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  Frequently Asked Questions about Criminal Defense
  Criminal Defense Lawyer Martricia O’Donnell McLaughlin Answers Your Questions.

  What is a criminal record and why is it important if I have one?
    A crime is conduct which is defined by criminal law as subject to fines or imprisonment if you committed the criminal conduct under specific conditions or with a certain frame of mind. Your lawyer can explain to you the many ways a criminal record can affect your life and whether you should act to expunge your criminal record. It can be very significant if you are charged with a crime, especially in the internet age, even if you are not convicted.
  If I believe that I am suspected of a criminal offense, at what point should I get a lawyer?
    Early advice and help from a lawyer may save serious problems later on. The earlier you hire a lawyer, the earlier you will know what you are being charged with and to what extent you are able to cooperate with the authorities.
  Who represents the government in a criminal case?
    A state case in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is prosecuted by the District Attorney. A federal case is prosecuted by the United States Attorney. A criminal defense lawyer represents the person charged with the crime.

  Do I have an absolute right to a jury trial?
    You generally have the right to a jury trial if you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony in a criminal case. These are the more serious charges. Thefts and driving Under the influence (DUI) are often misdemeanor criminal charges. Felonies may be homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault, various drug offenses. You do not have the right to a jury trial for summary offenses. In all these cases, you have the right to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you.
Your criminal defense lawyer will work to protect your rights.

Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
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