A criminal homicide case represents perhaps the greatest challenge to Pennsylvania defense attorneys in terms of the absolute focus and commitment demanded to effectively defend the matter. Total immersion in the facts and attention to detail is required. Where guilt is overwhelming, or where the criminal charge may be reduced to a lesser offense, a criminal defense attorney's experience and track record of dealing with prosecution attorneys in the past may be a determinative factor in getting a favorable resolution.
When a suspect is arrested days or weeks after the main perpetrators have been charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, defense counsel must carefully investigate to verify the facts that occurred. In some cases, accused suspects already in custody will provide the names of unrelated individuals simply to obtain preferred treatment by the police and prosecutors. An experienced criminal defense counsel will be attuned to discovering such travesties before they get ingrained into the prosecution's settled presentation of the case.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently issued a memo to the 94 U.S. attorney offices across the country, encouraging a tougher stance in drug prosecutions.
Pennsylvania's drug sentences can be quite harsh, but those who are convicted under the federal drug laws are likely to find themselves in prison for a longer time than they might expect. Attorney General Jeff Sessions just reversed an Obama-era policy meant to reduce the sentences for people convicted of low-level, nonviolent drug offenses. Moreover, people who legally use medical cannabis are not immune from federal prosecution.