer that knows the law, you need the experience and expertise of a renowned and respected Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney, We take your case seriously. To us you are not another person, you are our person of interest. In 2018, the laws surrounding repeat DUI offenders changed from being a misdemeanor to a felony. This is due to the related number of DUI casualties.
What you need to know is that every state has its penal system for repeat offenders. In Pennsylvania, the laws are outlined, and unless you have a good attorney that knows how to interpret the law, your rights could be overlooked, and you could be overcharged. For the first DUI offense, you are looking at 60 to 90 days or two to three months, with fines up to $500. The penalty for a second DUI offense is at least three months or 90 days, and a $1,000 fine. A person found guilty of a third DUI offense can get six months or 180 days in jail, and a fine of $2,500.
If another DUI is repeated within 10 years, the defendant is looking at a felony charge which carries steeper charges. Most times, police stop drivers without probable cause, which in some cases can lead to a violation of the driver’s rights. After we represent your case in court and prove that you were a victim of a false report or unwarranted stop, our clients get these cases resolved.
Repeated Theft Penalties
Repeated theft offenders are punished under a value system. This is according to the value of the object or item the accused has supposedly taken. It is a third-degree felony for a third offense, for merchandise totaling $1,000 or more. If found guilty, a person could face up to seven years in prison and be fined $15,000.
Repeat Assault Penalties
There are several types of assaults in Pennsylvania a person can be charged with. Two of these are simple assault and aggravated assault. It is the state’s job to prove that an assault was intentional, or meant to inflict bodily harm. Penalties can be up to twenty years depending on the victim’s status, such as an officer.
If you are charged with a felony, or if you have repeated the same offense more than once, please contact our office today at (215) 568-1400. Do not take on your case alone. The laws in Pennsylvania change constantly, and one mistake could cause you the rest of your life.Read More
Representing clients who are going through one of the worst times of their life is a huge responsibility that lawyers take seriously. Yet, it is also common to encounter clients who may be hesitant to talk about their case or who worry that something they say could be used against them. Helping your clients feel safe during their case discussion is as easy as using these strategies to develop a trusting relationship.
After being accused of a crime, it is common for a person to be unsure of who they can trust. Sharing that our team has over 25 years of experience in handling a diverse range of criminal cases that include domestic violence, drug charges, and parole violations helps people to rest assured that they are in competent hands.
Clients also tend to relax when they hear that we are certified in capital murder defense and are capable of practicing before the U.S. Supreme Court. Even if a client’s case isn’t expected to go that far, this information makes it clear that we are fully prepared to practice criminal defense in any court of law.
Explain Attorney-Client Privilege
Many people enjoy watching popular crime shows, yet some of the high drama scenarios depicted on the screen give people the wrong impression that a lawyer could turn on them at any moment. During an initial case discussion, the best criminal lawyers in Philadelphia take time to explain how attorney-client privilege protects their confidentiality.
While a lawyer may be obligated to share information about a crime that someone is planning, ones that are already suspected of being committed are protected under this understanding. Taking the time to thoroughly explain how this expectation of privacy works can help even the most reluctant client see that what they say in your office is protected information.
After explaining the essential information about your practice and attorney-client privilege, you’ll want to shift the conversation back to the client. Asking them if they have any things that could cause them to hesitate to tell you the truth gives them a chance to clear the air.
For instance, they might be worried about having private information leaked in a follow-up email, which gives you the chance to discuss your best practices for electronic communication. Or, your client may also worry about having a paralegal hear their discussion, and you can use this question to go over how attorney-client privilege covers other people who work in your office.
Express Empathy and Compassion
As a final note, lawyers are often depicted as being tense or aggressive in the media, which leads clients to believe that this is how you’ll react in your office as well. Make sure to keep your voice tone low and even, and remember to watch your body language.
Practicing active listening by nodding your head and leaning slightly towards your client helps them to know they are being heard, and keeping your facial expressions neutral or empathetic helps them to keep sharing without feeling judged.
Find Support for Your Criminal Case Today
Have you struggled with the prospect of meeting with a lawyer? Reach out to our team to start working with a supportive criminal defense attorney who cares about making sure that you receive strong representation in court.Read More
William J. Brennan Appointed as Hearing Committee Member Serving the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
The Brennan Law Offices are proud to announce the appointment of William J. Brennan as a Hearing Committee member in the District I disciplinary district. Mr. Brennan’s appointment will take effect on July 1, 2022.
The Disciplinary Board’s mission statement is to protect the public, maintain the integrity of the legal profession, and safeguard the reputation of the courts. The Board is comprised of 12 members (10 attorneys, 2 non-attorneys) appointed by the Supreme Court for a six-year term.
As a member of the Hearing Committee, Mr. Brennan will volunteer his time to conduct hearings and act as a formal reviewing body to help determine if a disciplinary case might move forward. The Disciplinary Board appoints Hearing Committee members for up to two consecutive three-year terms.
About William J. Brennan
For over 30 years, William J. Brennan has built a national reputation as one of the top criminal defense attorneys in the country. He has successfully advocated on behalf of clients facing charges for DUI and drug crimes, murder, sex offenses, domestic violence, gun crimes, federal and white collar crimes, and more.
Mr. Brennan has received several awards and recognitions throughout his legal career. He has earned an AV Preeminent peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbel, as well as their Gold Client Champion award. He has been selected to Super Lawyers for 17 consecutive years. Mr. Brennan has been selected as one of the top 100 lawyers in Philadelphia 2022.
In the legal community, Mr. Brennan is a member of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Federal and American Bar Associations, the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.Read More
Pennsylvania’s stand your ground law allows someone to use deadly force to defend themselves if they reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury. If a person claims self-defense and the aggressor was unarmed, you must be able to show that an ordinary person would have felt in danger of death or serious bodily injury. However, there are certain circumstances when a person may claim self-defense under Pennsylvania’s stand your ground law even if the aggressor was armed. In this post, you will learn circumstances where someone can claim self-defense under Pennsylvania’s Stand Your Ground law.
Intentional Harm to Person or Property
The stand your ground law applies if you intentionally harm a person or property. To support your claim of self-defense in this situation, you need to establish that you were in fear of imminent attack and that the only way to stop the threat was by using force. If you were attacked by someone who intended to kill you and then killed themself. As a result, you would not be able to rely on the stand your ground doctrine. To meet this first part of the test, you should present your evidence to the criminal law attorneys in Philadelphia that the person causing you harm intended for the harm. Evidence that the person intended to harm you could be a message they conveyed using their words or actions before they attacked. For example, if someone picked up a baseball bat and began to swing at you, the intent would be to cause you harm.
This defense is not available if you cause the death of someone outside your home by inviting them inside to kill them. For example, if someone approached you and threatened to kill you outside your home and let them in to kill them in your house, it would not be covered under the stand your ground law.
Escape from Confinement
The law also applies if someone is escaping from confinement. The law does not define what confinement means, which may lead to future cases determining whether it means physical confinement or some other form of constraint. In cases where people have escaped from police custody or prison, they can claim self-defense under the stand your ground doctrine.
Defense of Others
The law also allows someone to defend a third person from excessive force by another. This defense is not available if the third person is not being attacked or if he is committing a crime himself. It is also unavailable when the person trying to help had criminal intent, meaning they were planning on harming someone else or using force.
If You Are Not the Initial or Main Attacker
This is known as “Retreat by Extrication.” It is legal to use deadly force against a person who is stalking, threatening, or pursuing you if you are not the attacker and there is an escape route. For example, if another person makes unwanted advances toward you and you start to scream for help, this would be an example of retreat by extrication. However, if the other person has a knife in their hand and they are trying to chase after you, this would not be considered retreat by extrication. In this circumstance the stand, your ground law allows you to use deadly force against them if necessary.
While the criminal justice system has undergone significant transformations, one of the most changes has been the expansion of self-defense laws. Under Pennsylvania’s stand your ground law, an individual may use force with no legal duty to retreat to defend themselves in their home or place they believe they have a right to be present. This law provides that individuals who are attacked cannot be convicted of a crime if they reasonably believed that their life was in danger. However, this law can cause problems when individuals are unable to tell the difference between right and wrong.Read More
Landlords use unlawful detainer — more commonly known as “eviction” — to get residential or commercial tenants out of a property. This process impacts the lives of three million Americans annually.
If your landlord has an attorney, we recommend hiring a reliable detainer lawyer. After all, an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney can help you even the playing field.
This article will discuss how a detainer lawyer can help you address your legal concerns. Read on to determine if it’s worth having one on your side.
1. Understand The Process
Protecting yourself from eviction may seem uncomplicated, but the process is nuanced and intricate. As a tenant, you must know your rights, prepare an answer to the lawsuit, and gather your defenses.
If this seems overwhelming for you, we recommend working with a detainer lawyer instead. Doing so can help you focus on more important matters, like being there for your family or employees during trying times.
2. Perform Necessary Tasks
Unlawful detainers are procedure-oriented cases. No matter how strong your defense is, you could easily lose the case because of one misstep. For this reason, it’s best to hire a detainer lawyer to help you perform all the tasks required to regain temporary possession of your property.
3. Legally Obtain Evidence
At times, defendants may gain access to evidence that can help win their case. However, if they’re tainted, they are typically inadmissible and cannot be used against another party. Working with the right legal team can help you legally gather key evidence for your case.
4. Enjoy Financial Gains
There are unlawful detainer scenarios that grant aggrieved tenants particular financial gains. For instance, the court may instruct a landlord to cover the costs of a tenant’s legal representation. Depending on your case, your lawyer can create the ideal defense to get as much financial reparation as possible.
5. Open Negotiations
No matter how challenging your professional relationship with your landlord is, an eviction might not be the ideal solution for either of you. If you have a reliable detainer lawyer on your side, you can get their help negotiating with your landlord. This may be a simpler, less expensive alternative to a lawsuit.
Find A Reliable Detainer Lawyer Near You
A reliable Philadelphia detainer lawyer offers so many advantages that allow you to focus your energy where it is needed most. If you’re facing eviction and your landlord has hired an attorney, we recommend getting one, too.
However, not all lawyers are the same. Choose experienced professionals to represent you, like the ones from Brennan Law Offices.
At Brennan Law, we’ve been serving the needs of tenants from Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania for over 25 years now. We know the law, the city, and its courts. If you need help defending your rights as a tenant, we’re here to help.
Call us at 215-568-1400 for a free legal consultation.Read More
Do you know someone who the police have just arrested? Whether it is you or someone you know, being in police custody is an unnerving experience.
Being taken into police custody can mean several things. The nature of police custody goes beyond detention. As law enforcement personnel take someone into their custody, the arrested still retains certain rights. Also, police custody presupposes the provision of information leading to the arrest or detention.
One of the first elements of being taken into police custody is knowing your rights. Under the law, officers who perform an arrest must inform suspects of their rights. In the context of police custody, these rights are none other than Miranda Rights.
Miranda Rights protect individuals from self-incrimination. This is why arresting officers tell suspects that certain actions and statements can be used in court.
Besides protecting an individual from self-incrimination, Miranda Rights also include terms for seeking legal counsel. The Rights provide that arrested persons can seek legal counsel regardless of whether they can afford one or not. Miranda Rights also allow arrested individuals with legal counsel to have the lawyer present during police questioning.
When an individual is taken into custody, they need to be made fully aware of their Miranda Rights. Any failure to read arrested individuals’ rights constitutes illegal detention.
Does Being in Police Custody Mean Being Taken to Prison?
The answer is “no.” There is a difference between being taken into police custody and being taken to prison. Police custody is necessary for either investigation or temporary detention for minor offenses.
In Philadelphia and any other part of the United States, going to prison only happens after a conviction. Convictions come after a judicial ruling. Between a judicial ruling and an arrest, there are still several steps that do not always lead to a criminal conviction of the arrested person.
If you or someone you know has been detained for a crime, having a criminal defense lawyer will be helpful.
What Are the Elements of Police Custody?
The following are the elements of being legally taken into police custody:
Being Read Your Rights
As mentioned earlier, officers need to read you your Miranda Rights before arresting you. You can exercise your right to hire a criminal defense lawyer.
Information on the Reason for Your Arrest
Officers need to inform you of why you are being detained. Police officers cannot arrest you for no reason. The only time they can make an immediate arrest is when they see you committing a crime on the spot.
Restrictions on Your Movement
During the arrest, an officer restricts movement with the use of handcuffs. The police station creates a blatter of an individual’s arrest before the individual is taken to a holding cell. Within the holding cell, individuals have freedom of movement within supervision.
Taken Into Police Custody? Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer
A criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia can be immensely helpful during your detention. Should matters escalate to a trial, later on, you will be glad you called one.
For legal counsel and representation that has your best interests at its core, call us at Brennan Law Offices.
Criminal Record? How To Appeal Your Wrap Sheet. That is the question many people ask themselves when they are looking for jobs and want to answer “no” on any criminal background check. When you have a criminal record, it can seem like your options are limited or non-existent, but that doesn’t need to stop you from having a successful career. Here, we will help teach you how to appeal your wrap sheet on criminal records with tips and tricks that can make all of the difference in your search for employment.
1. Expunge Your Records
Many people do not realize there are ways to expunge your criminal record. Expunging is the legal process of making designated information unavailable through routine record searches. This does not erase or destroy it; instead, an order of expungement (which varies by state) provides retrieval and removal of the records, but they are marked to indicate they can only be revealed under court order. An expungement is suitable for the person whose record it is, but not necessarily for anyone else. Expunged records may also be sealed.
2. Get a Certificate of Rehabilitation
A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a document that “certifies” you have been rehabilitated and are considered free from your prior criminal history by a Philadelphia criminal attorney. If possible, this should be applied prior to starting job-hunting. You cannot apply for a certificate unless five years have passed since completing your sentence (or release on parole or probation). You must have also been released from prison, parole, and probation without further criminal problems during those five years.
3. Get a Pardon
A Pardon is a document that “certifies” you have been pardoned for a conviction of a crime from a criminal lawyer in Philadelphia, and removes your civil disabilities. With a Pardon, you can say you have never been convicted of a crime. Five years must pass from when you finished any incarceration and when the application was filed to get one. There are different pardons, so be sure to research which one would work best for your situation.
4. Update Your Resume
If your criminal record prevents you from getting a job, don’t just leave it off your resume. Be proactive and take the time to highlight everything on your resume not related to your criminal record so if they do run a background check on you, the non-relevant information will be what pops up first. Make sure not to lie on your resume but find creative ways to highlight the positives and hide the negatives.
Don’t let a criminal record stop you from providing for your family. If you are currently unemployed, it may be time to explore new career paths to accommodate your situation. There are many resources available that can help. Just do your research and be proactive.Read More
The field of criminal law is a diverse and fascinating one, with lawyers handling cases from petty theft to murder. If you’re considering a career in law enforcement, then it’s important that you consider the impact studying Criminal Law can have on your future success as a police officer. This blog post will explore how studying criminal law can help improve your skills as an officer and provide valuable insight into the legal system.
1. Understanding the Legal System
One of the key benefits of studying criminal law is providing a basic understanding of the legal system. As a police officer, it’s important that you are familiar with the different aspects of the legal system, from criminal procedure to constitutional law. By studying criminal law, you will learn about these different aspects and be better equipped to handle criminal cases as an officer.
2. Enhancing Investigative Skills
Criminal law also enhances your investigative skills, which can be extremely valuable in law enforcement. Criminal investigations are often complex and require officers to gather evidence and interview witnesses. Studying criminal law will teach you how to effectively investigate crimes and build a strong case against the accused.
3. Applying Legal Concepts to Your Job
Studying criminal law can also benefit your career as a police officer by applying legal concepts to your job. By having a basic understanding of criminal law, you will be able to apply different aspects of the legal system to real-world situations that arise on the job. For example, the best criminal lawyers in Philadelphia can use the law of homicide to determine whether or not killing was justified.
4. Enhancing Your Communication Skills
Studying criminal law will also improve your communication skills as an officer. This is particularly important because it’s essential that officers communicate effectively with others to ensure the best outcomes in criminal investigations. By studying criminal law, you will learn how to effectively communicate with lawyers, judges and other members of the legal system.
5. Gaining a Competitive Edge
Finally, studying criminal law can also give you a competitive edge over other officers. By having a strong understanding of criminal law, you will be better equipped to handle criminal investigations and prosecutions. This can be an important advantage when competing for promotions or assignments within your department.
Studying criminal law is an excellent way to improve your skills as a police officer and better understand the legal system. By understanding the different aspects of criminal law, you will be better equipped to handle criminal investigations and prosecutions. The best criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia will guide you through the legal proceedings, so get in touch with us right away if you have been charged with a crime. Our lawyers are highly experienced and will provide you with expert legal guidance throughout your case.Read More
A strict liability crime is one that is classified as a criminal activity regardless of what someone’s intentions were. Even if you did not have criminal intentions, you can still be charged with a crime. You need to hire the best criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia if you have been accused of a strict liability crime.
What Are Examples of A Strict Liability Crime?
This is a crime that occurs when a person has sex with an underage person. You could be charged with a crime even if you were unaware of the fact the person was underage. It also does not matter if the underage person consented to the act. Additionally, it is possible for you to be charged with a crime if you intended to have sex with the underage person, but you did not carry out the actual act.
You Sell Alcohol to an Underage Person
It is illegal for anyone to sell alcohol to someone who is under the age of 21. It doesn’t matter if you believed the person was at least 21-years-old.
The vast majority of traffic offenses are classified as strict liability crimes. If you are caught speeding, then you may be charged with a strict liability crime. It doesn’t matter if you did not believe that you went over the speed limit.
The reason that you should hire a criminal defense attorney in PA is because there are many possible defenses that you can use. You may be able to use one of the following defenses.
Your attorney can argue that the plaintiff is partially responsible for the crime. The plaintiff may still be able to recover some damages.
Assumption of Risk
There are some issues that involve consent. If the plaintiff has engaged in a risky activity, then they may not be able to recover any damages.
Abuse or Misuse
It is common for people to file claims if they have been hurt by using a product. It is possible for people to recover damages from using a defective product. However, if the person intentionally misused or abused a product, then this can be used as a defense.
Comparative fault raises the question of how much the plaintiff contributed to their own issue. The plaintiff can get part of their claim reduced if they contributed to the crime.Read More
One of the basic principles of law regarding crime and punishment is that punishment should fit the crime. Most state legislatures have structured sentencing guidelines with this in mind. Additionally, there are federal guidelines as well that apply when determining what crimes should carry significant prison sentences, all based on this suitable fit principle. The problem for many defendants is that they often get charged with more serious crimes than they actually commit, meaning that even a plea bargain for a low-level felony can result in an extended period in jail in some instances based on potential reasonable doubt. Here is a look at what the courts evaluate when determining an appropriate punishment following a conviction or when offering a plea bargain.
One of the most important aspects of determining sentencing is what actually happened during the commission of the crime. Even a murder case can have its weaknesses. The level of intent and premeditation can be important. Additionally, racketeering can be an issue that enhances punishment as well when multiple individuals have colluded to commit a series of crimes, such as a drug trafficking ring.
Prior Criminal History
Depending on the particular type of crime, courts often look at the individual record of the convicted defendant. Some crimes such as driving under the influence have mandatory punishment requirements for multiple offenses, but even when there are no mandatory requirements the court will take this into consideration when determining the appropriate punishment.
Danger to the Community
Another factor in sentencing convicted defendants for very serious crimes is whether the defendant is a danger to the community. This commonly applies in certain cases like sex offenses against children, but the same concern can be applied when defendants have been charged with multiple murders or have a long history of criminal activity throughout their life. There are many convicted criminals in Pennsylvania penitentiaries who made a career out of criminal behavior only to land in jail for decades.
Why to Retain the Best Criminal Defense Attorney in Philadelphia
The potential for a long sentence is real when a defendant has committed a serious offense, but reasonable doubt is still the standard when the case is adjudicated. And the charge may very well not fit the actual crime when being “overcharged” by the prosecution. There can be a life-long impact for a criminal conviction, which is why it is vital to always defend any criminal charge strongly with an experienced and aggressive Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer from Brennan Law Offices.Read More