No one is immune from making mistakes. As human beings, it is part of our nature to commit errors in judgment from time to time. While most are able to weather the aftermath of such a lapse without encountering too much difficulty, sometimes a bad decision may mean one winds up facing Pennsylvania criminal charges.
The first point to keep in mind is that the filing of charges does not constitute guilt of any wrongdoing. The state prosecutor must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that one is indeed responsible for the alleged crime. Furthermore, the law also recognizes that there are times when law enforcement gets it wrong, which is why one is entitled to a presumption of innocence unless the state can show convincing evidence to the contrary. Additionally, there are several options for presenting an effective defense.
The first defense is that one simply did not do it and the accused may even have a sound alibi for the time of the alleged crime. On the other hand, the charged individual may have committed the act alleged, but there are valid reasons why he or she should not be held criminally responsible. These reasons may range from legitimate self-defense to other extenuating circumstances. In some cases, the accused may have suffered from the inability to form criminal intent due to a mental illness or other disability.
The mere fact that criminal charges have been filed does not mean that a conviction will be secured. There are many options to explore when one has been accused of criminal wrongdoing, and the value of experienced assistance from those knowledgeable with the Pennsylvania criminal court system cannot be overestimated. You have built a life and you deserve every opportunity possible to ensure that you can return to that life once these charges are resolved.
Source: FindLaw, “Defending Yourself Against a Criminal Charge“, Nov. 28, 2014