Do I need an Attorney for a Summary Case

Should I represent myself for a Summary Trial?

Do I need an Attorney for a Summary Case

In Pennsylvania, crimes are divided into 3 categories, felonies, misdemeanors, and summary offenses. Misdemeanor and felony charges are the more serious offenses, while summary offenses have less serious consequences. In light of that, many people believe that its not worth it to spend the money to retain an attorney for a trial on a summary offense.  They could not be more mistaken.

First of all, many summary offenses carry with them the possibility of jail time of up to 90 days imprisonment in the county jail.  In cases with multiple summary offenses, you may receive an additional 90 days in jail for each summary offense you are convicted of. Each offense also carries with it the potential for a $300 fine in the case of most summary offenses. In the case of habitual offenders, you can find yourself paying fines of up to $1,000 cash for each offense. And again, these fines are cumulative in the case of conviction on multiple offenses. Certain offenses, such as a violation of 1543(b) Driving on a Suspended License (Alcohol Related) carry mandatory jail time.

Due to the traffic nature of most summary offenses, the possibility for a suspension of your driving privilege is a possible outcome attached to many summary trials.  You can get your license suspended either for a few months, or even an additional year depending on the offense and the status of your driver’s license.

Summary trials, especially those related to traffic are often very document intensive, including records from the Department of Transportation, employer’s records, financial records, and other documents. For these to be admissible in trial against you, they will be needed to be admitted pursuant to the rules of evidence. In many cases, a summary trial is prosecuted solely by the affiant, that meaning you are facing a police officer and not an attorney from the District Attorney’s office.  With an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side, you may have the advantage you need to challenge the Commonwealth’s evidence and get the case dismissed.  Also, due to the working relationship and experience a good attorney has with law enforcement, you may be able to strike a better plea bargain than you would be in the position to make on your own.

Even in a summary trial, its important to be prepared with a good attorney. Attorney Frank Walker can help. With experience in trials ranging from the most serious felonies, to lower grade summary offense, Attorney Walker fights to the utmost to receive the most advantageous outcome for his clients.

Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer and Personal Injury Attorney with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia. Attorney Walker is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense and qualified as a Pennsylvania Death Penalty Defense Attorney.

If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident in WV or PA, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation following a serious accident or injury.