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Criminal Defense & DUI

Criminal Defense & DUI Lawyers in Pennsylvania

Leading the Way in Criminal Defense Law

The attorneys of Kitay Law Offices have been handling criminal defense matters for over fifteen years. We are here to assist you with everything from DUI, traffic tickets, drug offenses, assaults, violation of probation, domestic abuse, drivers licensing issues, and juvenile matters.

We understand that you never anticipate being charged with a criminal offense or being ticketed by a police officer. It is a mistaken belief that these incidents only occur to those who commit crimes or driving offenses. In fact, people from all walks of life may have contact with the criminal justice system at some point in their life. But whatever the reason, it is critical during these difficult times that our clients are represented by experienced criminal law attorneys to ensure their rights are protected and that they are treated fairly by the Courts.

When charged with a crime or serious motor vehicle offense, our clients often face consequences that can include the loss of their liberty or severe penalties. Additionally, a conviction may affect their immigration status, driving privileges and employment. As a result, finding the right criminal defense attorney is essential. The attorneys of Kitay Law Offices are here to help.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense, call the office of Kitay Law Offices at 1-888-KITAY-LAW. We are here to help.

For more information about Criminal Defense law, please view our frequently asked questions below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to your questions about criminal defense and DUI law.

Which types of Criminal Defense does your firm handle?

The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Kitay Law Offices handle every kind of criminal case: traffic/summary, misdemeanor, and felony charges. These cases include, but are not limited to: Fraud and Identity Theft, Domestic Abuse, Traffic offenses, Drivers License Suspension Issues (including Penn DOT appeals), Sexual Abuse, Possession of Drugs and Drug Paraphernalia, Possession with Intent to Deliver Drugs, Drug Delivery, Probation and Parole Violations (including Gagnon hearings), Driving Under the Influence, Homicide by DUI, Robbery, Theft, Burglary, Person Not to Possess a Firearm, Possession of a Firearm without a License, Attempted Criminal Homicide, and Criminal Homicide. We also assist clients with getting prior arrests expunged, as well as Governor Pardons.

Do I need to hire an attorney if the police say they want to speak with me, but they have not arrested me?

Yes. The police are your friends – until they suspect you have committed a crime or believe you may be involved. Speaking with an attorney before you meet with the police does not necessarily mean you won’t meet with the police at some point. But you should speak with an attorney to make an informed decision. Anything you say to the police can and will be used against you. Everyone knows that, but they don’t always believe it. If the police have a enough to arrest you, they will arrest you even if you speak with them. You will not be able to talk them out of arresting you if they believe they have probable cause to arrest you. If the police do not have enough to arrest you, anything you say to them runs the very high risk of giving them enough to arrest you. Innocent people do sometimes get charged with a crime. And innocent people do sometimes confess to crimes they have not committed. You should never speak with the police without an attorney present. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Kitay Law Offices can help you make the decision of whether or not to speak with the police. If you have committed a crime, the attorneys at Kitay Law Offices can negotiate a plea even before you speak with the police, or work out a deal for your cooperation. If you go in alone, without an attorney, you are missing an opportunity to use the leverage you have – which is giving the police information they want from you – to your benefit.

Do I need to hire an attorney if I have been arrested or charged with a crime?

Yes. For all the reasons stated above, it is extremely important to at least meet with an attorney as soon as you are arrested or know you will be arrested. See above for more information on why you need to speak with an attorney if you are arrested or charged with a crime.

What is bail and how do I make arrangements for bail?

The purpose of bail is two-fold: protection of the community and insuring a defendant appears for all court hearings. The experienced attorneys at Kitay Law Offices can help the district justice magistrate know all the reasons why you are not a threat to the community, and why you are not a flight risk. We can help you get the lowest bail possible, from ROR (released on your own recognisance), meaning no money needs to be paid, or unsecured bail, and if secured bail is required, the criminal defense attorneys at Kitay Law Offices can work to keep that bail as low as possible. A bail bondsman can assist you to posting bail.

What is the ARD Program?

ARD, or Accelerated Rehabilitative Program, is a program put together by the District Attorney’s office in each county. It allows people who have been charged with a crime to participate in a probation period, pay costs and sometimes a fine, and have their charges dropped and the arrest expunged. Every county’s District Attorney is different as to what kind of cases will be accepted into the ARD program, and what the procedure is. Some counties have very strict requirements for the application process, including deadlines for filing the application. Let the attorneys at Kitay Law Offices help you apply for the ARD program. If you are eligible for this program, you don’t want to make a mistake that would hurt your chances of getting accepted, as successful completion will prevent you from having a criminal record if you have no other convictions. Generally, misdemeanors like DUIs, Drug Possession, Theft, Retail Theft, Simple Assault, and Harassment are common charges faced by ARD applicants. However, in some cases even a person charged with a felony can enter the program. This is why it is important to hire an experienced attorney to help you submit the best application possible, and increase your chances of acceptance into the program.

If I get a DUI, will I have to go to jail?

It depends on the level of alcohol in your system, and whether you have any illegal substances in your system, and how many prior DUIs you have, if any. If this is your first DUI, the ARD program may be available to you. You might have arguments you can make about whether or not the stop was legal and whether or not the evidence against you can be suppressed. You should speak with an attorney at Kitay Law Offices; we can help you determine the best way to proceed, tell you whether you qualify for the ARD program and help you complete the application should you desire to apply, or file any necessary motions to suppress the evidence obtained as a result of an illegal stop or search. I can create a chart of the different tiers of DUI and jail time etc if you want.

What is the process of getting charged with a crime (other than a summary offense)?

  • Complaint: A criminal complaint will be filed against you and served on you thorough the mail.
  • Arrest Warrant: For serious charges, in addition to a criminal complaint, you can be served with an arrest warrant, where you will be taken to Central Booking and may need to post bail. You may not know an warrant has been issued for your arrest until the police find you and take you into custody.
  • Preliminary Hearing: This is the initial hearing, to see if there is a “prima facie case” against you. See the following question for more information on preliminary hearings
  • Arraignment: This is where you plead guilty or not guilty. It is extremely rare to plead guilty at this stage of the proceeding and you should speak with an attorney before doing so
  • Pr-Trial Conference: this is a “meeting” with the judge, counsel, and you, in open court, to determine if your case is ready to go to trial. If you are going to plead guilty, it is usually done at the pre-trial conference
  • Guilty Plea, if applicable: this is where you plead guilty. You can plead pursuant to a plea agreement, or you can do an open plea. See the question below for more information on pleading guilty
  • Trial: Except for certain kinds of misdemeanor cases, you have the right to a jury trial. Your case must be brought to trial within 360 days or it will get dismissed. However, if you ask for a continuance during that time, it stops the clock on that year for as long as the continuance lasts
  • Sentencing, if convicted or plead open: If you plead guilty, you are generally sentenced right there, at that time. Often, but not always, the judge will give you a specific date to prison, if you are currently out on bail and are sentenced to jail time. You should speak with your attorney about how to prepare for the possibility to going to jail the day you are sentenced. After trial, or after an open plea, there is almost always a pre-sentence investigation completed by the Probation Department and you have the right to put on testimony. In addition, if you are out on bail, but are found guilty after trial, there is a strong possibility you will be “remanded”, meaning your bail will be revoked, the day the verdict comes in, even before you are sentenced. See below for more information on Sentencing
  • Appeal: You may have appeal issues you can raise after your sentencing. You should speak with an experienced attorney at Kitay Law Offices about what appeal rights you have

Should I hire an attorney to represent me at a preliminary hearing at the District Justice Magistrate’s office?

It is advisable to hire an attorney to represent you at any and all stages of a criminal case. The Preliminary Hearing is the place where the District Attorney’s office puts on the case it has against you. At that time, the police will put witnesses on the stand to testify. The preliminary hearing is a great opportunity to cross examine the Commonwealth’s witnesses, learn about the case they have against you at a very early stage, and in some cases get the case dismissed. Also, bail is often set at the preliminary hearing. You have the right to hire a stenographer for the hearing, and you also have the right to have an attorney present. The importance of the preliminary hearing is often overlooked by clients, and sometimes even waived without speaking with an attorney first. The attorneys at Kitay Law Offices can help you decide whether you should waive your prelim or have it, and help you if you do decide to have it.

What is a motion to suppress and can I get the evidence in my case suppressed?

There are many motions an attorney can file on behalf of a client in a criminal proceeding. One such motion is called a motion to suppress. A motion to suppress is filed when evidence has been obtained in violation of a person’s fourth or fifth Amendment rights. The fourth amendment is the right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The fifth Amendment is the right against self-incrimination (the right remain silent). The police are required to read a person his or her Miranda warnings (“You have the right to remain silent, but anything you say can and will be used against you. You have the right to attorney, and if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you”) before they ask you any questions while you are in police custody. If the police have not told you that you are “Free to leave at any time”, you should assume you are in police custody. But even if the police do NOT read you your Miranda warnings, if you are not in police custody, and you still give a statement, that statement can be used against you. It is important to discuss all the facts of your case with your attorney, so that a decision can be made about what kind of motions should be filed in your case. Note that there are often very strict deadlines about filing such motions, and if you hire an attorney, you want to give that lawyer enough time to investigate your case and not miss those deadlines. Which is why, if you are charged with a crime, you should immediately contact the experienced defense attorneys at Kitay Law Offices.

Will I get to find out everything the police know about my case?

Yes. The District Attorney must provide defendants and their counsel with all relevant information about their case. This is called “discovery” and you must make a discovery request to obtain this information. Failure to properly and timely request discovery could delay your case or even prevent you from having the information you need to file motions on a timely basis.

What is the difference between parole and probation?

Probation is when you are under the supervision of the county, either after serving a portion of your county prison sentence, or after being sentenced to just straight probation. Parole is when you are under the supervision of the state, after serving a portion of a state sentence.

Is there a difference between a felony and misdemeanor charge?

Yes. A felony carries a greater sentence, and also a greater offense gravity score and prior record score than a misdemeanor. A felony can also affect your ability to find work, get or keep a security clearance, and prevent you from holding certain professional licenses (like insurance, attorney etc). If you are charged with a felony, it is extremely important that you speak with one of the criminal defense attorneys at Kitay Law Offices, to make sure your rights are protected. A felony conviction can have drastic negative effects on your life.

What is the difference between charges being dropped and having charges expunged?

When charges are dropped, the Commonwealth has agreed not to pursue them and all that will show on you record is the arrest. You can petition the court to have the arrest expunged if the charges were dropped. An expungement is when your conviction is expunged. Except in certain juvenile cases, the right to expungement in adult cases is so narrow that is might as well not exist at all. The only real way to get rid of a conviction is through a governor’s pardon. The experienced attorneys at Kitay Law Offices can help you prepare the petition to request a pardon.

Can I get a finding of “not guilty” expunged?

Yes. You can also get the arrest itself expunged. We can assist you in clearing up these blemishes on your record.

Will my case go to trial?

You always have the right to go to trial. Many criminal cases are resolved through plea agreements, and therefore there is no trial. Deciding whether to plead guilty or go to trial is a huge decision that you should make only after meeting with an attorney who has reviewed your case thoroughly. The attorneys at Kitay Law Offices have the experience to review the evidence against you, determine if there are any pre-trial issues that need to be addressed, such as motion to suppress evidence or statements, and help you make a decision about whether or not to go to trial. Even if the District Attorney’s office does not offer you a plea deal, you always have the right to plead guilty at any time before trial starts. Pleading guilty without a deal is called an “open plea” and the judge will sentence you. You will have a sentencing hearing, where you will be given the opportunity to put on witnesses and also make a statement yourself. It is highly recommended that you have an attorney represent you at your sentencing hearing if you are pleading open.

Can you tell me if I am facing jail time?

Yes. In Pennsylvania the Courts use something called the “Sentencing Guidelines”, which is a set of rules about what kind of sentences are fair for each criminal offense. The Guidelines provide for a range, so that a suggested sentence for a specific crime could be just probation or up to 3 to 6 months in jail, for example. The Guidelines also take into consideration your prior record, by using your Prior Record Score. Prior convictions carry points, including prior convictions of felony offenses you may have received if you were 16 or 17 years old. The larger your Prior Record Score, the higher the sentencing range will be under the guidelines. Keep in mind that the Guidelines are just that- guidelines. A judge is not required to follow them and he or she can make a sentence shorter or longer. As such, it is important to have an experienced attorney help you prepare for your sentencing hearing. If you accept a plea agreement with the District Attorneys office, then the judge must accept the terms of the offer, or you will have the right to withdraw your plea. It is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney, who has a good working relationship with law enforcement and the District Attorney’s office, to help you negotiate a plea if you would rather plead guilty than go to trial.

Can I be deported if I am not an American citizen and I am convicted of a crime?

Yes. Which is why it is important to speak with an attorney who understands both criminal defense law and immigration law. Not all crimes can lead to a person being deported. There are options, such as ARD, which can prevent a conviction of the kind of crime that leads to deportation. The attorneys at Kitay Law Offices have experience handling criminal cases which could cause a person to be deported. Let us help you protect your right to stay in this country.

If my child is charged with a crime, should I hire an attorney?

Yes. Parents often make the mistake of thinking that children cannot suffer real, life long consequences as a result of criminal behavior. However, in Pennsylvania, a juvenile over the age of 14 can be charged as an adult for many crimes, and if convicted, sent to a real prison – not a detention center. In addition, even if not charged as an adult, a juvenile over the age of 16 who is adjudicated delinquent will have that adjudication count as a conviction when calculating that juvenile’s prior record score, if he or she ever got in trouble as an adult, making the sentence he or she receives as a result of that adult conviction, harsher. The very last thing you should do is make your child “tell the police the truth”. You should instead have your child to tell his or her attorney the truth, and once that is done, a decision can be made about whether or not to speak with the police. Until your child has a chance to speak with an attorney, he or she should not speak with the police. When your child is charged with a crime, it is not the time to teach him or her a lesson. The effects on his or her life can be severe and therefore every effort should be made to lesson those effects. It is possible to have juvenile records expunged in certain circumstances, and we can help you with that process.

dayetzi mendoza
dayetzi mendoza
18:59 02 Nov 18
I highly recommend them. They fight for your case until you win!!! I’m very content with my results.
David Daiello
David Daiello
15:54 02 Nov 18
Mr. Ken Kitay is very professional and I have been dealing with him and known him for about 15 years. He has been not only my attorney,but we have used him in several family members cases as well. When you deal with mr. kitay and his staff ,you're not only a client ,your family! Mr. Kitay and his team only know one thing ,your best interest and how to win!! On behalf of myself and my family, there's no one better we can recommend, A TRUE WINNING TEAM!!! And on a final note ,my family not only had a great attorney, he is part of our family for life. Thank you and may God bless you and your staff as you have blessed my family .
Jocelyn Gabriel
Jocelyn Gabriel
16:06 21 Sep 18
I have known Ken through a mutual friend for over 2 years. Over those 2 years Ken has been a great mentor, friend and my own personal attorney. His staff is helpful and responsive to all my questions and provides great service. Ken has a good team and they're great at what they do. I strongly recommend Ken to anyone who needs an attorney!
Iliana Cruz
Iliana Cruz
20:26 20 Aug 18
Ken was very caring and concerned about my legal situation. Ken was also very attentive and showed me the direction to take. The law firm handled my social security case and did an excellent job. I didn't have to do anything. I'll refer all my friends and family to Kitay Law offices they are amazing.
Erica Julia
Erica Julia
20:12 20 Aug 18
Ken gave me good advice and tried to help me as much as he could. He gave me a couple of different options and directions to take for my legal issue. Id refer all my friends and family to Ken
Maria Garcia
Maria Garcia
16:40 17 Aug 18
Ken Kitay is a great attorney. I think he is very kindhearted, smart and knows what he is doing. I feel very comfortable with him it's like I have known him forever. I recommend all my friends and family to Kitay Law Offices.
Maiker Lora
Maiker Lora
22:41 05 Jun 18
While no one wishes to find themselves injured, one word describes Kitay The Best . Kitay knows what he is doing. Ken is really knowledgable, trustworthy, smart and knows the right people... Kitay is an attorney who can guide you through the process. I was very impressed with Kitay's ability. I always refer all my friends and family to Ken Kitay.
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Sami Kobeissi
Sami Kobeissi
2018-12-17T22:39:28+0000
I appreciate the professional manner in which the personnel in your office handle themselves. They are very warm and welcoming. They put you at ease during your visit to the office. Also, the lawyers respond to your inquiries in very expeditious and gentle manner Thank you
Esther Algarin
Esther Algarin
2018-12-14T19:52:34+0000
I am very pleased with this office. I'm very pleased with the work. They have always been very precise. Yesenia and the Reading staff have always been responsive and attentive as well as courteous to all my needs regarding my legal issues. I recommend Kitay Law Offices to all my friends and family even my brother in New Jersey asked me to call you regarding his case and Dawn is pretty cool as well.
Ahndrehah Espinosa
Ahndrehah Espinosa
2018-11-07T19:20:06+0000
Ken and his staff always have a lot of honesty and integrity. I’m always treated first class and like family .
Bill Hanna
Bill Hanna
2018-11-04T01:49:06+0000
Kitay Law Firm has been by my side since 2012 ,when others turned me away. I appreciate the family atmosphere ,while they still maintaining a professional relationship. I had a scheduling conflict this week.Yesenia Justiniano dropped everything, and resolved the problem rapidly, that is within an hour. I know who is reliable in the Reading Area. When was the last time a law firm really went the extra mile for their clients. Trust is number one with me ,while other firms promise success with minimal results. Thank you Ken and staff for providing an invaluable service. Without your support I would not have made it this far with my injuries, work difficulties and recoveries.God bless Bill
Carlos Ruben
Carlos Ruben
2018-11-03T00:41:37+0000
buen servicio y un personal muy profecional y muy familiarizado siempre dispuestos a ayudarte.
Yahaira Hood
Yahaira Hood
2018-11-02T19:32:08+0000
Great service and amazing staff
Bryan Justiniano
Bryan Justiniano
2018-11-01T19:37:07+0000
Very professional staff and lawyers. Would recommend to anyone in need.
Anita Justiniano
Anita Justiniano
2018-10-30T01:06:01+0000
We have found their staff to be very professional and helpful. Family and coworker referrals have been made. The attorney's here as well as their support staff do outstanding work. Thank you for all your help.
Ian B Harris
Ian B Harris
2018-10-29T17:50:16+0000
Fantastic Law Office. Patient, understanding and capable.
Brian Lee
Brian Lee
2018-10-29T17:44:08+0000
Great service. Easy to work with and there for me when I needed them.
Danielle Marcano
Danielle Marcano
2018-10-29T15:22:51+0000
I love Kitty Law Offices! Made a painful situation go with as much ease as possible. I highly recommend them!
Lupe Weckstein
Lupe Weckstein
2017-05-05T13:50:04+0000
Josie Ortiz
Josie Ortiz
2016-10-22T20:23:37+0000
I'm very excited to be part of one of the BEST Law Firms in the area, high energy office and well organized. The staff makes you feel like you are part of the family.
John Daly
John Daly
2016-09-14T22:55:42+0000
Kitay law treats its clients,staff and internal support personnel very well, like a family.
Perla Vinasco
Perla Vinasco
2016-08-28T03:41:59+0000
Keyra Milburn-Bryant
Keyra Milburn-Bryant
2016-07-27T16:46:24+0000
Kenneth Kitay an Associates are great!!! Mr. Kitay went above an beyond for me. He was a good laywer. And I thank them for all their help!!
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