CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE HARRISBURG AREA AND CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA CRIMINAL DEFENSE If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, our attorneys will work tirelessly to represent your interests. Our Pennsylvania Criminal Defense attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals charged with all criminal offenses ranging from traffic and other summary offenses to serious felony charges. We firmly believe that every client is entitled to a zealous defense and that every person accused of committing a crime is innocent until proven guilty. We will hold the prosecution to its duty of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt and will vigorously defend your rights. No matter what charges you are facing, we will work aggressively to defend you. We regularly represent clients charged with the following crimes: Traffic Violations Assault other violent offenses Drug Offenses, including Simple Possession, Possession with Intent to Deliver, and Delivery offenses DUI Defense Guns and Weapons Charges Sex Offenses and Rape It is important to have effective legal representation at every stage of your criminal case. CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION If you are under investigation for involvement in any criminal offense, particularly if the police wish to speak with you or conduct a search of your home or property, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. You have important rights which may be asserted even at this early stage, such as the right to remain silent and the right not to incriminate yourself. Failure to assert your rights may make your case much more difficult to defend later. Contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys, Tim Czekaj and Tammy Dusharm at (717) 204-7820 to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss your situation. PRELIMINARY HEARING After being charged with a crime, you will either be arrested and taken before a Magisterial District Judge for a Preliminary Arraignment at which time bail will be set and a Preliminary Hearing will be scheduled, or you will receive a summons in the mail directing you to appear at a Preliminary Hearing. The Preliminary Hearing will occur before the Magisterial District Court in the jurisdiction where the crime is alleged to have occurred. At the Preliminary Hearing, the Magisterial District Judge will make a determination of whether there is sufficient evidence for your case to move forward. This is the first opportunity you and your attorney will have to evaluate and challenge the evidence against you. A transcript can be made of the testimony presented by Commonwealth witnesses. If the Commonwealth does not present sufficient evidence, the charges must be dismissed. You may also request bail modification and begin the process of discussing plea bargaining at the time of the Preliminary Hearing. It is important that you have competent legal representation at this critical stage of your case. Contact the experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Defense attorneys at Czekaj Dusharm LLC for a free consultation if you have been charged with a criminal offense. ARRAIGNMENT At the conclusion of your Preliminary Hearing, if the Commonwealth presented sufficient evidence, you will be scheduled for a Formal Arraignment. At this hearing, you will be formally advised of the charges against you and you will enter a plea. You may plead “Guilty,” “Not guilty,” or “Nolo Contendere (no contest).” Most likely, at this stage you will plead “Not Guilty.” PRE-TRIAL MOTIONS Following your Arraignment, the Commonwealth will be required to produce “Discovery” which consists of the evidence they intend to use against you at trial. Once this is received, your attorney will evaluate this information and determine if Pre-Trial or Omnibus Motions are appropriate. For example, if your rights were violated, it may be appropriate to file a Motion to Suppress Evidence or a Motion to Dismiss Charges. If the prosecutor fails or refuses to comply with the discovery rules, a Motion to Compel Discovery may be needed. If the charges against you are not clear, a Request for Bill of Particulars may be filed. There are numerous other motions which may be filed. You must have qualified legal representation to fully evaluate your case and determine the most effective strategy to defend you against the charges you are facing. Our experienced Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorneys are ready to assist you throughout this process. Contact Timothy Czekaj or Tammy Dusharm today at (717) 204-7820 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation. PLEA NEGOTIATIONS In some situations, it is advantageous to consider entering a plea bargain. A plea bargain involves resolving a case prior to trial. The prosecutor may make an offer, which typically involves an agreement that a defendant plead guilty to one or more charges in exchange for others being dismissed or reduced and a less severe sentence than the defendant would have received if convicted after a trial. Our attorneys will communicate with you every step of the way and will inform you of any plea offers made by the prosecutor. You will receive an honest evaluation of your case, including the pros and cons of going to trial or taking a plea bargain, so you can make an informed decision on how you wish to proceed. ARD Some individuals who have been charged with relatively minor offenses will qualify for a program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (“ARD”). To qualify, you must not have any prior criminal offenses within the preceding ten years, and the District Attorney’s Office must agree that you are an appropriate candidate for the program. The ARD Program is essentially a diversion program which places your criminal case on “hold” while you enter a probationary period. You will not plead guilty and you will not be convicted of your offenses. If you successfully complete all the terms of your probation and earn a successful discharge, your charges will be dismissed. You will then qualify to have your charges expunged. For more information on how we can help with your expungement, click here. Our experienced attorneys will evaluate your situation and determine whether you may be a candidate for the ARD Program. TRIAL If your case cannot be resolved of by pretrial motion, ARD, or plea bargain, the next step will be trial. During trial, we will choose a jury made up of 12 members of the community, whose job it will be to listen to the evidence and determine if the Commonwealth has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the offense(s) you have been charged with. You are presumed innocent, you do not need to prove you did not commit the offense(s). It is the job of the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime(s) you are charged with. If they cannot meet this burden, you must be found not guilty. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Czekaj Dusharm LLC will vigorously defend your rights and challenge the Commonwealth’s evidence. Contact us now at (717) 204-7820 to schedule a free consultation with attorneys Tim Czekaj or Tammy Dusharm. SENTENCING If you are convicted of any offense(s), the Court will schedule a sentencing hearing. A presentence report will be prepared by the County Probation Office, which will describe your offense(s), your prior criminal history, if any, and your background. This information will be used by the Court to determine the appropriate sentence for the offense(s) you were convicted of. Our experienced attorneys will present mitigating factors and will request that the Court impose the most lenient sentence possible. POST-TRIAL MOTIONS/APPEALS Following your sentencing, you have the right to file post-sentence motions, including motions to amend sentence and motions for new trial, among others. You may also appeal your conviction. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Czekaj Dusharm LLC have many years of experience defending individuals charged with committing criminal offenses. We have defended individuals charged with all types of criminal offenses from minor traffic violations to serious felony charges. Contact the attorneys of Czekaj Dusharm LLC at (717) 204-7820 so we can schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation. PARDON/EXPUNGEMENT In certain circumstances, you may qualify to have prior criminal charges expunged, or you may request that the Governor grant you a pardon. Contact our experienced Pardon and Expungement Attorney to schedule a free consultation so we can evaluate your situation and assist you with determining if you qualify for an expungement or pardon. FOR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE, CALL (717) 204-7820, OR FILL OUT OUR CONTACT FORM We Are Here to Provide Legal HelpWe have over 17 years combined experience in criminal defense, family law, civil litigation and general practice law, and we strive to deliver exceptional legal representation. Contact Us Now!