Can You Retain an Attorney Before You Are Indicted or Charged?
3/18/2019There is a common misconception that you don’t need to hire an attorney until you are indicted or charged with a crime. While it may not be absolutely necessary, hiring an attorney before you are charged has a lot of advantages and perhaps help you avoid being charged with a crime altogether. Law enforcement might suggest that you won’t get into trouble if you cooperate, but they will take advantage of you at every opportunity. An attorney can help you level the playing field and protect yourself against the unfair tactics that police and investigators like to use. You Are Likely a Suspect If you have any connection to a crime that the police are investigating, you should assume that you are a suspect if they are talking to you about it. They are not obligated to tell you that you are a suspect, and they might actually try to convince you that you’re not in the hopes that you’ll incriminate yourself. If you haven’t any connection to the crime in question, the best thing you
Federal Firearms Offenses Often Coincide with Other Charges
12/26/2018Each state has its own complex laws regarding firearm possession. Federal law also regulates the possession, use, sale, and purchase of firearms across the United States. These laws are enforced by numerous agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Federal prosecutors regularly charge individuals with firearms offenses, including: Unlawful possession of a firearm Selling a firearm to a prohibited individual Falsifying gun purchase records Using or possessing a firearm in connection with a violent crime or drug trafficking operation The last-mentioned offense can be particularly serious, as it will coincide with other federal charges that come with potentially severe penalties of their own. When a firearm is added to the mix, a conviction can mean a
How a Lawyer May be Able to Suppress Evidence in a Federal Drug Case
12/17/2018In order to convict any defendant of a crime, federal prosecutors must prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Such proof happens by presenting evidence, which can include physical evidence, written statements, witness testimony, video or audio recordings, scientific test results, and much more. One important way that federal defense attorneys protect their clients’ rights is by ensuring that only evidence admissible under the Federal Rules of Evidence can be submitted to the jury. When a defense lawyer identifies that evidence should not be admissible, they can file a motion for the court to suppress the evidence, which if granted, means the prosecutor can’t use that evidence against a defendant. The more evidence that is suppressed, the less evidence the prosecutor has to prove the case. Suppression of evidence is especially important in drug-related cases. The Exclusionary Rule
What is Entrapment?
12/10/2018Entrapment is a possible legal defense that can be used against a variety of criminal charges. In order to be convicted of a crime, a defendant must engage in the alleged unlawful conduct willingly and voluntarily. If a law enforcement officer convinces someone to commit a crime that they would not have otherwise committed, they did not commit the crime voluntarily under the law and can raise the defense of entrapment. Entrapment is a rare defense and generally stems from undercover sting operations. In such an operation, an officer may deceptively pose as someone interested in criminal activity, whether as a partner or a victim. While an undercover officer should only be gathering evidence of criminal activity, officers may often persuade others into engaging in criminal activity that they were not previously planning. When a sting operation rises to this level, it can constitute illeg
5K Motion in Federal Criminal Cases
11/19/2018You’ve likely seen movies in which a prosecutor offers a mobster a deal if they give up information about other criminals. While this is a common and expected theme in movies and TV shows, it also happens in reality – and more often than one might expect. If you are facing federal criminal charges, you should be aware of all your rights and options under the law, including options for sentence reductions such as a 5K motion. For this reason, you should seek the assistance of a skilled federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to understand every option available to you in your case. At Wimmer Criminal Defense in Philadelphia, we are thoroughly familiar with the federal justice system and how to seek the best possible outcome for each and every client. If you believe you are under investigation, have been arrested, or are facing federal charges, you should not wait any longer to get the right legal defense. Call today at 215-712-1212 or
Shoplifting in Philadelphia Can Result in a Long Term Criminal Record
11/12/2018If you have been accused of shoplifting legally known as “retail theft” in Philadelphia you are in all likelihood facing misdemeanor theft charges. If the value of the goods allegedly taken exceed $2,100, involve a vehicle or firearm, or this isn’t your first or second offense you will face more serious felony charges. It is important that you understand you have the right to remain silent. Follow the instructions of the arresting officer but do not talk about anything that happened or profess your innocence. When you are being questioned simply tell them “I want to speak to my lawyer,” and call me immediately for a free consultation at 215-712-1212. While shoplifting or retail theft is one of the most common crimes throughout Pennsylvania, many people simply don’t take shoplifting charges very seriously. I can tell you retail theft
How About a Little Hope for a Monday Morning? Criminal Charges Are Not a Game Ender!
11/5/2018If you are facing criminal charges because of a DUI or fight or some other event that happened this weekend you may be really worried about what is going to happen to you and how much it’s going to cost. My first advice is: take a breath. Philadelphia courts take a while to work through a criminal case, and there is a lot I can do to help you and affect what happens at each step along the way. Call me right now for a free consultation at 215-712-1212. We will discuss what has happened and how cases like yours are typically handled. My clients usually feel much better after speaking with me and have peace of mind knowing what to expect, how the process works and genuine hope about what I will do to help. If charges haven’t been filed yet, I can work with the
New Jersey Pretrial Intervention Program
10/17/2018The Pretrial Intervention Program, commonly referred to by the courts as PTI, is a program that is voluntarily entered into by a defendant after he or she completes an application and in-person interview. Whether a defendant is eligible for the pretrial intervention program is based on many factors including the defendant’s age, prior criminal record, the nature of the offenses with which the defendant has been charged, and the degree of violence, if any, in the charges. The pretrial intervention program is a diversionary and rehabilitative program. It is diversionary in that if you are accepted you will not have to go to trial and face a conviction. If you complete all terms of the program successfully, the charges will be dropped against you. The program is also rehabilitative in that your application will be reviewed and a treatment plan appropriate to your case may be developed by a counselor. A rejection from the pretrial intervention
Philadelphia Diversion Programs – Accelerated Misdemeanor Program
9/18/2018The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has developed various pre-trial “diversion programs” to preserve judicial resources and provide an alternative course than the typical trial track (arraignment, preliminary hearing, trial, sentencing) for certain offenders charged with both misdemeanor offenses and felony offenses. There are two Accelerated Misdemeanor Programs available in Philadelphia, AMP 1 and AMP 2. AMP 1 is geared towards non-violent first time offenders whom have been charged with a misdemeanor. The defendant is not required to enter a plea of guilty or
What is Heat of Passion Manslaughter? What is the Difference between First Degree Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter?
7/11/2018“Heat of passion” voluntary manslaughter in Philadelphia requires the jury to find that at the time of the killing, the defendant acted under a sudden and intense passion resulting from serious provocation. Passion in terms of voluntary manslaughter means anger and terror that is so intense, strong, and high that it prevents the defendant from being able to reason or decide between right and wrong. It must be a sudden passion – for example, if the defendant sat for days trying to decide whether to kill his wife’s lover, that is not sudden. However, if the defendant walks in on his wife and her lover in bed and shoots them both, a jury may find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted with the sudden and intense passion required to support a voluntary manslaughter conviction. In Pennsylvania,
The Pennsylvania Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA): Claims to Raise in a PCRA Petition
6/25/2018Filing a Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) petition is one of the options that you have after you are convicted of a crime in Pennsylvania. A PCRA lawyer in Philadelphia like Lauren Wimmer will be able to determine whether you are eligible for PCRA relief. After working for a Philadelphia homicide judge in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas for a number of years, attorney Lauren Wimmer learned the ins and outs of Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act, how to get PCRA relief for her clients, the types of claims that need to be raised in a PCRA petition to be granted an evidentiary hearing, and how to win a new trial. The following guide is intended to provide a basic overview of the Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) and the PCRA process for defendants and their families. Defendants may be able to file a Post-Conviction Relief Act petition if certain criteria is met. To have any chance at PCRA relief, you must have been convicted of a crime in Pennsylvania, sentenced