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Pennsylvania Criminal Defense FAQ

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

If you are facing criminal charges, you may have several questions about what is to come in the future. The proceedings following an arrest can be complex and overwhelming. Make sure your rights are protected by teaming up with a qualified criminal defense attorney in Reading that has handled ample cases in the past. I am Curtis E. Barnes, Attorney at Law and I have 18 years of experience taking on criminal cases on behalf of clients. Below are some of the frequently asked questions by clients and those facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania. Contact me if you have any other questions or need representation in your criminal case.

What's the difference between a misdemeanor and felony offense?

These terms are used for the charges placed on a crime. A felony is charged for serious offenses and these charges can result in a minimum of one year in prison. A misdemeanor is charged for less serious offenses and can result in a maximum of one year in jail.

Do I need a lawyer?

It is beneficial in any criminal case to have an attorney by your side. A lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected and hold the prosecution accountable in your case. Also, with experience comes knowledge about creating solid defenses. For the best possible chance of success in your case, it is imperative to have an experienced lawyer defending you.

If the police ask to talk to me, should I?

You should not talk to law enforcement at all. Your answer to the police should always be no. Do not answer questions or discuss the case without your lawyer present. This is to prevent a mistake and incriminating yourself because anything that you say can be used against you later in the case.

Do I have to grant the police permission to search my property?

You do not have to let the police search your property, and you should not let them. Allowing them to search is waiving your Fourth Amendment right. Be sure that they have a valid warrant before letting them search anything. Ask to see the warrant rather than just believing that they have one.

Can I refuse field sobriety tests in PA?

You are able to refuse the performance of field sobriety tests. You can; however, still be arrested for DUI without performing the tests. Pennsylvania does have an implied consent law when it comes to chemical tests. You are required under law to perform a chemical test when arrested for a DUI and you can face consequences if you refuse.

Criminal cases can be a lot to handle and I want to help. If you are facing criminal charges, contact my firm right away. I am familiar with all types of criminal cases and I can assist you by building a strong defense and walking you through the case.

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