Our Philadelphia criminal lawyers have over 25 years
of combined legal practice – handling some of the
toughest cases in the country.
SKA Law is a premier, Philadelphia criminal defense law firm, founded by professional criminal attorneys. We take on cases other law firms turn down, because we know how to fight – and when to negotiate. Our goal is to get you the best outcome possible. No fluff. No nonsense. Our focus is results.
SKA Law takes on fewer clients than other firms – it’s because we believe that taking on fewer clients means we can provide more service, and better results.
Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys are available 24/7- regardless of the holiday, or time of week. We are always available to help you.
We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.
If you have been charged with a crime, you have the right to be represented by legal counsel. An attorney may be able to help get a case dismissed before it goes to trial or obtain an acquittal. Let’s take a closer look at how an attorney could help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
Were You Made Aware of Your Rights?
After being taken into custody, you have the right to remain silent. If you are questioned without being made aware of this right, it may be possible for anything that you say to be suppressed. Anything that you say to the police or to anyone else without your lawyer present could also be suppressed in certain scenarios. Depending on how important your statements were to the prosecution’s case, having them thrown out could result in a case being dismissed. It may also increase the odds that the prosecutor offers a plea bargain.
Were You Acting in Self-Defense?
Your attorney may be able to point out that you were acting in self-defense when you committed a potentially illegal act. Generally speaking, it is not illegal to take reasonable steps to defend yourself, your family or your property. For example, you are allowed to shoot someone who tries to enter your home or who tries to attack your child. If a jury finds that you were simply trying to protect yourself and your family from harm, there is a good chance that you will be acquitted.
Can Anyone Corroborate Your Story?
An attorney may be able to find witnesses who are able to verify your alibi or otherwise provide evidence of your innocence. For instance, your legal counsel may get in touch with someone who says that another individual committed the crime that you’re accused of. Your lawyer could also hire expert witnesses who may testify that the evidence in the case strongly suggests that you are innocent.
Is a Plea Deal Possible?
In many criminal cases, the prosecutor will offer a plea deal before going to trial. This is typically done in an effort to avoid the time and expense of trying a case in court. If you are charged with a minor offense, resolving a case quickly allows the state to spend its resources on more serious crimes.
Knowing this, your attorney will likely press for a deal that could include little or no jail time. Of course, you are the only one who gets to decide if you want to plea your case or not. It is important to note that a plea deal does count as a conviction, and a criminal record could make it harder to find work, employment or housing in the future.
Get Help Preparing to Testify
You have the right to take the witness stand during your trial. The goal of testifying is to show the jury that you are an honorable person who should be allowed to walk free after the case is over. Your attorney will likely spend time preparing your testimony so that it sounds as natural as possible. He or she will also help you get ready to be cross-examined by the prosecutor who will try to poke holes in any statements made on the stand.
If you have been charged with a crime, you could face a variety of negative consequences. Those consequences could include strained relationships with friends, family members or colleagues. Other consequences could also include spending many years in jail or paying a large fine if convicted of one or more charges. Therefore, it is important that you have someone who is able to protect your rights and hopefully clear your name.
It’s common for people to feel anxiety or confusion after receiving a summons for a Delaware County Magisterial District Court. Don’t let those emotions overwhelm you. The better choice is to talk with a criminal defense attorney.
The Law Offices of Amato Sanita has represented hundreds of clients in Delaware County Magisterial District Court. Our focus is to answer your questions, to help you build a firm defense, and to represent you in front of the court in a professional manner.
The summons tells you to appear in Delaware County Magisterial District Court 32-2-54 in Springfield. When you go into the courtroom, you will appear before Magisterial District Judge James J. Merkins. The judge presides over a number of proceedings including traffic citations, preliminary arraignments, preliminary hearings, bench warrants, and non-jury trials in this court.
The Magisterial District Court 32-2-54 is in Springfield. This court covers the following election districts: Springfield Township’s Voting Districts 1, 2-1, 2-3, 5 and 6.
Springfield has several Magisterial District Courts. It’s important to check your paperwork, so that you can appear in the right court on the designated time and date.
In the Pennsylvania court system, a Magisterial District Court is considered a minor court. It decides all traffic and non-traffic citations. The court also handles preliminary arraignments and hearings for criminal cases. It handles landlord/tenant disputes as well as civil court cases for damages less than $12,000.
Magisterial District Courts in Delaware County
The Magisterial District Courts in Delaware County preside over and decide all summary offenses. These offenses are the least serious charges brought in Pennsylvania courts. This level of offense can include charges like disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, underage drinking, driving on a suspended license, harassment, and first offense shoplifting up to $150.
The magisterial judges preside over these courts. They have the duty to perform marriages and administer oaths as needed.
Delaware County has 33 Magisterial District Courts. All criminal charges are brought first to these courts. The court presides over preliminary hearings and arraignments for both misdemeanor and felony cases. After these preliminary proceedings, the cases are sent up to the next court level, the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.
If you are charged with any criminal or traffic offense in Delaware County, retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. The lawyer can review your case and recommend many possible defenses.
Why You Need a Delaware County Defense Attorney Representing You In A Springfield Courtroom
Before you enter a Magisterial District Court, you need to know the potential penalties you would be facing if convicted of a summary offense. On your first conviction, you can face up to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine. If you already have a past conviction, the jail time could go up to 180 days.
You may be tempted to plead guilty, just to get past the charges. That could be a serious mistake. You may think you can represent yourself in court. That could be another serious mistake. The outcome of the case can have serious implications for your future.
Let’s say you plead guilty to a summary offense, and the judge sends you to jail for 90 days. In those 90 days, you could lose your job. Without income, you could lose your apartment. Your family may struggle without your income. When you get out, you have a criminal record. That could make finding a new job or residence difficult.
The better choice is to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney that knows the Delaware County Magisterial District Courts. Your lawyer can advise you on the best approach to the case, and, in some circumstances, might be able to get the charges lessened or dismissed.
Call The Law Offices of Amato Sanita. We can answer any questions you have, help you build a firm defense, and represent you in front of the judge. We will work to get a positive outcome for you.