If you are concerned about your ability to find a suitable lawyer you can afford for your case, question the ability of the public defender, and can't find an attorney who will work pro bono, the preliminary hearing is an important step for you in the Pennsylvania criminal process.
The preliminary hearing is when you have the opportunity to review the evidence against you and attempt to get the case reduced or dismissed. Hiring a qualified Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer for this one hearing can be a practical solution, and may be the difference between your case going to trial and the charges against you getting dismissed.
Philadelphia Preliminary Hearing Attorney
Joseph Lentoi founded his firm Lento Law Firm on the principles of customer service, dedication and perseverance that he felt were missing in the Philadelphia criminal defense field. Joseph Lento has years of experience in the legal field, and he will use his knowledge to fight for a reduction of charges or dismissal of evidence in your preliminary hearing.
If you are considering hiring an attorney for your Philadelphia preliminary hearing, contact Lento Law Firm today at (215) 535-5353 to schedule your free initial consultation and see what Joseph Lento can do for your case.
Preliminary Hearing in Philadelphia Information Center
- Pennsylvania Prima Facie Evidence
- Philadelphia Preliminary Hearing Defense
- Missing Your Philadelphia Preliminary Hearing
In the preliminary hearing, it is not necessary for the prosecuting to determine beyond a reasonable doubt whether or not it is you that committed the crime. Rather, the purpose of a Pennsylvania preliminary hearing is to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence for pima facie. Prima facie, or "on its face" in Latin, means that on face value of the evidence, it is sufficiently likely that a crime was committed and it was the defendant that most likely committed it.
Since the prosecutor doesn't have to conclusively prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed and you were the perpetrator, it is possible for a case to move forward from the Philadelphia preliminary hearing to trial in the Court of Common Pleas with weak evidence. In the test of prima facie, the evidence may appear strong because further analysis is not warranted – but in the test of beyond a reasonable doubt, there may be cracks.
However, it is better to show these cracks and expose the weak evidence before your Philadelphia criminal case moves to court. There is always a chance that if the evidence holds up to prima facie in the preliminary hearing, it will hold up in court. An experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney will fight to disprove prima facie in the hearing so that the prosecution's case against you is weakened, or even dismissed.
The preliminary hearing for your Philadelphia criminal charge is a critical step in determining the future of your case. In this hearing, your criminal defense lawyer will be able to question all of the prosecution's evidence against you and bring any weaknesses to light. If your attorney is successful in proving there are too many cracks in the prosecution's case to hold up to the prima facie standard, the court will dismiss the charges against you – meaning you are free to go and won't face trial.
Even if the prosecution is able to prove prima facie despite your defense lawyer's efforts, the preliminary hearing is still an important step for attempting a favorable outcome at trial. Your defense team will see everything the prosecution has to offer as far as evidence and know what steps to take to show at trial the standard of beyond reasonable doubt is not met.
You will also learn the state attorney's angle and the general court opinion of your case. With the preliminary hearing being such an important step in the Pennsylvania criminal process, it is crucial for you to select a qualified Philadelphia criminal defense attorney with comprehensive knowledge of the justice system.
It is important to make every effort possible not to miss your preliminary hearing. The courts may consider your absence a waiver of your right to question and cross-examine the evidence against you, especially if the judge thinks you didn't have a good cause. In certain cases, the judge may also issue a bench warrant for your arrest.
Your experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney will be able to explain an accidental or unintentional no-show with good cause, which may increase your chances at rescheduling the hearing for another time.
Finding the Best Preliminary Hearing Attorney in Philadelphia
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in the Philadelphia area and are looking for ways to maximize your defense strategy, consider hiring an attorney for your preliminary hearing. Joseph Lento knows the ins and outs of the Philadelphia justice system and will fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed through lack of prima facie. For your free consultation on how Lento Law Firm can help you, call (215) 535-5353 today.