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Do you need a lawyer when facing drug paraphanilia charges, attempting to tamper with evidence charge and a disordeally conduct

Altoona, PA |

We received a summons in the mail to see our local judge, 7 months after the incident. I was never read my rights, so, I am unsure if I have been arrested..They listed the charges that I am facing...I need to know if I need to bring a lawyer to the hearing, and am I arrested..

Attorney Answers 4


You can be charged without being arrested. I would hire a criminal attorney to help me respond to the summons and advise me of what to do next.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

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Yes , you absolutely need an attorney. You have not been arrested but have been charged and ordered to appear in local Magisterial District Court for what is most likely a preliminary hearing for misdemeanors. Retain an attorney before the preliminary hearing in Magisterial District Court. Don't wait until after the hearing is over as the case may very well proceed to the County Court of Common Pleas.
This response does not create an attorney / client relationship and should not be relied upon to make decisions in any case. It does not substitute for hiring your own attorney and consulting with him or her to provide in depth legal advice.

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The act of an arrest, of lack thereof in your case, does not really mean anything (or than your detainment). You are facing criminal charges which means you need a criminal defuse attorney. Depending on your financial situation you may qualify for a Public Defender so make sure you take care of this before the hearing so you have representation at the hearing. Although you may be given a" great" offer at the hearing to dispose of the case, it is imperative to have an attorney explain the possible future consequences and ramifications of taking an offer versus fighting the case.

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Any criminal charge is serious, and tampering with evidence (or attempting to do so) is a 2nd degree misdemeanor, which could result in up to 2 years incarceration.

In cases like this, it is typical for the police to file charges without formally arresting you. The District Justice will arraign you on the charges, set bail, and conduct a preliminary hearing. This is a crucial step in the process, and you should have a lawyer with you.

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