Montgomery County PA Criminal Defense Lawyers

Lower Merion Criminal Defense Lawyers

Being charged with a crime in Pennsylvania is extremely disruptive to anyone’s life. A criminal conviction — indeed, even being charged with a crime — can disrupt your life for years and make it difficult to gain employment and live a normal life. Depending on the types of criminal charges you are facing in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania your personal, professional, academic and financial lives can all feel the effects exerted by an arrest for a crime. Please contact our Montgomery County PA criminal defense lawyers for a free consult.

Common consequences and repercussions of a criminal conviction can include:

Loss of driving privileges

Loss of job or inability to get a job

Loss of custody of your children

Jail or prison sentence

Fines, fees and restitution payments

Probation (reporting and/or non-reporting)

House arrest

Community service

With so much at stake, you should not try to represent yourself or retain a lawyer who cannot get you the best possible result. If you are charged with crime, you absolutely need the help of our skilled and experienced Montgomery County PA Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Pennsylvania Assault Laws

At the Montgomery County, PA, Law Office of Erik Petersen, I have defended people accused of violent crimes, from Simple Assault and Resisting Arrest to Aggravated Assault and Capital Homicide (death penalty) cases. Prosecutors and judges take violent crimes very seriously and usually seek a substantial jail sentence. Because the stakes are so high in violent crime cases, it is critically important to have an attorney with the knowledge and experience to handle such cases.

Defending a violent crime case involves a great deal of investigation and creative thought. Frequently there are legitimate defenses to these charges that have to be brought to light. Perhaps the person charged was simply acting in self-defense. Perhaps the person did not have the intent to commit the crime charges. Perhaps there are other, mitigating factors that warrant reducing the charges and the ultimate penalty. Sometimes gathering and analyzing certain evidence can result in the reduction of charges. A Pottstown, Pennsylvania assault defense attorney must carefully think through and investigate all possible angles in violent-crime cases to ensure the best possible result for the client.

Domestic Violence & Disorderly Conduct Charges

Domestic violence allegations are taken seriously in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. If you are involved in an argument or misunderstanding that becomes loud or violent and the police are called, an arrest may follow.

As a Hatboro, Pennsylvania domestic violence defense lawyer, I have helped numerous clients who were falsely accused of domestic violence abuse or who made a mistake. If you are facing charges, contact the Montgomery County PA criminal defense lawyers at The Law Office of Erik Petersen in Norristown, Pennsylvania. I will work to protect your reputation, rights and freedom.

Tenacious Domestic Violence Defense 

Domestic violence charges are brought against an alleged perpetrator for engaging in assault, harassment, stalking, intimidation, sexual assault or any activity that causes the alleged victim to fear for safety. At my Montgomery County PA criminal defense law firm, I provide strong defense to men and women facing charges involving:

  • Domestic violence
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Family abuse
  • Child abuse

If you were arrested due to an argument or domestic dispute with a partner, spouse, roommate or ex-significant other, it is important to aggressively defend the charges to obtain the best possible result. Anything short of the best result can impact your life for years.

Protection From Abuse (PFA)

When tempers flare and verbal disagreements turn into shoving matches, nobody wins. If you are arrested on a domestic violence charge, it is likely that you will also be served with a restraining order, also known as a protection from abuse order (PFA). Such an order typically forbids any contact with the other party, which may mean you need to find a different place to live and completely change your customs and habits. It may also mean that you are not allowed to have contact with your children. If you violate your PFA and are found to be in contempt of court, you will face harsh penalties that will include time in jail.

Violent Crime Defense

As a former prosecutor and a defense attorney, I have handled many serious violent crimes, including capital murder cases. These are complex cases and almost always involve the significant use of expert witnesses including forensic psychologists, toxicologists, pathologists, polygraphers and private investigators.

In addition to felony and misdemeanor assault the type of cases I have been involved in, as a prosecutor and as an assault charge defense attorney, include the following charges:

  • Manslaughter
  • Homicide
  • Homicide by Vehicle
  • Attempted murder
  • Simple Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Domestic Assault
  • Rape and Sexual Assault
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Armed Robbery
  • Carjacking

Drug Crime Lawyers Montgomery County PA

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has very strict drug laws. As with many states drug crimes can be deemed misdemeanors or felonies. The type of drug, quantity of drug(s) and what you planned to do with them will determine if you are facing misdemeanor or felony drug charges. Over the course of my legal career I have prosecuted those facing drug charges. However since becoming a criminal defense attorney I have also defended hundreds of felony drug cases and misdemeanor drug crimes throughout Montgomery County, PA. Contact me immediately if you are facing drug charges related to simple possession, drug paraphernalia possession, drug and narcotic manufacturing and drug trafficking. No matter what type of drug crime you are facing my ultimate goal will be to have your charges dropped or dismissed. If that is not possible, perhaps due to prior criminal convictions, I will do everything possible to minimize the administrative and legal consequences of your case.

Federal Criminal Defense

To defend against federal charges, a person needs an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. The federal criminal system is like the PA state system in many ways, but has some important differences. The Unites States Attorney’s Office has significantly more time and resources than state prosecutors to direct toward a criminal prosecution. Federal prosecutors have the support of the FBI, ATF, Department of Treasury and other investigative and administrative agencies. This usually results in more thorough investigations, sophisticated investigative techniques (such as wiretapping) and numerous expert witnesses.

Also, the federal sentencing guidelines are substantially more complicated than state sentencing guidelines and generally provide for more severe sentences.

Federal prosecutors have access to tremendous human and financial resources. A lawyer defending a federal case must have comparable experience and resources. Defense counsel must be fully knowledgeable of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence and have experience dealing with federal judges and prosecutors.

I have relationships with experts in various fields (such as private investigators, toxicologists, forensic psychologists and polygraphers) who I have used to help me evaluate and defend cases. I have had success in federal courts in having charges substantially reduced or dropped as part of negotiated resolutions. I am proud of my experience in handling complex, high-profile federal cases and my ability to earn a positive result for my federal clients.

If you have been accused of a federal crime or are under federal investigation, it is important to hire an attorney who has the resources and experience to handle a case in federal court. At the Law Office of Erik Petersen in Montgomery County, PA, I can help you level the playing field with federal prosecutors and provide you with an outstanding defense.

DUI Defense in PA

A DUI charge is a crime that almost anyone can find him or herself charged with. Most people consume some alcohol and/or prescription medication and, in Montgomery County, PA and the area suburbs, most people have to drive to get around. Many people leaving a sporting event or a dinner restaurant can suddenly find themselves charged with a DUI.

DUI charges do not need to ruin your life. First time DUI offenders may qualify for the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition Program (ARD Program) which results in no jail time, a greatly reduced license suspension and a final dismissal of the charges. The ARD Program can also result in the expungement of the charges — after a person completes ARD, the DUI can be expunged from your record.

If you are facing a DUI charge, it is very important to contact a Montgomery County PA DUI defense lawyer for assistance. As a former Montgomery County prosecutor and a DUI defense attorney, I have handled hundreds of DUI cases and can help anyone charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or any controlled substance. Please feel free to call me to discuss you DUI charge.

Skilled Former Montgomery County PA Prosecutor

As a Montgomery County, PA Assistant District Attorney and as a defense attorney, I have worked with federal prosecutors and investigators and understand how the U.S. Attorney’s Office typically prosecutes a case. I have successfully defended many persons in United States District Court.

Federal crimes tend to be more complex than their state counterparts, and in order to properly prepare for trial, you need to have the resources and experience to try these cases effectively. The types of federal crimes that are increasingly charged include:

  • White collar crime such as wire fraud or credit card fraud
  • Internet crimes including internet fraud and piracy
  • Bank robbery
  • Homeland defense violations
  • Federal drug charges and weapons charges
  • Sex offenses

Misdemeanor Charges & The Pennsylvania ARD Program 

Though you may consider a misdemeanor charge as a minor inconvenience, it is important to take it seriously. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you may face time in prison, fines and other consequences.

The best course of action after being charged with a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania is to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. At my firm, the Law Office of Erik Petersen, I provide aggressive defense for misdemeanor and felony charges at the state and federal levels. Contact my firm to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your questions, concerns and options.

Misdemeanors are often categorized in classes with the maximum penalties differing by class. In my experience as a criminal law attorney, common misdemeanor criminal charges pertain to:

  • Drunk driving or driving under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs which may lead to the loss of a driver’s license and to jail time
  • Drug crimes, such as possession of illegal drugs or the trafficking of prescription medications
  • Assault and battery, including physical and verbal assault
  • Sexual offenses such as indecent exposure
  • Domestic violence even if there is no physical involvement
  • Theft and shoplifting, also known as larceny

If you are a first-time offender, you may be eligible to participate in the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program. With successful completion, it is possible to have charges legally dismissed and expunged from the criminal system and your criminal record.

Traffic Violations Montgomery County

Citations for traffic violations are more problematic than many people believe. In addition to the mandatory fines, receiving traffic tickets may jeopardize your driving privileges and increase your insurance rates.

At my firm, the Law Office of Erik Petersen, I provide defense for speeding tickets and other traffic violations given in Pennsylvania. I represent residents of Montgomery County and the surrounding areas as well as students and out-of-town visitors. Contact my Abington criminal defense law office to schedule an initial consultation with me about your traffic violation defense.

Pennsylvania Traffic Crimes Defense

As a criminal and traffic violations defense attorney, I represent motorists in a full range of moving violations in Pennsylvania. In the majority of cases, my goal is to obtain a dismissal of the citation thereby freeing my clients from the obligation to pay the fine and from the other consequences associated with a ticket.

If you have received a ticket for a traffic violation, you do not have to pay your ticket and fight your potential license suspension on your own. I will help you take the appropriate actions to keep your license and to clear your record. In my more than 16 years of experience, I have handled traffic violation defense for:

  • Speeding tickets
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving without a license
  • Driving without proof of insurance
  • Drunk driving (DUI/DWI)

Traffic violations do not go away no matter how strongly you ignore them. In fact, there are often deadlines set for requesting hearings and for filing appeals. If you have received a traffic ticket, protect yourself by quickly taking action once you receive the citation.

Representation for Out-of-Town Drivers

At the Law Office of Erik Petersen, I am ready to provide aggressive defense for traffic tickets and other violations. For out-of-town visitors, I may be able to appear on your behalf so that you do not have to revisit our area. Contact my Pottstown defense law firm to schedule a consultation to discuss options and strategies.

White Collar Crime Defense Attorney

Federal White Collar Crimes cases are generally extremely complex and document-intensive. Federal investigations into white collar crimes can take years to complete. Frequently persons subject to such investigations know they are being investigated long before charges are brought. It is important to retain an attorney the moment a person suspects he or she is under investigation for a suspected white collar crime.

In the last several years, white collar crimes such as money laundering and wire fraud have become an increased focus of the Attorney Generals Office and the F.B.I. This is likely because national and international terrorist suspects allegedly engage in such crimes to support illegal activities. Also, business executives and government officials have come under greater federal scrutiny in the past few years. Prosecutors are increasingly attempting to win lengthy jail sentences upon conviction of these white collar crimes.

It is very important to retain an experienced, qualified attorney when accused – or under investigation – of a white collar crime. A thorough and aggressive defense can minimize exposure and result in dropped or reduced charges. An attorney must be prepared and willing to carefully examine every document and email involved in a case and retain whatever expert witness may be needed to strengthen the defense.

If you or a loved one need a federal white collar crime attorney, it is important to retain someone with the experience and resources to mount a vigorous and appropriate defense. As a former prosecutor and a federal criminal defense attorney, I understand how federal authorities investigate and prepare such cases. Federal prosecutors have the support of the FBI, ATF, Department of Treasury and other investigative and administrative agencies. The result is typically a thorough, sophisticated investigation with numerous expert witnesses.

An effective federal defense attorney cannot be surprised or intimidated by the resources involved in a federal prosecution. Rather, an attorney must be prepared to devote the necessary resources to ensure a zealous and effective defense. I have relationships with experts in numerous fields (such as private investigators, toxicologists, forensic psychologists, polygraphers and computer experts) who I have used to help me evaluate and defend cases. I have the knowledge and experience to earn the best possible result for any client charged with a white collar crime.

If you are charged with wire fraud, money laundering, insurance fraud or any other white collar crime in Montgomery County, PA or the surrounding counties, I will make sure you get an effective defense.

As a former prosecutor in Montgomery County, PA and as a defense attorney, I have an understanding of how federal prosecutors and the FBI prepared and try federal cases. In defending you, I will develop a strategy that makes use of this experience and vigorously challenges the prosecutor’s case.

White collar crimes involve many different types of fraud and theft that can result in state and federal charges including:

  • Money laundering
  • Insurance fraud
  • Medicare fraud
  • Racketeering
  • Financial crimes
  • Embezzlement
  • Securities fraud
  • Bank, mail, and wire fraud
  • Tax evasion
  • Corporate fraud

In preparing my defense, I form a partnership among my clients and my expert witnesses. I treat clients with dignity and respect, work closely with them in preparing an appropriate defense and promptly return calls and emails. As part of my defense practice, I defend people charged with federal crimes, Internet crimes, and drug offenses.

I also have defended persons charged with internet in Pennsylvania. Without question, the Internet continues to be the new frontier of criminal law. Historically, there has been little regulation of the Internet and, accordingly, prosecution of internet and computer crimes was rare. However in the last several years, state and federal prosecutors have been bringing more charges against persons accused of various “cyber” crimes. Many of these crimes are brought in federal court because they involve interstate commerce. However the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and other local prosecutors have been aggressively charging people with internet crimes.

Prosecutors are devising new methods in attempting to crack down on internet crime. One popular prosecution technique is to have an undercover detective pose as a civilian (frequently a young person) and attempt to engage people in instant-message conversations. Another technique involves an undercover detective attempting to arrange for the sale of controlled substances such as prescription drugs. Arrests resulting from these methods raise important freedom-of-speech and entrapment issues and must be viewed with caution and aggressively defended.

Technology-Savvy Former Prosecutor

Defending against internet and cyber crimes requires an understanding of how detectives, agents and prosecutors investigate and prepare a case. As a Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney, I gained first-hand experience in the investigation and prosecution of these cases. I use this knowledge to provide outstanding and aggressive representation to my clients charged with internet crimes.

There are many different types of internet and computer crimes, including:

  • Phishing scams and Spamming
  • Unauthorized computer use and access device fraud
  • Internet fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Piracy
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Credit card fraud
  • Sale of drugs and controlled substances
  • Internet sex crimes
  • Child pornography
  • Child enticement
  • Solicitation
  • PFA Violations

Call My Pottstown, Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Law Office For A Free Consultation. I will work tirelessly to protect your rights, driving privileges, freedom and reputation.  

I proudly defend those accused of criminal charges, drug charges, DUI, property crimes, violent crimes, weapons charges and sex offenses throughout Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. This includes Abington, Ambler, Blue Bell, Conshohocken, Haverford, Lansdale, Cheltenham Township, Hatboro, Hatfield, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Upper Merion Township, Upper Dublin Township, Lower Providence Township, Upper Moreland Township and Horsham Township.