Criminal Defense Practice Areas
Hiring the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer
criminal lawyersDriving Under the Influence (DUI) is a charge which, based on the circumstances of the case and a person’s prior record, can result in jail time, a lengthy license suspension and a criminal conviction. Each year, many Pennsylvania drivers are arrested for DUI.
DUI charges are unique because it is truly the one crime that virtually every citizen can commit (in fact, even if a person doesn’t drink alcohol, DUI charges can be based on a person’s use of prescribed medication). People who live in suburban areas are particularly susceptible to DUI charges because it is very difficult to get to restaurants, parties or virtually anywhere without driving. What makes DUI charges particularly difficult in Pennsylvania is that based on the state’s strict sentencing guidelines, Pennsylvania DUI penalties are some of the toughest in the nation.
Is ARD an Option for Me?
If you have been arrested for DUI, it is important to understand the rights and options available to you. One option to explore, if you can qualify, is the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition Program (“ARD”). Admission into the ARD Program can result in no jail time, a greatly reduced license suspension and, ultimately, a clean criminal record. It is important to hire the right lawyer to represent you in this regard because a person cannot be admitted into ARD unless the District Attorney’s Office agrees to recommend him or her into the program and a judge agrees to accept that recommendation during a hearing.
As a prosecutor and as a criminal defense attorney in Montgomery County, PA, Erik Petersen has handled many DUI cases. He is proud to have earned a reputation as a tough and honest attorney who is always prepared. Please feel free to contact the Law Office of Erik Petersen to discuss your case.
Is Your Child Facing a Charge in Pennsylvania Juvenile Court?
Having a child charged with a crime is a true nightmare for any parent. No one wants their child to face a criminal record or placement in a juvenile facility. Juvenile adjudications (convictions) stay on a person’s record unless they are later expunged and can make it far more difficult for a young person to pursue higher education or better work opportunities in the future.
It is important to retain the right lawyer to represent children charged with a crime. Children have different rights and options than adult defendants and it can sometimes be easier to achieve a result that can later be expunged. Parents should not presume that prosecutors will simply offer positive results to their child. Frequently the most positive dispositions result from negotiations with prosecutors.
Juvenile Charges: The Importance of Being Prepared
Prosecutors frequently make a “plea offer” early in a case. This offer may or may not negotiable. Certainly, prosecutors are more likely to move off an initial offer if they sense that the defense attorney is prepared to zealously defend his client at trial. With juvenile crimes, it is especially important to know that you are getting the best possible result that can hopefully one day be expunged. It is a mistake to address juvenile charges without a knowledgable and experienced attorney in your corner.
Please feel free to contact Blue Bell Pennsylvania Juvenile Defense Attorney Erik Petersen in Montgomery County, PA to discuss your child’s case. His Pottstown Pennsylvania Criminal Law Firm can be reached via email here. He will use his experience in Juvenile Court — both as a prosecutor and a defense attorney — to the fullest extent to protect your son or daughter’s future.
A Montgomery County, PA Criminal Defense Attorney for Drug Charges, Assault, Drunk Driving (DUI), Retail Theft and More
If a person finds him or herself facing a criminal charge in Pennsylvania, having an experienced criminal defense attorney can make a big difference. Whether the charges are brought in federal or state court, it is important to understand your rights and options and have an attorney on your side who is prepared to present a strong defense. Even if the ultimate goal is a negotiated agreement, prosecutors can sense when a defendant has a lawyer who is not prepared or willing to take a case to trial and will not feel compelled to offer the best possible deal.
The most-frequently charged crimes in Pennsylvania:
- Drug charges
- Retail Theft (shoplifting)
As a Montgomery County criminal defense lawyer, I pride myself on being thoroughly prepared to represent my client in every case. Although many cases result in negotiated plea agreements, I have tried many cases (both as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney) and pride myself on “coming up big” when it counts. I respect the fact that every case is enormously important to my client and I work hard to keep open lines of communication to ensure my clients understand what is happening in their case.
Pennsylvania White Collar Crimes
White collar crimes often involve charges of embezzlement, theft, forgery or fraud (such as healthcare or Medicare fraud). Such crimes may be brought in federal court or state court. Financial crimes can result in serious ramifications including jail and large fines and restitution payments.
Recent upsurges in computer crimes have increased focus on white collar crimes in general on the part of prosecutors and judges. It is certainly important to have the right lawyer on your side if you are faced with any theft or white collar crime.
Prosecutors aggressively pursue theft and forgery-type offenses and it is important to have a criminal defense attorney who will be equally aggressive in preparing the best defense. Get the help you need from an experienced Pennsylvania White-Collar Crime Lawyer. Erik Petersen is a Pennsylvania Attorney with experience defending embezzlement, fraud, retail theft and forgery cases. Call his Pottstown, PA criminal law office at to get a strong and aggressive Montgomery County PA federal criminal defense attorney on your case.
Domestic Violence and Sex Crime Defense Attorneys
Crimes involving allegations of domestic violence or sex crimes can result in severe sentences. If you or a loved one has been charged with a violent crime or sex crime, it is very important to be properly represented. Prosecutors in cases involving alleged violent crimes or sex assaults typically start the process seeking long prison sentences. Defendants in crimes such as these tend to get better results if they are represented by an attorney who can effectively negotiate and/or poke holes in the prosecution theory.
It is important to have a lawyer who will prepare a zealous defense to such charges. You are much more likely to obtain a satisfactory result if you have a lawyer who properly prepares the case and is ready to go to trial if necessary. Prosecutors can sense weakness on the part of defense attorneys and will be far less likely to negotiate if you are represented by a lawyer they do not respect.
Pennsylvania Misdemeanor and Felony Offenses
There are four categories of crimes in Pennsylvania: homicides, felony charges, misdemeanor offenses and summary offenses. Obviously, homicide and felony offenses are the most serious, but it is important for a person charged with any crime to have the right representation. As both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, I have handled cases ranging from homicide and felony charges to DUI and traffic offenses. I am certainly qualified to aggressively and appropriately represent anyone charged with a crime.
Retail Theft and Shoplifting Lawyers
Despite advanced anti-shoplifting techniques being used by retail stores everywhere, retail theft is still very common and is being charged by police more then ever. Retail theft, or shoplifting, is the act of depriving or attempting to deprive a retail establishment of any item without payment. With increased surveillance, loss prevention officers are becoming more aggressive in solving and prosecuting retail theft crimes.
For anyone charged with retail theft or shoplifting, the consequences can be very severe. Convictions for retail theft can stay on a person’s criminal record forever and make it impossible to pursue further education or get the best possible job. It is important to hire the right lawyer who can help you defend a retail theft charge and obtain the best result.
The ARD Program for Retail Theft Cases in PA
For some retail theft offenses, it is possible to gain admission into the Accelerated Rehabilitation Program (the “ARD Program”). Upon successful completion of the ARD Program, a person can earn a dismissal of all charges after which the charges can be expunged from the criminal record.
Obviously, record expungement is increasingly important in the modern age so that potential employers cannot find any evidence of the retail theft incident.
Call me, MontCo. Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Law Office of Erik Petersen in Montgomery County, PA to help you in properly defending against retail theft and other theft. You can reach Lower Merion Township Criminal Lawyer Erik Petersen by calling his Norristown DUI law office.
Narcotics, Prescription Pills and Psychedelic Drug Charges
Drug crimes in Pennsylvania are being prosecuted more aggressively then ever and require a strong defense. Possession with intent to deliver (distribute) is a felony charge and can result in mandatory prison sentences. Laws addressing possession with intent to deliver prescription drugs have been strengthened in recent years resulting in increasingly-long jail sentences for defendants.
The most common drugs involved in drug charges in Pennsylvania are:
- Prescription drugs (such as Oxycodone/ Oxycontin)
- Methamphetamines (meth or crystal meth)
Both federal drug crimes and state drug crimes can involve charges of distribution, delivery, and manufacturing and each carries specific penalties. It is important to hire a federal criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in handling all types of drug offenses — in both federal and state court.
As a former prosecutor and as a defense attorney, Erik Petersen has handled many drug felony and misdemeanor offenses. With his experience as a Montgomery County, Pennsylvania prosecutor, Mr. Petersen knows how the prosecution goes about preparing a case and firmly believes that prosecutors can sense when an attorney is afraid of trial and will be less inclined to offer the best possible deal. As a Drug Crime criminal defense lawyer, Mr. Petersen can prepare an aggressive and appropriate defense on your behalf to get you the best possible result.
I proudly defend those accused of criminal charges, federal 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.